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The American Folklife Center
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Collections & Research Services: The Archive of Folk Culture

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Copies of Archival Materials

The Archive of Folk Culture mainly consists of the collections of the American Folklife Center. It was originally founded as the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library in 1928. In 1978 it became part of the American Folklife Center and was subsequently renamed the Archive of Folk Culture. Today the Archive includes more than six million photographs, manuscripts, audio recordings, and moving images. It consists of documentation of traditional culture from all around the world including the earliest field recordings made in the 1890s on wax cylinder through recordings made using digital technology. It is America's first national archive of traditional life, and one of the oldest and largest of such repositories in the world.

We strongly advise that you contact the reference staff a minimum of one week before your visit to allow us enough time to locate collection materials and to provide you with any additional information you might need. Arrangements must be made to access unprocessed materials (digital and analog) or materials stored offsite. Our hours are M-F, 8:30am-5:00pm, except Federal Holidays.

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   July 1, 2019
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