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 home >> about the center >> annual reports >> 2006 annual report

American Folklife Center Annual Report for 2006

Peggy A. Bulger, Director


The American Folklife Center (AFC), which includes the Veterans History Project (VHP), had a very productive year.  Almost half a million items were added to AFC's archive, which is the country’s first national archive of traditional life, and one of the oldest and largest of such repositories in the world. In addition, the Center expanded outreach and programming through an increased number of symposia, concerts, and public lectures; by providing assistance to public school “heritage projects” around the country; and by providing technical assistance to individuals and groups.  VHP continued making strides in its mission to collect and preserve the stories of our nation's veterans, acquiring over 12,500 new submissions.   AFC also continued to be a leader in international discussions about intellectual property, and AFC director Peggy Bulger served as a member of US delegations to meetings convened by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), UNESCO, and the Organization of American States (OAS).  Both AFC and VHP provided substantial services to Congress.  The following report details AFC and VHP's activities during FY06.


During FY06, the AFC archive had 5 FTEs devoted to collections processing while the VHP had 7.5 FTEs (for the first half of the year, after which VHP had 4 FTEs). AFC’s permanent processing staff continued the processing of collection materials, as well as the preparation of manuscripts, photographs, audio, and video holdings for digitization, which was accomplished in-house, by outside vendors, and also by the Library’s Scan Lab.  In addition, staff from the AFC and Information Technology Services worked to develop a prototype, unified database from the multiple databases created and used by the StoryCorps Project staff (at Sound Portraits Productions, the donor for the StoryCorps Collection).  This database has made it possible for AFC reference staff to answer the steadily increasing inquiries from researchers regarding the StoryCorps Collection. The AFC Collections Manual, an ongoing project, incorporated significant revisions on such issues as acquiring and processing small collections; updating guidelines on titles and subject headings for collections; designing finding aid templates; reviewing, applying and converting collection finding aids using Encoded Archival Description (EAD); and designing in-house processing collections status reports.  AFC staff began adding AFC audiovisual items to Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound’s (MBRS) MAVIS database, used by Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound to gather basic information about collection materials, and track them as they are moved to the NAVCC facility in Culpeper, Virginia.  Processing staff continued its collaborative work with the LC Conservation staff on treatment of materials, supply orders and management.  AFC was also involved with the MDEP projects that are planning the transfer of collections to Ft. Meade.  AFC staff has also begun work with Conservation staff to develop a prototype container for damaged audio discs. 

Below are two lists of collections that were completely or partially processed during Fiscal Year 2006. The completely processed collections have MARC records in the LC Online Catalog.

1.  Completed Processing FY06 (92 Collections):

  • Alan Lomax and George Pullen Jackson Collection of Sacred Harp Music (AFC 1943/004)
  • Alan Lomax Recordings from Saltville, Virginia (AFC 1943/005)
  • Alan Lomax Recordings from Smithville, Tennessee (AFC 1943/002)
  • Alan Lomax Recordings of Pete Seeger Square Dance Calls (AFC 1943/006)
  • Alex Kellam Collection (AFC 1977/008)
  • Alfred A. Pinkston Collection of African American Religious Songs (AFC 1977/026)
  • American Indian Music and Dance Troupe Concert Collection, (Homegrown 2004 Concert Series) (AFC 2004/033)
  • Anjani Ambegaokar Concert Collection(Homegrown 2004 Concert Series) (AFC 2004/031)
  • Art Rosenbaum Collection of fiddle music from Iowa (AFC 1977/011)
  • Audubon Expedition Institute songbook (AFC 1976/004)
  • Baltimore of Mount Pleasant: A Case Study of the Tradition of the Chanted Sermon in Virginia, 1975 /  by E. Henry Willett, III (AFC 1979/019)
  • Been a long time travelin':  three Primitive Baptist women (AFC 1982/017)
  • The Beeson Farmstead: A Study of the Functional Aspects of a Black Farm… by Annelen R. Archbold /  Annelen R. Archbold (AFC 1979/011)
  • Brownie McNeil Collection of Southern Texas Recordings (AFC 1943/008)
  • Captain Pearl R. Nye Collection (AFC 1937/002)
  • The Carter Family: Traditional Sources for Song, 1976 / by Margaret Anne Bulger (AFC 1979/012)
  • Center for Southern Folklore Collection of Chapman family Recordings (AFC 1977/023)
  • Chang Yu-Chen Chinese opera video Collection (AFC 2005/003)
  • “Chinese Folk Art Today” Lecture by Yang Xianrang (Benjamin Botkin lecture) (AFC 2004/038)
  • Coal River Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1999/008)
  • Colorado Springs Field School Collection (AFC 1995/044)
  • “Coming Home,” from the series Experiencing War /  Lee Woodman Media, Inc. (Veteran’s History Project) (AFC 2003/024)
  • A Comparative Study of German and Kentucky Moon Beliefs, 1974 / by Katherine Rosser Martin (AFC 1979/014)
  • Cotton Carnival and Cotton Makers Jubilee : Memphis Society in Black and White / by Robert Emmett McLean (AFC 1996/007)
  • David Brinkley Interview of Duncan Emrich (AFC 1948/034)
  • David Brose Collection of Harvey Phelps interviews (AFC 1984/010)
  • David Holt Recordings Collection (AFC 1977/013)
  • Don Roy Trio and Florence Martin Concert Collection (Homegrown 2004 Concert Series) (AFC 2004/027)
  • Donald and David Johnson Collection of Huddie Ledbetter Recordings (AFC 2005/017)
  • Dorothy Howard Duplication Project Collection (AFC 1977/030)
  • Ella May Thornton Recording of Graham Jackson “Goodbye to Warm Springs” (AFC 1948/053)
  • Elsie Fardig Collection of Bahamian Recordings (AFC 1977/029)
  • Encyclopedia: Traditional Music and Folk Songs of the United States 1979 /  compiled by Richard Riley Shepard (AFC 1979/008)
  • Evelyn Yellow Robe Collection of Sioux Indian songs and stories (AFC 1977/021)
  • Folkways-Smithsonian Book of American Folksongs / by Roger D. Abrahams (AFC 2005/011)
  • Franklin G. Smith lecture on military folk music (AFC 1977/035)
  • Gerry Grcevich and his orchestra concert and interview Collection (Homegrown 2004 Concert Series) (AFC 2004/034)
  • Harold Reeves and Russell Wood Collection of Gullah Recordings (AFC 1959/006)
  • "I love ta plow!":  The Role of Traditional Farm Women in Peytonsburg, Kentucky, 1976 / by Linda C. White (AFC 1979/018)
  • If I'd Been Polish, I Guess I'd Be Playing Polkas : An Examination of the Social Contexts of Traditional Irish Music in Rochester, New York, 1976 / by George Michael Stoner (AFC 1979/016)
  • An Interpretation of the Florida Ex-Slaves' Memories of Slavery and the Civil War, 1976 /  by Dianna Zacharias (AFC 1979/020)
  • Isabel Gordon Carter Collection (AFC 2005/004)
  • Italian Americans in the West Collection (AFC 1989/022)
  • Jeff Todd Titon Duplication Project Collection (AFC 1977/032)
  • John Garst Duplication Project Collection (AFC 1977/024)
  • John Henry Faulk Collection of Texas Prison Songs (AFC 1943/009)
  • John Mccutcheon Duplication Project Collection (AFC 1977/027)
  • John Q. Anderson Exchange Project Collection (AFC 1959/007)
  • Juana Cristoloveanu Collection of Basque Music (AFC 1955/006)
  • Juana Cristoloveanu Collection of Turkish Music (AFC 1955/003)
  • Judith Blank Collection of African American children's songs (AFC 1977/036)
  • Julius Lester and Worth Long Collection of Two-Part Gospel Singing (AFC 1977/018)
  • Ken Lindsay Collection of Woody Guthrie Correspondence (AFC 2005/006)
  • Literatura de Cordel Brazilian chapbook Collection (AFC 1970/002)
  • The Lyrics of Race Record Blues, 1920-1942: A Semantic Approach to the Structural Analysis of a Formulaic System, 1977 /  by Michael Ernest Taft (AFC 2004/012)
  • Mary Elizabeth Barnicle-Cadle Recordings Collection (AFC 1977/016)
  • Mary Hippard Collection of Georgia Sea Island Recordings (AFC 1977/014)
  • Memphis Slim Live in Ljubljana (AFC 2006/015)
  • Mike Seeger Collection of Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, and Sam Bowles Recordings (AFC 1977/015)
  • Miriam M. Maxwell Family Oral History Collection (AFC 1977/017)
  • Monroe Benton Collection of Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial and Flagstaff All-Indian Pow-Wow Recordings (AFC 1977/038)
  • A Motif-Index of the Folktales of Culture-Area V, West Africa,  1958 / by Kenneth W. Clarke (AFC 1980/017)
  • Motif Index to a Collection of American Tall Tales / by J. Russell Reaver (AFC 2006/003)
  • Nadeem Dlaikan and the Dearborn Traditional Ensemble concert and interview Collection (Homegrown 2004 Concert Series) (AFC 2004/032)
  • Norman and Nancy Blake Concert Collection (Homegrown 2004 Concert Series) (AFC 2004/026)
  • Oinkari Basque Dancers Concert Collection (Homegrown 2004 Concert Series) (AFC 2004/029)
  • Old-Time Fiddle Appalachian Style with Alan Jabbour (AFC 2003/017)
  • Olive Dame Campbell Recording Collection (AFC 1959/003)
  • Omaha Indian Interviews Collection, 1999 (AFC 1999/014)
  • Pat Dunford Duplication Project Collection (AFC 1977/020)
  • The Paschall Brothers Concert Collection (Homegrown 2004 Concert Series) (AFC 2004/028)
  • Paul Gilson Interview of Duncan Emrich (AFC 1948/033)
  • Peggy V. Beck Collection on New Mexican Midwinter Masquerades (AFC 2005/005)
  • Penne Laingen Yellow Ribbon Collection (AFC 1991/017)
  • Phong Nguyen Ensemble Concert and Interview Collection (Homegrown 2004 Concert Series) (AFC 2004/030)
  • Pinelands Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1991/023)
  • La presenza italiana a Washington, D.C. : genesi, consistenza, identità, 2002 / Christina Barbara Assouad (AFC 2003/054)
  • The Reliability of Selected Weather Beliefs, 1976 / by Judith K. Sadewasser (AFC 1979/015)
  • Richard Chase Appalachian Recordings (AFC 1977/022)
  • Sacred Steel: The Steel Guitar Tradition of the House of God Churches by the Arhoolie Foundation (AFC 2001/022)
  • Sam Hinton Collection (AFC 1948/050)
  • A Study of the Newport Folk Festival and the Newport Folk Foundation, 1983 / by Cheryl Anne Brauner  (AFC 1983/023)
  • Sue Pearl Williams Collection (AFC 1977/034)
  • Tobacco Farming: The Persistence of Tradition, 1975 /  by Eugene Baker Umberger (AFC 1979/017)
  • Toru Mitsui Collection of Folksong and Bluegrass Recordings (AFC 2006/002)
  • Traditional Pork Processing Collection (AFC 1986/009)
  • Trailside Country School Interviews from Maine and Pennsylvania (AFC 1977/019)
  • Tsikaya Project Collection (AFC 2005/013)
  • Voices of New York Traditions (AFC 2003/003)
  • "What Are They Saying?" : A Study of the Jargon of Hilltopping,  1976 / by David C. Lyne (AFC 1979/013)
  • William Miller Collection of Indian Creek Delta Boys Recordings (AFC 1977/037)
  • Women of Old-Time Music: Tradition and Change in the Missouri Ozarks by Holly Hobbs (AFC 2003/010)

