skip navigation  The Library of Congress >> Research Centers
AFC Logo
The American Folklife Center
Connect with us:   Blog Blog  |  Facebook Facebook  |  Podcasts Podcasts   RSS RSS  | Video Webcasts
 home >> collections & research services >> finding aids

Finding Aids to Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture


Compiled by: David J. Rodriguez, Ann M. Hamilton, H. Simón Bryce, and Joseph C. Hickerson
Series Editor: Ann Hoog
Revised: August 2013

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 1938/011: Alan Lomax 1938 Library of Congress Sessions Collection
Twenty-two 12-inch discs of songs performed by Barbara Bell, Ernest Bourne, W.C. Handy, Alan Lomax, Bess Brown Lomax, the Resettlement Administration Singers, the Rindlisbacher Lumberjack Group, Earl Robinson, the Skyline Farm Singers, and Blaine Stubblefield. Recorded primarily in Washington, D.C., at the Library of Congress, by Alan Lomax, 1937-38. The collection includes 8 pages of notes. [catalog record]

AFS 1631 A5; 1632 B3: Two discs containing 2 versions of "Contéstame si me amas" (Answer Me If You Love Me), sung by Barbara Bell of Minneapolis, Minnesota. (30 seconds each; tape copy on LWO 4872 reel 119A)

AFC 1940/001: Sidney Robertson Cowell WPA California Folk Music Project Collection
Seventy-two 12-inch discs from the California Folk Music Project, a field survey of songs, instrumentals, and religious ceremonies recorded in northern California by Sidney Robertson, November 1938-March 1940, under the joint sponsorship of the Music Department of the University of California at Berkeley, the Library of Congress, and the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A). These recordings are accompanied by numerous photos, scale drawings of musical instruments, transcriptions of lyrics and music, as well as several linear feet of field notes, correspondence, and other documentation. [catalog record] [online presentation]

AFS 3876-3877: Two discs containing 14 Puerto Rican songs. Recorded in Oakland, California, April 10, 1939. (18 minutes; tape copy on LWO 4872 reel 252B)

AFS 3866 A1: "La Terruca." National song of Puerto Rico sung by Aurora Calderón of Vieques, Puerto Rico. [audio]

AFS 3866 A2-A3: Two versions of "Si me dan pasteles" (If You Gave Me Pasteles). Aguinaldo sung by Aurora Calderón. [audio]

AFS 3866 A4: "Venid, pastores" (Come, Shepherds). Aguinaldo sung by Aurora Calderón. [audio]

AFS 3866 B1: "El Jíbarito" (The Peasant). Bolero sentimental about the Depression in Puerto Rico, sung by Elinor Rodrígues of the United States. [audio]

AFS 3866 B2: "La estrella del oriente" (The Star of the Orient). Aguinaldo sung by Mrs. Cruz Losada of San Juan, Puerto Rico. [audio]

AFS 3867 A1: "A mi madre querida" (To Mother Dear), sung by Mrs. Cruz Losada. [audio]

AFS 3867 A2: "Doña Anna" (Lady Anne). Children's game song sung by Mrs. Cruz Losada. [audio]

AFS 3867 A3: "Niño querido" (Dear Child). Lullaby sung by Mrs. Cruz Losada. [audio]

AFS 3867 B1: "San Sererín." Children's game song sung by Aurora Calderón. [audio]

AFS 3867 B2: "La madre querida" (Mother Dear), sung by Mrs. Cruz Losada. Learned ca. 1918 when she was a child in school. [audio]

AFS 3867 B3: "Arroz con leche" (Rice with Milk). Dance song sung by Mrs. Cruz Losada. [audio]

AFS 3867 B4: "La pájaro pinta" (The Gay Bird). Dance song sung by Mrs. Cruz Losada. [audio]

AFS 3867 B5: "La estrella del oriente" (The Star of the Orient). Aguinaldo sung by Mrs. Cruz Losada. [audio]

