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Finding Aids to Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture


Compiled by: Todd Harvey
Series Editor: Ann Hoog
Revised: March 2012

For additional information about Archive of Folk Culture collections, contact the Folklife Reading Room. To request copies, see our webpages regarding audio materials and photographic materials. Please refer to the AFC and/or AFS numbers when requesting information. All indications of time duration listed in this finding aid are estimates.

AFC 1939/002: Alan Lomax CBS Radio Series Collection, 1939-1941
Three linear feet of manuscripts and 48 16-inch disc recordings relating to Alan Lomax’s participation in the CBS series American School of the Air (1939-1941, incuding "Folk Music of America" and "Wellsprings of Music"), and "Back Where I Come From" (1940-1941). Programs were aired weekly and were based on themes such as work songs, railroad songs, whaling ballads, game songs, and play-party songs. (AFS 4491-I-4524, 13,488-13,501, 14,028-14,031) [catalog record]

AFC 1940/004: Woody Guthrie Manuscript Collection
Four-and-a-half linear inches of unpublished correspondence; most are letters from Guthrie to Alan Lomax, assistant in charge of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress, dated 1940-1942; plus drawings; essays; song lyrics; and a songbook, "Songs of Woody Guthrie." [catalog record] [finding aid] [online presentation]

AFC 1940/007: Alan Lomax Collection of Woody Guthrie Recordings
Seventeen 12-inch discs of Woody Guthrie discussing his life story and performing his songs. He speaks about his childhood; experiences of dust storms; experiences of Okies traveling to and in California; and sings about the Dust Bowl days, oil booms, hard times, railroads, and blues; interviewed by Alan Lomax and Elizabeth Lomax. Recorded in the Radio Studio of Department of Interior by Nev. Rumble, March 1940, for the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Song. (AFS 3407-3423) (tape copy on LWO 4872 reels 225-227) [catalog record]

AFC 1941/011: Radio Research Project Recordings
One hundred and sixty discs recorded in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia in July and August, 1941 by Alan Lomax, Joseph Liss, Jerome Wiesner. This trip documented the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville, North Carolina, and the 1941 Old Fiddlers' Convention in Galax, Virginia, and made numerous documentary recordings of the Wilmington experiment in Georgia and Tennessee, particularly in Blairsville, Georgia. Much of the work was done through the offices of Mr. Landis of the TVA in Nashville. Includes an interview with Mrs. Julia Wolfe, mother of Thomas Wolfe. [catalog record]

AFS 4793A1: One disc containing "Pretty Boy Floyd" performed by Woody Guthrie. Recorded at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, Asheville, North Carolina, by Alan Lomax, Jerry Wiesner, and Joe Liss, August 1941.

AFC 1941/031: Songs by Woody Guthrie
One 16-inch disc containing seven folk songs sung by Woody Guthrie. Recorded by Alan Lomax and John Langenegger in Washington, D.C., January 4, 1941. The collection includes one page of correspondence. (28 minutes) (AFS 4491) (tape copy on LWO 4872 reel 311A) [catalog record]

AFC 1942/013: Almanac Singers and Cowboy Yodels Recordings
Two 10-inch and four 12-inch discs of songs sung by the Almanac Singers, Alan Lomax, John A. Lomax, and Earl Robinson. Recorded in New York City, January 1942. The collection includes a one-page song list.

AFS 6100B: One disc containing "Round and Round Hitler’s Grave," sung by the Almanac Singers, featuring Sis Cunningham, accordion; Pete Seeger [introducing himself by pseudonym "Pete Bowers"], lead vocals and banjo; Lee Hays [or possibly Arthur Stern]; and possibly Woody Guthrie, guitar. (2 mins. 15 secs.) (tape copy on LWO 3493 reel 40B)

AFS 6101B: One disc containing "Take It Easy," sung by the Almanac Singers, led by Woody Guthrie with Sis Cunningham, accordion and Pete Seeger, banjo. Its introductory instrumental interlude sounds like "This Land Is Your Land." Woody messes up and has to start the song over. (4 mins. 15 secs.). (tape copy on LWO 3493 reel 40B)

AFS 6102B: One disc containing "Biggest Thing That Man Has Ever Done," sung with guitar by Woody Guthrie. (2 mins. 30 secs.) (tape copy on LWO 3493 reel 41A)