2.  Partially Processed FY06 (40 Collections)

  • Alan Lomax Collection (AFC 2004/004)
  • Artifacts and Gifts Collection (AFC 9999/003)
  • Barry Lee Pearson Collection of Rev. O.C. Matthews Recordings (AFC 1980/005)
  • Black Banjo Songsters, Volume 2, Digitization Project (AFC 9999/004)
  • Don Yoder Collection of Tape Recordings (AFC 2003/051)
  • Don Yoder Collection of Wire Recordings (AFC 1970/004)
  • Edward Bell Collection of Ruth Mae Gasper Bell and Margot Mayo Recordings (AFC 2004/022)
  • Eleanor Dickinson Collection (AFC 1970/001)
  • Eloise Hubbard Linscott Collection (AFC 1942/002)
  • Frances Densmore Collection of Visual Materials (AFC 1944/002)
  • George Korson Collection (AFC 2003/011)
  • Helen Creighton Collection of Nova Scotia Recordings (AFC 1944/016)
  • Herbert Halpert Collection (AFC 2004/008)
  • International Storytelling Collection (AFC 2001/008)
  • Irish Folklore Commission Wax Cylinder Collection (AFC 2004/002)
  • Italian Americans in the West Collection (AFC 1989/022)
  • Jean Thomas Scrapbook Collection (AFC 1954/001)
  • Jens Lund Ohio River Valley Collection (AFC 2004/023)
  • Jens Lund Collection of Folklife Center of Ohio Valley Recordings (AFC 2004/025)
  • Joel M. Halpern Collection (AFC 1998/001)
  • Joseph S. Hall Great Smoky Mountains Original Recordings Collection (AFC 1987/035)
  • Literatura de Cordel Brazilian Chapbook Collection (AFC 1970/002)
  • Local Legacies Collection (AFC 2000/001)
  • Mars Hill College Collection of Bascom Lamar Lunsford Recordings (AFC 2005/012)
  • National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) Collection (AFC 2001/019)
  • Neil V. Rosenberg Bluegrass Music Collection (AFC 2002/009)
  • New Mexican Midwinter Masquerades (AFC 2005/005)
  • Nora Yeh Kemeny Family Collection (AFC 2000/018)
  • Pete and Toshi Seeger Film Collection (AFC 2003/027)
  • OzarksWatch Video Magazine Collection (AFC 2000/027)
  • Sidney Robertson Cowell WPA California Folk Music Project Collection (AFC 1940/001)
  • Steve Green Collection of Home Disc Recordings (AFC 1997/031)
  • StoryCorps Collection (AFC 2004/001)
  • Ted Grame and Kathy Monahan Recordings (AFC 2001/031)
  • Veterans History Project (AFC 2001/002)
  • Vida Chenoweth Collection (AFC 1994/003)
  • Voices of Civil Rights Project Collection (AFC 2005/013)
  • W. Dean Edwards Collection (AFC 1995/015)
  • Aaron Ziegelman Foundation Collection (AFC 2003/002)
  • Zuni Pueblo Storytelling Collection (AFC 1996/073)