AFC 1942/010: Barbara Bell Recordings
Three 12-inch and three 16-inch discs of an interview with and songs performed by Barbara Bell of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Recorded at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., by Alan Lomax and Arthur Semmig, January 1942. The collection includes correspence and musical transcriptions. [catalog record]

AFS 6091 A6: One disc containing "Contéstame si me amas" (Answer Me If You Love Me) sung with guitar accompaniment and explanation, by Barbara Bell. (2 minutes; tape copy on LWO 3493 reel 40B)

AFC 1948/030: Richard A. Waterman / Folk Songs of Puerto Rico
Twenty-eight 12-inch discs and seven 16-inch discs of songs recorded in Puerto Rico by Richard A. Waterman of Northwestern University in 1946 in cooperation with the Puerto Rican Office of Information. Portions of this collection have been published by the Library of Congress on recording number AFS L18, Folk Music of Puerto Rico. (AFS 8726-8760) (6 hours and 45 minutes; tape copy on LWO 5111 reels 136B-140A) [catalog record]

AFC 1948/057: Joseph Barth Collection of Puerto Rican Religious Ceremonies
Four 16-inch discs of religious ceremonies recorded in Puerto Rico by Joseph Barth ca. 1948. (AFS 8946-8949) (1 hour and 30 minutes; tape copy on LWO 5111 reels 169B-170A)

AFC 1955/019: Ruth Fouche / Music of Puerto Rico
Three 10-inch discs and 1 6-inch disc of songs recorded in Puerto Rico and donated by Ruth Fouché in June 1955. (AFS 10,915-10,918) (25 minutes; tape copy on LWO 5111 reel 355A)

AFC 1981/004: Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Collection
Ninety-nine 7-inch tapes and 245 audiocassettes from the Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Collection, a field survey of ethnic artistic expression including dance, foodways, neighborhood gatherings, religious celebrations, and vocal and instrumental music. Recorded in the Chicago, Illinois, area by various collectors under the direction of Elena Bradunas, February-November 1977; cosponsored by the American Folklife Center and the Illinois Arts Council. These recordings are accompanied by a 561-page report on the project published by the American Folklife Center in January 1978, as well as numerous slides and photographs and several linear feet of field notes and logs. [catalog record] [finding aid].

The following Puerto Rican examples were recorded in Chicago by Philip B. George.

AFS 20,749: One cassette containing a live television broadcast of "El show jíbaro" (The Peasant Show) hosted by Israel Maldonado, including performances of boleros, merengues, waltzes, and other dance songs and instrumentals. Recorded at WCIU, Channel 26 Studios, June 25, 1977. (45 minutes; RYA 0767)

AFS 20,752-20,757: Two audiocassettes and 4 7-inch tapes containing an interview with Israel Maldonado, an interview with cuatro player Arcadio Otero, and performances by Conjunto de Cuerdas Típicas that include plenas and other dance songs, a seis con décima, and instrumentals. Recorded at El Romance Club, June 28, 1977. (2 hours and 36 minutes; RYA 0770-0771, RXA 1063-1066)

AFS 20,758: One cassette containing an interview with Gamaliel "Bobby" Ramírez, member of the five-person collective that runs El Taller (The Workshop), a community arts center, recorded at the office of El Taller, June 29, 1977. Topics include an outline of the organization and its evolution; variety of workshops; philosophy of the collective; future objectives of Bobby and of El Taller; history of Puerto Ricans in Chicago; riots in 1967. (35 minutes; RYA 0772)

AFS 20,771-20,772: Two 7-inch tapes containing boleros, merengues, polkas, and rancheras performed by Pedrito Román y Los Amantes. Recorded at El Romance Club, July 2, 1977. (1 hour; RXA 1075-1076)

AFC 1984/007: 1984 Neptune Plaza Concert Series Collection
One 10-inch tape of a performance by cuatro player Yomo Toro and his Conjunto Típico Puertorriqueño, including décimas, plenas, and aguinaldos, recorded at the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium, Washington, D.C., September 13, 1984. Presented by the American Folklife Center in conjunction with the Library's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Week. This collection includes numerous photographs. (1 hour and 30 minutes; RWA 7847) [catalog record] [finding aid]

