February 17, 1999 Peggy Bulger Appointed Director of American Folklife Center
Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Dr. Margaret Anne "Peggy" Bulger, president-elect of the American Folklore Society, has been appointed Director of the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress, effective July 6. Since 1989 Dr. Bulger has been employed by the Southern Arts Federation in Atlanta, where she is now Senior Program Officer. She began her service at the Southern Arts Federation as the Regional Folk Arts Program Coordinator, with responsibilities for developing the folks arts program in nine Southern states.
Prior to assuming her position in Atlanta, Dr. Bulger was Folk Arts Coordinator and State Folklorist for the state of Florida, serving in the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs from 1976 to 1989. In this position, she established the Florida Folklife Archives. Prior to assuming the state folklorist position in Florida, Dr. Bulger was Coordinator of the Traditional Folklife Project at the Appalachian Museum affiliated with Berea College (KY) from 1975 to 1976.
"Dr. Bulger's broad range of experience on folklife and public folklife administration, covering a period exceeding two decades, is uniquely suitable for the role of Director of the American Folklife Center," said Winston Tabb, associate librarian, Library Services.
Dr. Bulger has written or edited a number of professional works, including South Florida Folklife (University of Mississippi Press, 1994) and Musical Roots of the South (Southern Arts Federation, 1992). In 1992 she won the Wayland D. Hand Prize for an article published in The Folklore Historian.
Dr. Bulger was awarded the M.A. degree in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University in 1975. While doing her graduate work, she served as an assistant in the university's Folklife Archives, where she organized the Wilgus collection of folk songs and ballads and helped acquire the Carter Family recording archive. In 1992 she was awarded the Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife (with honors) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Bulger is married to Douglas B. Leatherbury III, and they are the parents of 18 year-old twins, Hannah and Meagan.
The American Folklife Center was created by the American Folklife Preservation Act of 1976. The purpose of the center is to "preserve and present" American folklife through programs of research, field documentation, archival preservation, exhibition, publication, professional training, and live performance. The center is the home of the Archive of Folk Culture, which contains more than 1.5 million manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs, films, videos, periodicals, microfilms, and printed materials such as posters and brochures. The collection, which is the largest in the United States and one of the largest in the world, covers all 50 states and all regions of the world.