3.  EAD finding aids created FY06 (8 Collections)

  • American Dialect Society Collection (AFC 1984/011)
  • American Folk Blues Festival Photograph Collection, 1962-1965 (AFC 2003/050)
  • David Dunaway Collection of Interviews with Pete Seeger and Contemporaries (AFC 2000/019)
  • Fletcher Collins Jr. Collection (AFC 1939/003)
  • Four Masters of Chinese Storytelling Video Collection (AFC 2004/021)
  • Ken Lindsay Collection of Woody Guthrie Correspondence (AFC 2005/006)
  • Penne Laingen Yellow Ribbon Collection (AFC 1991/017)
  • Sergei Zhirkevich Photograph Collection (AFC 2000/026)

Print & Digital Collections Management:  AFC increased digital holdings by over 81,000 digital files through acquisition of born-digital recordings and digital preservation of analog recordings. Born-digital collections include StoryCorps (8,182 files) and NCTA (69,851 files). Digitized analog collections total more than 4,000 files. In addition, the Frances Densmore Collection of Visual Materials, comprising 380 one-of-a-kind, early-twentieth-century images of Native Americans has been scanned for preservation.


The Mary Sheppard Burton Collection: A collection of 12 polychrome hand-hooked rugs designed and made by Mary Sheppard Burton of Germantown, Maryland.  The rugs comprise Burton’s “Tell Me ‘Bout it Series,” and each one depicts a story told in her family, which was based in the Salisbury, Maryland, area.  The collection also includes videotaped interviews with Burton, color photographs, and a flyer about the series.

The Mars Hill College Collection of Bascom Lamar Lunsford Recordings: This collection consists of one-of-a-kind audio recordings of traditional music of the southern Appalachians that were made in the field by Bascom Lamar Lunsford (1882-1973), an important early documenter of this music as well as a prominent performer of traditional music and a passionate promoter of Appalachian traditional culture.  He organized one of the first folk festivals in the United States – the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, held in Asheville, North Carolina, which began in 1928.  The collection complements the Center’s other Lunsford holdings, including the David Hoffman collection (described below).

The David Hoffman Collection of Bascom Lamar Lunsford Films and Recordings: This collection was created in connection with Hoffman’s 1964 documentary film about Lunsford, Music Makers of the Blue Ridge.  It consists of 16mm-film footage, video copies of the film in various formats, open-reel audiotapes containing interviews and soundtracks, DAT copies of the audiotapes, photographs and manuscript materials.

The Donald and David Johnson Collection of Huddie Ledbetter Recordings: Donald and David Johnson donated a one-of-a-kind instantaneous-disc recording made by Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, on January 20, 1941.  One of the songs on the recording, “Todd Blues,” is an original composition by Ledbetter that has not been previously documented.

The David Lewiston Collection: This collection represents the results of David Lewiston’s fieldwork between 1966 and 2000, and includes recordings of traditional music he made in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, Tibet, India, Guatemala, Mexico, Bali, Morocco, and Georgia.  The collection comprises 321 analogue recordings, as well as digital transfers and streaming tapes in LTO format.  This is a collection of historical and cultural significance, and it will complement existing collections in the American Folklife Center’s archive, and also fill significant gaps in the archive’s collection.  David Lewiston is a prominent documenter of traditional music and, over the past 40 years, he has created numerous sound recordings of great importance and rarity.  He is the winner of the prestigious Grand Prix International du Disque, and was a leading contributor to the seminal Nonesuch “Explorer” series of releases, which were made in the 1960s and 1970s.

The National Council for Traditional Arts Collection, increment: During 2006, AFC acquired an increment of the National Council for the Traditional Arts Collection, which comprises 69,851 digital files containing sound recordings of outstanding traditional artists who performed at the National Folk Festival and other events sponsored by NCTA, along with copious data about the performers and their performances.

The StoryCorps Collection, increment: AFC acquired an increment to the StoryCorps Collection, a born-digital collection consisting of files of first-person narratives concerned with a wide variety of topics that were collected by the StoryCorps Project; data about the story-tellers and the interviewers, along with associated consent forms and photographs are also included.  This increment consists of 8,182 digital files.

The Sol Biderman Collection of Brazilian Chapbooks (Literatura de Cordel): The Sol Biderman Collection consists of 321 Literatura de Cordel (printed chapbooks); 52 xilogravuras woodcut engravings; 3 caixas de madeira and Noza Mestre, Passos da Cruz photographs; 41 other illustrations (mixed-media woodblock prints, serigraphs, etc.); 2 handmade wooden boxes decorated with signed illustrations by Guilherme de Faria; 5 books about the subject of Literatura de Cordel; 6 non-Brazilian books on cordel; 9 CDs audio recordings and reel-to-reel recordings of Brazilian music; and 50 manuscript items comprising Chicano corridos and poems.  It complements the AFC’s existing 5,000-item collection of Brazilian chapbooks (the largest in the world), fills in gaps in the collection, adds important new materials, and also adds important manuscript material concerning the corrido tradition in California that relates to other AFC collections concerning Hispanic traditional music and popular culture. 

The Tôru Mitsui Collection of Folksong and Bluegrass Recordings: The collection consists of two CD copies of early-1960s open-reel audiotape recordings of American folksongs and bluegrass music performed in Japan by Tôro Mitsui and Tsuyoshi Hashimoto.  Mitsui, a retired professor from Kanazawa University, is a bluegrass scholar.

The Pete and Toshi Seeger Interview: This collection consists of videotape that documents an extensive interview with Pete and Toshi Seeger that was conducted at the Library of Congress on February 6, 2006.  The subject of the interview is the documentary films the Seegers made in the United States and abroad, mainly during the 1950s and 1960s.  (AFC acquired the Seeger’s large collection of motion pictures in 2003.)  


All members of the AFC’s staff with training in folklore, ethnomusicology, or audiovisual archiving took shifts on the Folklife reading room reference desk, assisting Library patrons in person and by telephone.  The four persons on the reference staff handled the bulk of the Folklife Center’s mail and email reference correspondence, and referred questions as needed to other AFC staff as well as to Library of Congress and professional colleagues around the world.   All AFC staff, however  – particularly those with known subject expertise – received and handled inquiries that came to them directly.  (It should be noted that, unlike the other LC reading rooms, most AFC email correspondence comes in via direct email rather than through the QuestionPoint service.)

The reference staff had primary responsibility for maintaining the AFC’s in-house Collections Database, as well as the inventories of the archive's various categories of vertical files and for the maintenance of access tools.  The online finding aids homepage receives substantial traffic: 428,198 hits in FY2006.   We are also receiving reference inquiries via the webpage, which provides summary information on approximately 60% of the archival collections; a substantial number of the inquiries come from family members of those whose photos and recordings are in the AFC archive, which provides opportunities to enhance those collections with additional information about the performers. AFC has begun to put historic bibliographies online.

AFC reference staff also serve as curators for items in Library exhibitions and for components of other Library websites, and coordinate the overall intern program and volunteer activities (over 3300 hours of service to the Library).

In FY06, AFC procured better analog and digital workstations for optimal playback in the reading room, thus improving access to collections. 

The growing number of digitized audio, video, and image (photo as well as manuscript) collections continues to raise questions about mechanisms for supplying access and for handling photo- and phono-duplication requests.  Digital formats have broadened our service while requiring the development of new policies.

