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The American Folklife Center
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 home >> about the center >> folklife in your state >> louisiana
Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, ca. 1942
Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, ca. 1942. Part of the cultural documentation found in Louisiana's Local Legacies projects.


The collections of the American Folklife Center include materials from Louisiana that are as varied and rich as the folk traditions of the state. Among its recordings are a treasure trove of blues, Cajun, Creole, and spiritual music; 12 hours of performance and interviews with Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter; and 8 hours of performance and interviews with jazz legend Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton. The collections also include recordings of Chitimacha tales and songs.


Finding Aid: View a complete list of our Louisiana collections.

Local Legacies: This project provides a "snapshot" of local culture as it was expressed in the year 2000. View Louisiana's Local Legacies projects.

Veterans History Project: Browse state collections from the Veterans History Project.

Songs of America: Browse an interactive state map for selected songs from the American Folklife Center’s collections, as well as songs from the Library’s Music Division and Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.

Online Presentation: Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip; folksingers and folksongs documented during a three-month trip through the Southern United States. The collection includes material from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.


Mister Jelly Roll, Mister Lomax and the Invention of Jazz: John Szwed and pianist Dave Burrell explore the legacy of Louisiana-born Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe, AKA Jelly Roll Morton. Recorded January 18, 2006: [webcast and event flyer]

Additional Resources

Educational Resources: View a list of educational materials related to Louisiana from A Teacher's Guide to Folklife Resources.

Folklife Resources: Find state folklife-related agencies, societies, archives, higher education programs, and more, in Folklife Sourcebook: A Directory of Folklife Resources in the United States.

Publication: A Brief Bibliography on Cajun Music (1977) [full text]

Published Recording: Bahaman Songs, French Ballads and Dance Tunes, Spanish Religious Songs and Games, Library of Congress AFS L5. [audiocassette]


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   May 15, 2015
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