AFS 6103A: One disc containing "High Cost of Living," sung by the Almanac Singers with Pete Seeger, lead vocals and banjo and Woody Guthrie, guitar. (2 minutes 45 seconds) (tape copy on LWO 3493 reel 41A)

AFS 6103B: One disc containing "Sinking of the Reuben James," sung by the Almanac Singers, led by Bess Lomax and featuring Pete Seeger, banjo; Woody Guthrie, guitar; and Sis Cunningham, accordion. (3 minutes 15 seconds) (tape copy on LWO 3493 reel 41A)

AFS 6105A: One disc containing "Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad," sung by the Almanac Singers, featuring Woody Guthrie, vocals and harmonica; and Pete Seeger, banjo. (3 minutes 30 seconds) (tape copy on LWO 3493 reel 41A)

AFC 1991/003: Woody Guthrie Concert and Conversation, April 14, 1951
One audiocassette, originally recorded on wire, of a Woody Guthrie concert recorded at St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland, by James W. Mavor, Jr., April 14, 1951. Note on tape box says, "Comments by Woody’s wife." Songs include: "Grand Coulee Dam," "Jesus Christ," "Goodbye, Centralia, Goodbye," "Gypsy Davy," a fragment of "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You."

AFC 1991/018: Leadbelly Radio Audition
One 16-inch disc of an "audition" by Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, narrated by Woody Guthrie, for NBC Radio. Recorded in New York, New York, June 19, 1940. The seven songs on the disc are "I ain't goin' down," "I went up on de mountain," "Whoa back," "Worried blues," "Good morning blues," "You can't leave me, Charlie," and "Boll weevil."

AFC 1995/004: Mike Seeger Collection
Two hundred and 75 10-inch tapes of bluegrass, country, and folk music, recorded in California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia, primarily by Mike Seeger, 1953-67. The collection includes three linear inches of computer disks, correspondence, notes, and photos. These tapes supplement his collections already in the archive. Includes some examples made by other collectors, including recordings of autoharpist, John Kilby Snow recorded by Blaine Jaeger. Includes recordings of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, recorded on a borrowed home disc recorder in a New York City apartment late one night ca. late 1940. Woody plays harmonica and mandolin, and Pete plays banjo and guitar. Donated by Mike Seeger, tape copy on 14A5-9 (original numbering scheme MS x #1-5). Songs include "Train Whistles," "Ida Red," "Arkansas Traveler," "Things about Coming My Way," and "900 Miles."

AFC 2004/004: Alan Lomax Collection
Eight hundred forty-five linear feet (appx. 150 linear feet manuscripts; 6300 sound recordings; 5500 graphic images; 6000 moving images) of material created and collected by Alan Lomax and others in their work documenting song, music, dance, and body movement from many cultures. Includes field recordings and photographs Lomax made in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, England, France, Georgia, Haiti, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Spain, the United States, and Wales, 1930s-2004. Guthrie materials contain correspondence between Guthrie and Lomax (1940-1953); sound recordings and radio scripts (1939-1950); and moving images of "To Hear Your Banjo Play" (1947?). [catalog record]

AFC 2005/006: Ken Lindsay Collection of Woody Guthrie Correspondence
Thirty-four leaves (29 items) of correspondence between Woody Guthrie and Ken Lindsay in 1952 and 1953, with a few letters from Marjorie Mazia Guthrie and Anneke Van Kirk. Includes four leaves with Guthrie's lyrics for the songs, "Hard travelin'," "Un Americans," "Sunny sun sun," and "Love says no." There are drawings on several of Woody Guthrie's and Anneke's letters to Lindsay. [catalog record] [finding aid]

AFC 2007/032: The Live Wire, Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949
One CD (copied from two wire spools) containing a Woody Guthrie concert recorded at the YM-YWHA Fuld Hall, Newark, New Jersey, by Paul Braverman, December 1949. Issued by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. (WGP) under license from the Woody Guthrie Foundation in 2007. Recording includes questions posed by Guthrie's wife, Marjorie Mazia Guthrie. The collection includes a complete transcript (PDF) and song lyrics for 18 tracks, plus a press release. (1 hour and 14 minutes) [catalog record]


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