Reference Team Acquisitions and Preservation Work: AFC’s reference staff handled the serial publications and many small collections that came directly to AFC.  During FY06, AFC added more than 2,100 items of ephemera to the subject files and over 300 serial issues, as well as numerous unpublished monographs, posters, videos, CDs, and photos.  Smaller serials, in particular, frequently require preservation photocopying, since they are adversely affected by mail-handling systems.   The staff also recommended the acquisition of hundreds of published items, and their routing to other parts of the Library. 


October 2: Debra Murphy coordinated VHP promotion and distribution of materials by Lt. Gen. James McCall and General Donald Scott at the “Fall Gathering.” This meeting of African American flag officers included 6 four-star generals including General Colin Powell.  Lt. General Julius Becton of the VHP Five-Star Council also attended.

October 7: Michael Taft hosted a visit by Jacques Arlindo dos Santos, member of congress in Angola, and president of the board of directors of Associaçiao Cultural e Recreativa, Chá de Caxinde. He outlined the scope and work of AFC, and discussed the possibilities of duplicating an Angolan collection in the AFC archive.

October 26-29: The AFC Board of Trustees held its fall meeting, hosted by trustee Bill Kinney, in Pawley’s Island, SC. Peggy Bulger gave AFC's first multimedia Director's Report, and Michael Taft gave a report on the activities of the Archival Unit; David Taylor and Gene Berry also contributed reports.

November 21:  Deanna Marcum, Peggy Bulger, and Music Division staff met with Robert C. Khayat, Chancellor of the University of Mississippi, and his staff concerning plans for a new American Music Archives there.

December 14: Peggy Bulger, David Taylor, and Michael Taft took part in a conference call with Jayne Guberman and other staff of the Jewish Women's Archive (JWA) and the Institute for Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) to advise them on their planned project to collect oral histories of Jews affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

January 9-11: Michael Taft attended the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Project (NDIIPP) meeting in Berkeley, CA, sponsored by the Library of Congress's Office of Strategic Initiatives. Taft represented the interests of the AFC in current NDIIPP projects to capture and preserve digital material.

January 26: VHP staff welcomed WWII veteran Henry Heim, Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) President and CEO Brian Lockman, and PCN VP of Marketing Rick Cochran. Mr. Heim was wounded at Pearl Harbor and went on to be a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot, flying more than 75 missions over North Africa, Germany, and the Balkans, and later serving in Korea. His memories, along with those of 112 other veterans, were recorded for VHP by PCN.

February 6: Peggy Bulger and AFC staff conducted an interview with Pete and Toshi Seeger on their film collection and the history and context of their world trip. 

February 23: A Preserving America’s Cultural Traditions (PACT) meeting at the AFC convened leaders of private, non-profit folklife organizations to discuss areas of mutual support and collaboration.  Peggy Bulger, David Taylor, and Michael Taft attended the meeting with other AFC staff.   Taft, Taylor and staff held a lunchtime discussion with PACT members.  

March 16: Peggy Bulger and Michael Taft hosted rock musician Jack Blades, friends and family, on a tour of AFC.

March 21 – 25: Tim Schurtter attended the 17th Annual National Service Learning conference in Philadelphia.

March 29: Michael Taft spoke to a group of librarians and academics from Colombia, including the director of the Colombian National Library, who are planning a center for research on Afro-Colombian culture. Taft outlined the history, scope, and activities of the AFC.

April 6-7: AFC held a meeting of its Board of Trustees.  Special Guests included Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, Rep. Mel Watt of North Carolina, and Dave Isay of StoryCorps.  The meeting was also attended by James H. Billington, The Librarian of Congress; Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services; Geraldine Otremba, chief of the Congressional Relations Office; Sue Vita, chief of the Music Division, and other members of the Library’s executive staff.

April 19: Peggy Bulger gave a tour of AFC to the three recently appointed Copyright Judges: James S. Sledge, Stanley C. Wisniewski and William J. Roberts.  The judges were appointed by the Librarian of Congress in January.

April 23-29: Peggy Bulger served on the US delegation to WIPO's committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore in Geneva, Switzerland.

May 1-6: Peggy Bulger presented a session on the work of the AFC at the Interpreting World Heritage Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

May 2: Bob Patrick met with Admiral Paul Tobin, USN (ret.), director of Naval History at the Naval Historical Center (NHC) to discuss cooperative efforts between NHC and VHP.  A follow-up meeting was conducted with representatives of the Naval Historical Foundation.

May 4-11: David Taylor visited Seoul, South Korea, as a guest of the Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea.  Along with cultural specialists from several other countries, he observed an important Korean traditional ritual—the Jongmyo Jerye royal ancestral rite, which has been designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO.  He also participated in roundtable discussions about national policies with regard to intangible culture heritage, met with officials who are responsible for South Korea’s “living cultural treasures” program, attended performances of Korean traditional music and dance, and visited the national museum.  Contacts he made may lead to acquisitions for AFC’s archive and speakers for the Botkin lecture series. 

June 6-11:  Peggy Bulger was a featured workshop leader and panelist at the "Celebrating Our Living Heritage" Symposium in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.  She also participated in discussions with Canadian officials on the role of culture in sustainable communities.

June 19: Michael Taft hosted a visit from archivists and interns from the Pennsylvania Legislative Archive. He described the history, scope, and work of the AFC, and highlighted material from the George Korson Collection.

July 5: Bob Patrick was interviewed by Danielle McDavit, producer for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ American Veteran, a monthly program distributed through the Pentagon Channel and throughout the VA medical center's TV news network. 

July 14: Sarah Rouse presented a paper on the structure and collections of the Veterans History Project as part of panel entitled "How We Listen to Our War Veterans," at the International Oral History Association's 14th annual conference in Sydney, Australia.

July 18: Peggy Bulger, David Taylor and Michael Taft met with Lidija Nikočević, director of the Etnografski Muzej Istre (Ethnographic Museum of Istria), Croatia. They explained the history and work of AFC and gave her a tour of the reading room.

August 15: Peggy Bulger and other AFC staff met with Andy Danyo of the Bob Edwards Show (XM Radio).  They discussed ideas for a regular radio show which would feature recordings from the AFC archives and other AFC-related materials.

August 22: Bob Patrick and Sarah Rouse met with visiting Philadelphia school system representatives Tom Sorkness, et al., to discuss a system-wide launch of the VHP.

August 26 – 29: Bob Patrick presented at the National American Legion conference in Salt Lake City.

September 13: Deanna Marcum and Peggy Bulger participated in the NEA Heritage Fellows banquet and welcomed the group on behalf of the Librarian and AFC.

September 20-23: Stephen Winick gave two keynote addresses at the Embarras Valley Film Festival, an annual event held at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.  This year’s festival honored EIU alumnus Burl Ives.  Winick spoke on two topics: Ives’s role in defining the modern idea of folk music; and the 1950 Burl Ives bawdy song recordings in the AFC archive.  In addition, he gave a general presentation about AFC and its collections, and answered many questions about doing research at AFC.

Sept. 29: Louisiana fiddler David Greely, of the group Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, visited the Folklife Reading Room.

September 27: Seven musicians and a sound technician from the Czech Republic’s leading folk music group, Czechomor, visited the AFC’s reading room. AFC staff displayed Czech materials from AFC collections, and played some 1939 WPA recordings made in   Masaryktown, a community near Tampa settled by Czech farmers in 1924.  The musicians were also interviewed for the AFC archive. 


