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National Sampler:
Selections from Florida Collections

Children playing a game
Zora Neale Hurston and Alan Lomax documented children's singing games in Eatonville, Florida in 1935. Photo by Alan Lomax. [Prints and Phototographs, LOT 7414-C, no. N104].

Florida's warm climate, sandy beaches, and vibrant culture have lured generations of Americans to the "Sunshine State." The fourth most populous American state, Florida consists primarily of a peninsula that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean. The northern part of the state, "The Panhandle," is subtropical and borders the southeastern states of Georgia and Alabama. The southern part is tropical and forms part of the coastline of the United States, with its east coast quite close to several Caribbean island nations. Settled by numerous American Indian nations, Florida attracted early European colonists from Spain, France, Britain, and Ireland, who brought with them enslaved peoples from throughout West Africa. Subsequent Floridians with roots in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and all parts of the United States created and nurtured the state’s distinctive and varied cultural landscape.

The American Folklife Center has a particularly rich collection of Florida material, as well as a long-standing relationship with folklorists, ethnomusicologists, and other fieldworkers involved in documenting Florida's peoples. The American Folklife Center's earliest Florida recordings were made by John A. Lomax and his son Alan Lomax, who were successive heads of what was then called the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress.

For more information about the American Folklife Center's Florida collections and services, go to Foklife in Your State: Florida. For a more complete list of collections, see the finding aid, Florida Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture.

View Selected Photographs From the Collections

Browse the Florida Audio and Video Samples and Notes (19 tracks)

The audio recordings are in mp3, while the webcasts require free media software available from RealPlayer.External Link


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   May 15, 2015
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