AFC 1986/022: Center for Applied Linguistics Collection
Fifty-nine 10-inch tapes of public speeches and other utterances containing dialect samples, recorded at various locations in North America by various collectors, and compiled by the Center for Applied Linguistics for a project entitled "A Survey and Collection of American English Dialect Recordings." The collection includes 14 linear inches of documentation, including an introduction and preface, a list of contents, content summaries, and transcripts. Collectors and interviewees vary, representing approximately 43 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Canada, and Puerto Rico. [catalog record] [online presentation]

AFS 24,338: One tape containing recordings collected by Morgan Jones in New Paltz, New York, of descriptions of pictures from A Pictorial Linguistic Interview Manual (by Stanley Sapon) by Puerto Ricans speaking English, adults, male, and female. Includes one folder of manuscripts describing the context of the interviews. (2 hours; RWB 3848-3906)

AFC 1986/037: 1986 Neptune Plaza Concert Series Collection
Twenty-four 10-inch tapes, 481 black-and-white prints, negatives and contact sheets, and 408 color slides of performances from the 1986 Neptune Plaza Concert Series, sponsored by the American Folklife Center and featuring the presentation of folk traditions from many cultures. Recorded in Washington, DC at the Library of Congress, April-September 1986. The collection includes 15 linear inches of print materials. [catalog record] [finding aid]

AFS 24,286: One tape of a performance of Afro-Hispanic music by María y sus Magníficos of Washington, D.C., including cumbia, salsa, boleros, and merengue. Recorded at the Library of Congress Neptune Plaza, Washington, DC, by Pete Reiniger, September 18, 1986. Presented by the American Folklife Center in cooperation with the National Council for the Traditional Arts. (1 hour and 30 minutes; RWB 3320)

AFC 1987/042: Lowell Folklife Project Collection
Two hundred and forty-seven 7-inch tapes and 90 audiocassettes from the Lowell Folklife Project, a field survey that examines ethnicity and occupational lore. Recorded in the Lowell, Massachusetts, area by various collectors under the direction of Doug DeNatale, August-October 1987; cosponsored by the American Folklife Center and the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission. These recordings are accompanied by numerous slides and photographs and several linear feet of field notes and logs. The following Puerto Rican examples were recorded in Lowell. [catalog record] [finding aid]

LFP/MM/R001-R003: Three tapes containing events and music at the Puerto Rican Festival, recorded by Doug DeNatale, Mario Montaño, and Tom Rankin, August 20, 1987. The following performances are featured.

Aguinaldos, boleros, guarachas, merengues, and síes mainly from Naranjito, Puerto Rico. Performed by Oscar Lugo y su Conjunto Jívaro of Southbridge, Massachusetts. Instruments include the cuatro, six-stringed guitar, bongas, and güiro.

Performance by El Grupo Folklórico de Bailes Latinos, a children's ballet group of Worcester, Massachusetts, directed by Miguel Alméstica.

Boleros and love songs sung by Johnny Albino y su Conjunto of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Cuban music, cumbias, and salsa performed by El Grupo Chévere.

LFP/MM/R004-R006: Three tapes containing interviews with Félix Luna, Hector Medina, and Nereida Nieves regarding social relations, Catholicism, religious traditions and beliefs, spiritualism, foodways, gender roles, Jíbaro music, Puerto Rican ethnic identification, regional costumes, Puerto Rican racial mixture, family stories, parades, folk healing, and making musical instruments. Recorded by Doug DeNatale, John Lueders-Booth, and Mario Montaño, October 22, 1987.

LFP/MM/R007-R009: Three tapes containing a Puerto Rican church service at the Church of the Nazarene, recorded by Doug DeNatale, John Lueders-Booth, and Mario Montaño, October 25, 1987.