Arizona Heritage Project (AHP). The Arizona Heritage Project provides funding, resources, and training to allow high school teachers and students to conduct oral histories with local residents. These oral histories provide the basis for school and public activities, such as new curricula, exhibitions, websites, documentaries, publications and conferences. All AHP activities are partnerships; schools are paired with a local museum and work closely with community-based educational and cultural organizations, such as libraries, parks, state and local agencies, and community service organizations.  During FY06, AFC continued in its advisory role, contributing staff time and expertise to AHP’s summer institute.

Montana Heritage Project (MHP).  The Montana Heritage Project is a high school place-based education program. Students are asked to explore their community – its cultural heritage as expressed in traditions and celebrations, literature and arts, economic practices, responses to crises, and everyday life; its relationship to the natural environment; and its place in national and world events. They are then invited to write about what they have learned for local and state audiences. AFC continued in its advisory role, contributing staff time and expertise to ensure that principles of folklife research and ethnography are included in MHP’s curriculum.  AFC director Peggy Bulger served on the MHP Executive board, and AFC staff participated in MHP’s summer institute.  AFC also hosted a visit of MHP students to the Library of Congress on May 10.  The students, along with AFC staff, visited the Librarian in his office.

Alan Lomax Symposium: AFC held a symposium entitled The Lomax Legacy: Folklore in a Globalizing Century, January 18 - 20, 2006. The symposium consisted of two days of lectures, panel presentations, concerts, and film screenings.   A diverse group of more than 200 scholars and cultural workers gathered to reflect on the life work of preeminent song collector, musical anthropologist, and cultural activist Alan Lomax (1915-2002). The gathering highlighted AFC's 2004 acquisition of the Alan Lomax Collection.  AFC is currently collecting the symposium papers, which will be published as a special issue of The Journal of Folklore Research.

Website Redesign/Updates: AFC has maintained and expanded its website, adding text, images, and in some cases video for Botkin lectures, Homegrown concerts, and other AFC events.  It also updated the Folklife Sourcebook, the list of collections in the archive, annual reports, and the Folk-Songs of America: The Robert Winslow Gordon Collection, 1922-1932 web presentation. AFC’s next American Memory presentation, Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal, is presently undergoing review by members of the AFC staff.  VHP continued to update its online database, and launched new Web presentations: Forever a Solider, African-Americans at War: Fighting Two Battles, and Military Intel: The Inside Story

Card Catalog Conversion: AFC continued digitizing its 34,000-item card catalog of early field recordings (1933-1961).  All necessary cards have now been scanned, and OCR will be tested to see if it yields good results. AFC is designing a database for capture of the information.  The final result will be an online, searchable catalog accessible to the public.  Seed money for the project was donated by Rich Nevins, founder of Shanachie Entertainment.

Forever a Soldier Book Tour: To celebrate and publicize the publication of Forever a Soldier: Unforgettable Stories of Wartime Service, VHP conducted a book tour with the author, VHP staff member Tom Wiener. The tour, which involved local partners and veterans, included Chattanooga, TN (Nov. 16), Atlanta, GA (Nov. 17) Palm Coast, FL (Dec. 7), and Indianapolis, IN (Dec. 9). 

VHP Radio Specials: VHP continued a relationship with Public Radio International (PRI) to produce and to distribute a series of one-hour radio specials.  In FY 06 the Project produced two specials.  “While the World Watched,” commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials, aired in November; and “Families of War,” a Memorial Day special, was aired on 154 public radio stations around the country, the widest distribution yet for this series.  Stations included all major media markets, including: Washington D.C. (both WAMU and WETA), New York (WFUV), San Francisco (KQED), Chicago (WBEZ), Miami (WLRN), Atlanta (GPB), Philadelphia (WHYY).  KVLU (Texas) broadcast “Coming Home,” on June 1.  Former US Senator Max Cleland, Five-Star Council member and Vietnam veteran, hosted the specials.

Ethnographic Thesaurus:  AFC continued to work in partnership with the American Folklore Society (AFS) to complete the development of an Ethnographic Thesaurus (ET) for the benefit of ethnographic archives worldwide. The project is funded by a $484,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

Genetic Health Family History Project.  AFC continued to work with the Institute for Cultural Partnerships, the American Society of Human Genetics and the Genetic Alliance on the "Healthy Choices Through Family History Awareness Project."  The project used ethnographic fieldwork to develop a tool to elicit health-related narratives, assisting health professionals and families in the identification of risk factors to help determine best medical care.  Funding, in the amount of $400,000, comes from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services.

National Book Festival: VHP participated in the 2006 National Book Festival, occupying a portion of the Library's pavilion with four programs devoted to its own book, Forever a Soldier, and several other volumes on military history.  Members of AFC staff also participated in the festival, as author escorts and support staff.

Song of America: as part of the Library’s “Song of America” tour, VHP held public programs to honor veterans and official partners in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Chicago.  Participants included Dr. James H. Billington, General Donald Scott, Lt. General Julius Becton, the Secretary of the State of Illinois, Jesse White, and scores of veterans from the host cities.

Retirement Community Outreach Initiative (RCOI): This VHP program continues to be implemented in retirement communities across the nation, engaging retirement community staff, administration, and volunteers to collect personal recollections from wartime veterans and those who served in support of US armed forces.  Nationwide VHP initiatives are being developed with the Holiday, Atria, and Brookdale retirement corporations.  Erickson, Sunrise, and other retirement communities are already engaged in ongoing VHP programs.

Surviving Katrina and Rita in Houston: In partnership with the University of Houston and the Texas Commission on the Arts, AFC developed this project, believed to be the first large-scale effort in which survivors of major disasters (in this case, the hurricanes in August and September 2005) took the lead in documenting them. Selected survivors received intensive training, from AFC staff and others, in recording fellow survivors’ storm stories, memories of lost neighborhoods, and ongoing struggles to build new communities in exile.  In FY06, over 250 interviews were recorded; more are anticipated.  The materials will be added to AFC’s archive.  The project has attracted national publicity, including a story on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation.”   

National Court Reporters Initiative: Bob Patrick and other VHP staff addressed the attendees of The National Court Reporters Foundation/Association (NCRF/NCRA) Annual Conference in August.  VHP and NCRA partnered on the "Initiative to Transcribe One Thousand Stories by Veterans Day 2006."  That goal has already been met, and a new initiative has been created, "The Thousand Voices initiative," which is a plan for court reporters to interview the veterans in their lives and transcribe the interviews.  

Department of Veterans Affairs Outreach: VHP staff traveled to Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Tuskegee, AL; Bedford, MA; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Dayton, OH; Perry Point, MD; Detroit, MI; Wilmington, DE; Philadelphia, PA; and Portland, OR.  In addition, VHP staff conducted a presentation during the VA Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Training Conference in St. Louis in August.  VHP, VA Central Office, and VA Maryland Health Care System are engaged in a pilot program to record the stories of VA medical staff, including nurses, doctors, dentists, administrators, and others. 

