September 10, 2009 American Folklife Center Presents New American Memory Collection

Presentation Features English-Dialect Recordings

Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302

The Library of Congress' American Folklife Center debuts a new presentation, “American English-Dialect Recordings: The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection,” as part of the Library's American Memory collections website today. The collection can be found at

The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection comprises 59 audio recordings (118 hours) documenting North American English dialects. The recordings include speech samples, linguistic interviews, oral histories, conversations and excerpts from public speeches drawn from various archives and from the private collections of some 50 linguists, dialectologists and folklorists. They were submitted to the Center for Applied Linguistics as part of a project titled “A Survey and Collection of American English Dialect Recordings,” which was funded by the Center for Applied Linguistics and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Made from 1941 to 1984, with the bulk being recorded between 1968 and 1982, the collection includes recordings from 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and parts of Canada.

American Memory ( offers more than 11 million digital items in more than 135 thematic collections that range from the papers of U.S. presidents, Civil War photographs and early films of Thomas Edison to papers documenting the women’s suffrage and civil-rights movements, Jazz Age photographs and the first baseball cards.

The American Folklife Center was created by Congress in 1976 and placed at the Library of Congress to “preserve and present American folklife” through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs and training. The Center includes the Archive of Folk Culture, which was established in 1928 and is now one of the largest collections of ethnographic material from the United States and around the world. For more information, visit

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized website at


PR 09-162
ISSN 0731-3527