LFP/MM/R010-R011: Two tapes containing interviews and songs about Puerto Rican workers, recorded by Doug DeNatale, John Lueders-Booth, and Mario Montaño, October 25, 1987.

LFP/MM/A001: One audiocassette containing an interview with Ramón and José Nieves regarding the origins of the Puerto Rican Festival in Lowell, its political and civic importance, fund-raising to support the festival, and family life, recorded by Mario Montaño and Tom Rankin, August 20, 1987.

LFP/TR/R003-013: Eleven tapes containing the Puerto Rican Festival on the North Common in the Acre, including performances by Los Aces de Merengue, "Poesia Negroide" by Charles Rivera in blackface, Oscar Lugo y su Conjunto Tipica Jivaro, Johnny Albino Group from Puerto Rico, Hector Medina, Tony Rosada, Nereida Nieves, and Los Astros Band. Recorded by Tom Rankin, August 21-22, 1987.

LFP/TR/A002: One audiocassette containing Leo Vásquez singing a bolero and reciting poetry, recorded by Tom Rankin, August 20, 1987.

AFC 1991/026: "Down Home Dairyland" / Wisconsin Folk Museum Collection
Seven audiocassettes of a radio series entitled "Downhome Dairyland" (Part II), a program of traditional and ethnic music of Wisconsin and Michigan, hosted and produced by folklorists Jim Leary and Richard March, presented by the Wisconsin Arts Board and Wisconsin Folk Museum, broadcast on August 1, 1991. Includes performances and interviews, as well as older recordings, of Native American, Swiss, Polish, French, German, Puerto Rican, and Asian traditions. The collection contains one piece of ephemera, a folded brochure advertising and describing the series on Wisconsin Public Radio.

AFC 1991/026: Tape 6: "Borinquen Suelo Querido: Puerto Rican Music in Wisconsin," broadcast May 13, 1990, village style jibaro music and modern salsa, with Cecil Negron and Orlando Cabrera. (30 minutes)

AFC 1992/001: 1992 Neptune Plaza Concert Series Collection
One 10-inch tape, 1 7-inch tape, and 1 audiocassette of a performance of Jíbarito by Edwin Colón Zayas y su Taller Campesino. Recorded at the Library of Congress Neptune Plaza, Washington, D.C., April 23, 1992. Presented by the American Folklife Center. This collection includes a videotape and numerous photographs. (1 hour and 30 minutes) [catalog record] [finding aid]

AFC 1995/005: Henrietta Yurchenco Collection of Puerto Rican Recordings
Thirty-four 7-inch and 5-inch reels of field recordings from Puerto Rico collected by Henrietta Yurchenco between 1967-1979. Song and dance music including bomba performed by the Ayala and Parrilla families of Loiza Aldea. Songs performed by Luis Marcano of Certenijas, processional music of the Fiesta de Santiago in Loiza Aldea. Also pentecostal church sermons in Loiza Aldea and sermons by self-proclaimed prophet Mita in Hato Rey. Interviews with Anna Marcana of Certengas and Castor Ayala (mask maker) from Loiza Aldea. Limited play-list on tape boxes. [catalog record]

AFC 1996/011: Folk Masters / American Roots Fourth of July 1994 Collection
Two audiocassettes recorded on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., 1994. They contain a portion of the second annual “American Roots Fourth of July” celebration. Featured are the Rebirth Brass Band, a New Orleans Jazz band; Edwin Colon Zayas y Familia Colon, a Puerto Rican jibaro band from Orocovis, Puerto Rico; the Akwesasne Mohawk Singers, a Native American group from the North American Indian Traveling College near Hogansburg, New York; the Johnson Mountain Boys, bluegrass performers from the Washington, D.C. area; and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Cajun musicians from Louisiana. Georges Collinet and Nick Spitzer served as masters of ceremonies. (2 hours)

AFC 1996/049: Pavlova Mezquida Greber / Folk Expressions of Puerto Rico Manuscript Collection
One notebook documenting one-year study of folk arts programs in Puerto Rico carried out by Pavlova Mezquida (Greber) in 1992 to plan for scheduling and funding for 1993/94. Discusses Puerto Rico's folk arts, folk festivals, and also includes a directory of folk artists.