StoryCorps:  AFC acquired the second increment of StoryCorps interviews.  The StoryCorps project, a national initiative to instruct and inspire Americans to record one another's stories, was conceived by MacArthur Fellow David Isay of Sound Portraits Productions.  Isay was inspired by the WPA oral history recordings that are held at the LC.  The StoryCorps interviews provide a contemporary corollary to these documentary recordings from the 1930s, and they are the AFC's first "born digital" collection.  From May 18-25, a StoryCorps MobileBooth visited the Library of Congress and spent a week collecting interviews.  The entire AFC staff provided time and expertise.  The visit included several notable events including the following: an opening reception featuring important interviewees and staff from AFC, VHP, StoryCorps and National Public Radio, including Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, Deputy Librarian of Congress Donald L. Scott, AFC director Peggy Bulger, and StoryCorps founder Dave Isay; Interviews with four members of Congress (See the Congressional Relations section below for further details); interviews with local personalities such as Richard Harrington of the Washington Post and Warren Brown of Cake Love and Love Café; and interviews with LC staff, including Librarian of Congress Dr. James H. Billington, Deputy Librarian of Congress Donald L. Scott and Publishing Director Ralph Eubanks.

International intellectual Property Discussions: AFC continued to be involved with international discussions concerning intellectual property, folklore, traditional knowledge and genetic resources.  Peggy Bulger served on the U.S. delegation to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and participated in meetings of U.S. government officials on cultural policy matters involving intellectual property.  She also attended meetings convened by UNESCO and the Organization of American States. 

SAA Symposium: AFC had a significant presence at the 2006 annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists in Washington, D.C.  The pre-conference symposium held on August 2, “Ethnographic Archives, Communities of Origin, and Intangible Cultural Heritage,” was organized by AFC staff and co-sponsored with the Native American Archives Roundtable of SAA and the National Anthropological Archives/Human Studies Film Archives of the Smithsonian Institution (NAA/HSFA). The symposium explored issues of managing, preserving, and providing access to ethnographic collections, focusing on the special challenges posed by materials pertaining to Native American and other indigenous communities.

VHP Memorial Day radio tour: Bob Patrick was interviewed by 17 commercial radio stations and six radio networks including AP Radio Network, CNN Radio Network, and ABC Radio Network for a total audience of 13.3 million listeners. The interviews were replayed throughout the Memorial Day weekend.  The tour generated considerable publicity, and VHP was featured in over 100 newspaper articles and several television programs.

Homegrown Concert Series is an ongoing project of the AFC to document the best folk and traditional performing artists in the United States for its archive’s collections, as selected by state folk arts coordinators in the U.S.  This program served the state folklife offices across the nation by offering a venue for their artists in DC, and provided opportunities for congressional outreach to constituents.  Artists participated in oral history interviews recorded and deposited in the AFC archive. The concerts during FY 06 were:

  • October 12, 2005: Negura Peruana (Afro Peruvian Music and Dance from Connecticut)
  • November 16, 2005: Dineh Tah Navajo Dancers (Navajo Traditional Music and Dance from Arizona and New Mexico)
  • December 7, 2005: Birmingham Sunlights (African American Gospel Quartet from Alabama)
  • April 12, 2006: David & Levon Ayriyan (Armenian Music from Rhode Island)
  • May 23, 2006: James "Super Chikan" Johnson & Richard Christman (Blues Guitar from Mississippi )
  • June 21, 2006: The River Boys Polka Band (Dutch Hop Polka Music from Nebraska)
  • July 26, 2006: Natasinh Dancers & Musicians (Lao Music and Dance from Iowa)
  • August 16, 2006: Mary Louise Defender Wilson & Keith Bear (Sioux and Mandan Hidatsa Storytelling and Music from North Dakota)
  • September 13 2006: Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (Bluegrass and Gospel Music from Tennessee) 

Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series provided once-a-month scholarly lectures that were free and open to the public.  The lectures offered a platform for folklife and ethnography professionals to present findings from original research, and added collection materials to the archive. Botkin Lectures in FY06 included:

  • October 11, 2005: "The Beautiful Bridge: Crossing The Span Between Oral Tradition and the Written Creative Word," by Frank Delaney
  • November 17, 2005: "Collecting and Performing Traditional Song in the Republic of Georgia," by Malkhaz Erkvanidze.
  • December 13, 2005 “Song & Silence: Ethnic Revival on China's Southwest Borders,” by Sara M. Davis.
  • April 5: "The Folklore Behind Ecology, or Why Scientists in Ecology Need Help from Folklorists," by Dr. Daniel B. Botkin.
  • May 31: "Facing the Music: Traditional Culture and Copyright," by Dr. Bryan Bachner.
  • June 29:"Waking up the People," by Linda Goss.
  • July 27: "Not the Same Old (Folk) Song and Dance: Field Recordings in the European Communities of the United States," by Matthew Barton.
  • August 3: A Special Presentation: "Politics and Poetics: Fieldwork in Afghanistan and Jamaica," by Margaret Mills; and "Private Stories, Public Folklore, and Contested Histories in Jamaica: Taking the Long View with the Maroons," by Kenneth Bilby.
  • September 14: "Cowboy Poetry: History, Origins, Influences, Forms," by David Stanley. 

Other Programs and Events (Selected)

  • October 5:  Items from several Omaha Indian collections were conveyed to the Library's Interpretive Programs Office for display in the ongoing Treasures of the Library exhibit.
  • November 9: In partnership with Harvard University Law School, the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange presented a program of original works created from VHP collections with veterans and historians based on stories of service from wartime veterans and concentration camp liberators, as well as from Justice Robert Jackson’s personal papers. The program was held in the Coolidge Auditorium.
  • November 15: The Master Chorale of Washington performed “In the Shadow of the Holocaust,” a cantata by internationally acclaimed composer Donald McCullough, the Chorale's music director.  The cantata is based on songs and writings of prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. The program included selected readings from the collections of the VHP and the premiere of a film.
  • November 30: VHP opened its Welcome Center in the Library’s Madison Building, LM-109.  The Center is dedicated to all Library of Congress veterans and it serves as a public outreach and education center, as well as a place to conduct interviews.  In FY2006, the Center has welcomed approximately 1,590 veterans, their family, and friends.
  • December 1: AFC collaborated with the LC Asian Division's Friends' Society and the International Publishing House for Chinese Culture, to present a solo concert by Mr. Huagen Fu, who played the erhu and guqin, two traditional Chinese musical instruments.
  • February 22: AFC hosted the National Visionary Leadership Project’s annual awards ceremony and “Intergenerational Summit on the State of Black America.”  This year’s honorees were:  Leah Chase, M. Jocelyn Elders, Rachel Robinson, Bill Russell, Sonia Sanchez, Percey Sutton, and Rev. Wyatt T. Walker.  Peggy Bulger made a presentation at the beginning of the main event, which was held in the Coolidge Auditorium.  Members of the audience included over 250 students from Washington-area high schools and universities.
  • March 11: VHP cosponsored the West Point Society Glee Club Concert held in the Coolidge Auditorium. This performance kicked off a national tour.
  • March 14: VHP held a program at the John Dingell VA Medical Center, in Detroit, in conjunction with the Library’s “Song of America Tour,” featuring Thomas Hampson. Dr. Billington and General Donald L. Scott attended the program.
  • May 19-21: Peggy Bulger participated in the planning meeting of the National New Deal Preservation Association concerning a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the New Deal, in 2008.  The AFC and the National Archives and Records Administration are discussing the sponsorship of a symposium that would draw upon the collections at both agencies.
  • May 1: Bob Patrick accepted a World War I diary of Quincy Claud Ayres; Mr. Ayres' children donated the diary during a ceremony in the VHP Information Center.
  • June 12:  Bob Patrick served as a judge at National History Day, in College Park, MD.
  • June 14: VHP hosted a Flag Day ceremony in the VHP Information Center.  Donald Scott, Deputy Librarian of Congress and a retired Army General, spoke at the event.  VHP accepted temporary custody of the World War II Copyright Service Flag.
  • July 5 -7: VHP convened a working group meeting on the best practices of AFS/VHP training sessions attended by prominent folklorists and oral historians from around the nation who work with VHP.
  • September 27: Peggy Bulger, David Taylor, Michael Taft, and other AFC staff met with Norman Easterbrook of the University of Mississippi to discuss a training program in research methods and field documentation on the University campus in early 2007. The aim of the program is to provide training to equip University staff with the skills necessary to conduct interviews with local music producers, composers and artists to add to the newly established American Music Archives on campus.


