Primary Research: Folklife Today

Not surprisingly, the Library of Congress has an amazing collection of primary materials ranging from photographs to musical recordings and artifacts of various kinds. For me, knowing what they have and what I might look for is tricky.  There is just so much.  One way that I find out about what they have is by reading their blogs and they’ve just added a new one.

Folklife Today is the blog of the American Folklife Center which documents traditional culture in the U.S.   Created in 1928, it is one of the largest archives of U.S and other ethnographic materials. The collection includes both visual and audio documentation of traditional art, cultural expression, and oral history including songs, stories, and other means of expression.

In addition to finding out what the Library has on a given topic, the first blog also points out changes in thinking about a topic.  The first post is about Halloween and includes information on what we thought then (in the 1980s) vs what we know now.

Read this blog regularly and you will learn not only what resources the library has, but you may also find yourself inspired to write something new.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some research on Samhain to do…


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