AFC 1997/008: Pavlova Mezaquida / Puerto Rico Tiple Collection
Eleven 7-inch tapes of the "tiple" mountain music apprenticeship program which was part of the Apprenticeship Program in Traditional Arts, sponsored by the Economic Development Administration of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The tiple is a small soprano-string guitar indigenous to Puerto Rico. Ten sessions between master-artisan Julio Negron Rivera and his apprentice, Alexis Morales Cales are documented on audiotape. Also included is a 2-hour radio program broadcast on Radio Universidad de Puerto Rico on August 18, 1995. (10 hours)

AFC 1998/009: Conjunto Social y Folclorico / Promotional Collection
One audiocassette of 5 songs sung in Spanish with instrumental accompaniment. Additionally, there is a black-and-white photograph of the group, 5 pages of biographical and promotional material and 2 pages of correspondence. The group promotes the cultural heritage of Puerto Rico through arts and crafts, music, and dance. The photograph shows the members of the group with their instruments which include cuatro, guirro, guitar and hand drums. (19 minutes)

AFC 2000/001: Local legacies collection, 1997-2000
Four hundred and five linear feet (approximately 90,000 manuscript pages, 475 sound recordings, 13,270 graphic materials, 335 electronic media, and 75 artifacts) of documentation of local festivals, fairs, parades, and other community-based events from each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories and trusts. The Local Legacies Collection was donated through the efforts of individuals, organizations, and institutions asked to participate by members of Congress. This project was part of the Library of Congress Bicentennial celebration in the year 2000. [catalog record] [Puerto Rico local legacies]

AFC 2005/008: Luiz Heitor Corrêa de Azevedo Collection on Latin American Folklore
Publications pertaining to Latin American folklore from the library of Luiz Heitor Corrêa de Azevedo, Brazilian folklorist and musicologist. Traditional song, music, stories, dance, and religious folklife primarily from Brazil, but also Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Many of the publications are dedicated to topics that appear in literatura de cordel. [catalog record]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Glossary of Select Terms in Spanish Used in This Finding Aid

Aguinaldo: A Christmas carol.

Bolero: A pan-Latin American popular song in moderate tempo and duple meter, most likely originating in Cuba and spreading through the popular media in the 1930s through 1950s.

Conjunto: Literally, "ensemble." Often refers to a dance band of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, or other instruments against a rhythmic setting that includes conga and bongo drums.

Cuatro: A ten-stringed, five-course guitar from Puerto Rico used as an ensemble instrument in both secular and religious music.

Cumbia: A dance originating in Colombia and Panama as a folk form and evolving into a pan-Latin popular dance genre.

Décima: A verse form, commonly sung, comprising ten lines, which elaborates on a theme often introduced by a quatrain.

Güiro: In Puerto Rico, an elongated scraper fashioned from the marimbo gourd.

Guarasha: A music/dance form originating in Cuba.

Jíbaro: A person of rural Hispanic Puerto Rican origin.

Merengue: A dance originating in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Venezuela, with both folk and urban popular traditions. Its song texts, often regional in subject matter, are in typical Spanish copla (four-line stanza) and estribillo (refrain) form.

Plena: A song genre of Puerto Rico, believed to have originated in the late nineteenth century, with a binary form consisting of solo or duet melodies followed by choral refrains. Narrative texts are often humorous or satirical.

Ranchera: A Mexican-style "country song" genre.

Salsa: A popular music style of Cuban origin that evolved in the 1940s and continues to be popular among Puerto Rican musicians and audiences.

Seis con décima: A Puerto Rican accompanied vocal piece, similar to counterparts in Colombia and Venezuela, consisting of a series of décimas.


  Back to Top


 home >> collections & research services >> finding aids

  The Library of Congress >> Research Centers
   January 30, 2019
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:
Ask a Librarian