The CD Box set Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings won two Grammy Awards.  The original recordings reside in AFC’s archives.

The VHP radio series Experiencing War won a Gracie Allen Award from American Women in Radio and Television for “superior quality in writing and production.”


 Henry Reed Fellowship.   The Henry Reed Fund was established in 1990 in honor of West Virginia old-time fiddler Henry Reed (1884-1968). The purpose of the fund is to provide support to activities directly involving folk artists, especially when the activities reflect, draw upon, or strengthen the collections of the American Folklife Center.  This year the Henry Reed committee awarded $1000 to Jeri Vaughn, a filmmaker based in Seattle, Washington. Her project, titled “The Stripling Brothers: Two Generations of Old Time Music Making,” reunited brothers Robert and Lee Stripling for several performances in their Kennedy, Alabama, hometown. Vaughn plans a documentary film based on footage made during this reunion. 

Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund for Ethnography Fellowships.    The purpose of the Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund for Ethnography is to make the collections of primary ethnographic materials housed anywhere at the Library of Congress available to the needs and uses of those in the private sector.  This year there were three awards: to Eileen M. Condon, a Dutchess County, New York, folklorist, for her research on Puerto Rican traditional music in Dutchess County; to Sydney Hutchinson, doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology at New York University, for her research project titled “Analysis of musical change in Dominican merengue típico”; and to Linda Goss, a nationally-known storyteller, for her research in African-American storytelling.

Interns and Volunteers:

AFC had a total of 12 interns contributing approximately 2721 hours of service and 5 volunteers contributing approximately 630 hours of service.  The interns were: Megan Bresnahan (220), Breanna Byecroft (100), Chris DeWitt (67), Amarantha Dyuaaxchs (270), Jeremy Foutz (445), Aaron Hibbard (200), Petra Meindel-Andrews (200), Stephanie Sandmeyer (75), Karina Santos (200), Reinhardt Schuhmann (200), Sophie Shin (459), Erin Thompson (285).  Volunteers and the hours they worked: Jade Alburo (30), Karen Biggs (50), Howard Kramer (250), Kimberly Peach (200), Ann Tetreault (100)

Interns and volunteers assisted in processing many collections.  They conducted general reference assistance by creating recording logs for a variety of collections that previously had little or no documentation, retrieving collections from stacks for patrons, conducting daily reading room file maintenance, and assisting staff with researching patron questions. They also assisted with public programs and special events.


In January, VHP Director Diane Kresh retired from the Library. 

In January, the Library welcomed Robert Patrick as the new director of the Veterans History Project.  Mr. Patrick is a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Army in both command and staff positions. He subsequently held a leadership role in the National World War II Memorial Project.     



  • On March 28, AFC staff was thanked by Sen. Robert Menendez (NJ) in the Congressional Record, for helping him craft S.R. 407, honoring the African-American spiritual. In a letter dated April 6, Senator Menendez wrote, “Thank you again for your time and dedication, you are a credit to the Library of Congress.”
  • Rep. Melvin Watt (NC) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ) had the opportunity to learn about the activities and services of AFC, and to address its Board of Trustees on matters of concern to them and their constituents, on April 7.  They both thanked AFC for its work in service to their districts.
  • On April 28, VHP held the bi-annual congressional staff briefing in the Members Room at the Library of Congress.  Approximately 60 congressional staff members attended.
  • Reps. Ron Kind, Don Manzullo, Ralph Regula and Mel Watt were interviewed in the StoryCorps booth in May.
  • In FY06, Folklife Center News featured cover photos of Rep. Pascrell and Sen. James Jeffords (VT), as well as an ancestor of Rep. Watt.  FCN also featured a cover story about Rep. Watt’s 100th family reunion. 
  • VHP staff worked with Sen. Richard Lugar (IN) on the Forever a Soldier book tour’s Indianapolis event. 
  • Rep. Roy Blunt (MO) delivered 100 interviews to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, Deputy Librarian of Congress Donald L. Scott, and VHP director Bob Patrick, on May 18.
  • Reps. Mark Steven Kirk (IL), Ralph Regula (OH) Joe Schwarz (MI) and Silvestre Reyes (TX), and Sens. Ted Stevens (AK) and Frank Lautenberg (NJ) were interviewed for VHP about their military service. 
  • VHP director Bob Patrick was interviewed on cable TV programs hosted by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR) and Rep. Walter Jones (NC).

Other Congressional Contacts:

  • October 18:  Sen. Pete Domenici’s (NM) office contacted the reference desk about New Mexico veterans’ stories.
  • October 20: Congressman Bill Pascrell’s (NJ) office contacted the reference desk to obtain copies of Folklife Center News, which featured the Congressman’s picture on the back cover.  Jennifer Cutting carried a stack of copies to the Congressman.
  • November 1-10: Prior to Veterans Day, VHP distributed a complimentary copy of the book Forever a Soldier and the radio program While the World Watched to every member of Congress.
  • November 8: A book launch for Forever a Soldier was held in the Great Hall. Senator Ted Stevens (AK) and Congressmen Bob Ney (OH) and Ron Kind (WI) spoke.  The Librarian of Congress, Dr. James H. Billington, served as master of ceremonies. Two hundred people attended the program, including ten veterans featured in the book. The Department of Veterans Affairs was represented by Suzanne Nicholson, wife of Secretary Jim Nicholson.  David Chung of the Center for Minority Veterans Affairs also attended.  A ten-minute film produced by the Library of Congress premiered.  It commemorated both the sixtieth anniversary of the end of World War II and the actions of concentration camp liberators.
  • November 9: Rep. Ron Kind (WI) gave a special address on the floor of the House of Representatives about VHP, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the VHP legislation.
  • November 18: Peggy Bulger, David Taylor and other AFC staff met with Rep. Mel Watt (NC).  The AFC staff members presented the congressman with a copy of documentation of his family’s reunion made in August 2005 by an AFC team.
  • November 28: A staff member from Senator Blanche Lincoln’s (AK) office called the reference desk with a question about VHP collections from Arkansas.  She was referred to VHP staff.
  • February 24: Peggy Bulger, Steve Kelley of the Library's Congressional Relations Office, and Peter Bartis all met with Mike Spira of Representative McCarthy’s (NY) staff to discuss possible establishment of a Civil Rights Oral History Project.
  • March 29: Rep. Rush Holt (NJ) and constituents visited the VHP to meet with Bob Patrick and Peter Bartis.
  • May 10:  Barbara Levin, wife of Michigan senator Carl Levin, visited AFC, in the company of country musicians Marty Stuart and Connie Smith, and Steve Kelley of the Library’s Congressional Relations Office. Peggy Bulger and AFC staff greeted Mrs. Levin, answered her questions, and supplied her with a list of Michigan field recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture.
  • May 18: House Majority Whip Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri visited the Library, and delivered 100 VHP interviews to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, Deputy Librarian of Congress Donald L. Scott, and Bob Patrick.
  • July 12: Tim Schurtter attended a Learn and Serve America program in the Russell Senate Building.
  • July 18: Peter Bartis, Tim Schurtter, and other VHP staff met with Kristin Glenn of Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave’s (R-CO) Office.
  • July 27: AFC staffed an information table at “Taste America,” a multi-cultural event held for members of Congress, their families, and staff.  The event took place at the U.S. Capitol.


  •  Three issues (one a special double issue) of Folklife Center News were produced.  The editor continued to redesign the look of the newsletter, concentrating on colorful covers. Guest writers from the field of folklife and articles about AFC’s collections were emphasized.
  •  VHP published its second book, Forever a Soldier: Unforgettable Stories of Wartime Service, through National Geographic Books, and conducted a four-city book tour by author Tom Wiener, involving local partners and veterans.  The tour included stops in Chattanooga, Atlanta, Palm Coast (FL), and Indianapolis.
  • AFC published a revised edition of the fieldwork guide Folklife and Fieldwork.  The guide was originally written by Peter Bartis and has been revised and reprinted several times.
  • AFC created a full-color glossy brochure, Highlights of Fiscal Year 2005, containing a summary of our activities for FY05.Copies were sent to members of Congress and members of the AFC Board of Trustees.  Copies were also employed as a major marketing and public relations tool.

 Staff Publications: 

  • October-September: Stephen Winick published several articles in the October/ November, December/January, February/March, April/May, June/July, and August/September editions of Dirty Linen magazine. Two were cover articles, “Bonne Chance et Bonnes Chansons,” a profile of the Quebec folk group Le Vent du Nord (October/November), and “Eine Kleine Mittelalterliche Musik,” an article on medieval folk music in Germany.  He also published four editions of “Unearthed,” a column showcasing unusual musical items found in the AFC archives, and quoting experts on the AFC staff.  Winick is a contributing editor of the magazine.
  • November: An exhibition catalogue in which David Taylor has an essay—Christopher Dresser: A Design Revolution (London & New York:  Victoria & Albert Museum; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum) was awarded a top prize in the 2005 competition for best exhibition catalogues published in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  The competition was sponsored by the Art Newspaper and AXA Art.
  • December: Judith Gray published the article "'When in our music God is glorified': Singing and singing about singing in a Congregational church," in the book Music in American Religious Experience, edited by Philip V. Bohlman, Edith L. Blumhofer, and Maria M. Chow. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Pp. 195-214
  • December: Jennifer Cutting’s original musical composition “Fall, Leaves, Fall,” featuring internationally known English vocalist Annie Haslam, was published on the CD A Holiday Feast, Volume 8.  
  • January: Michael Taft published an encyclopedia article:  “Archives,” I:3-5 in William M. Clements, ed. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folklife. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2006.
  • January: Stephen Winick published a review of Naomi Wise: creation, re-creation, and continuity in an American ballad tradition by Eleanor R. Long-Wilgus. The review appeared in Western Folklore 64:1&2 (Winter-Spring 2005), 149-151.  (Despite the Journal’s date, it was printed in January 2006.)
  • February: Michael Taft published the book The Blues Lyric Formula, New York and London: Routledge, 2006.
  • February: Two essays by David Taylor were published in a special edition of the Journal of the Decorative Arts Society (London), titled Christopher Dresser in Context.  His essays are “More on Dresser in the United States” and “ ‘The Dadocracy’ and Other Humorous Reactions to ‘Aesthetic’ Interiors” (Charlotte Gere, co-author).
  • February: Stephen Winick wrote the script for “Kenneth S. Goldstein,” a short biographical documentary film about the important American folklorist.  He also contributed visual images and sound clips`.  The film was shown at the Folk Alliance awards ceremony in Austin, Texas on February 13.  Goldstein received a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • May: The second edition of David Taylor’s book Boat Building in Winterton, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland was published by the Canadian Museum of Civilization.  It includes a Foreword by Annie Proulx, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Shipping News.
  • August: Catherine Hiebert Kerst published the article “The Ethnographic Thesaurus: Creation and Development of an Archival Tool” in IASA Journal, No 27, July 2006, pp. 25-31.


For the dates: October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2006

Service Provided Total
In-person Direction 1332
Phone Direction 1145
Letter/Fax Reference 209 
Letter/Fax Direction 21
Email Reference 1744 
Email Direction 992
Total Reference 5262
Total Direction


In FY2006, the Veterans History Project received and answered approximately 6,935 general, reference, and directional questions to the Project’s general email account.


The AFC and VHP Web Sites received over two million hits to top-level Web pages, as follows: 231,741 visits to AFC home page, 316,000 to VHP home page, 75,501 to the new Educational Resources area, 41,983 to Collections and Research Services, 428,198 to Finding Aids, 118,209 to online issues of Folklife Center News, 41,915 to Online Collections page, 93,141 to Folklife Sourcebook, 170,646 to Services to the States, and 464,124 to AFC Teachers guide.

In addition, AFC received over five million hits to its American Memory presentations.


Acquisitions statistics for both AFC and VHP are estimates.  Materials that come as digital files are listed under “Digital Files,” whatever the content. This produces a different kind of count, since a single digital file may contain (for example) 10, 000 manuscript pages, one photograph, or one hour of audio.

American Folklife Center: In FY06, AFC acquired: 2706 sound recordings; 187,962 manuscripts; 1147 moving images; 101,797 photographs; 53 non-photographic graphic materials; 294 electronic media; 7 artifacts; 310 serials; 9655 pamphlets and ephemera including chapbooks; 83,437 digital files; 46 monographs; and 4 posters, in addition to the VHP acquisitions detailed below.  11,500 of these items were non-purchase items by gift.

Veterans History Project: In FY06, VHP acquired: 2,863 audio materials; 48,565 manuscripts; 3,502 moving images; 10,747 photographs; and 684 discs and cds containing documents.

VHP Totals: VHP receives over 250 collections each week.  In FY06, the collection grew to a new total of 41,025 processed submissions, including: 5,520 Partner Archive collections from around the country; 3,616 digitized online collections; 2,701 memoirs; 323 diaries/journals; 12,942 audio interviews; 12,041 video interviews; 3,532 transcripts; 46,417 photographs.  VHP estimates 4,326 unprocessed collections and thus, 45,351 total collections.

VHP Submissions per conflict: World War I (222); World War II (23,856); Korean War (5,606) Vietnam (6,802); Persian Gulf (1,026); Afghanistan and Iraq (338); Other: (631)


Tours given:        29    

People on tours:   177 

Briefings given:    3

People in briefings:  9

Items (containers) served:    1615


Publications given out:         44, 752

(Includes Folklife Center News)

Translations provided to patrons:




Form of Service/Reference
Division            Year: FY 2006





Other Agency


1a. In person reference







1.b. Phone reference







1.c. Mail, memo, fax reference







1.d. Email reference







2. Directional assistance







3. Briefings, Tours, Orientations







4. Reproductions from Collections







5. Original items created







6. On-site viewing and listening







7. Use of LC space







8. LC staff involvement in offsite meetings/events







9. LC events with involvement or attendance by Members, DOD, DHS







10. Other






Informational mailings



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