The collections in the American Folklife Center's Archives of Folk Culture contain one-of-a-kind documentation of traditional cultural expressions that date from the end of the nineteenth century through the dawn of the twenty-first. Today, there are more than 3 million items of ethnographic documentation in the archive, a treasure trove that represents over a hundred years of fieldwork. These collections preserve for future researchers a record of Americans and of our global neighbors. Moreover, the far-ranging work of building the Folk Archive is ongoing. The American Folklife Center is actively collecting and documenting the traditional culture of the new millennium.
The American Folklife Center, created by Congress in 1976 to "preserve and present American Folklife." is proud to accept this mandate to collect, safeguard, and provide access to the unparalleled collections of the Archives of Folk Culture. The Archive is an extraordinary resource for primary research on America's share community-based heritage, innumerable personal histories, and multicultural roots. Rich and diverse, its collections provide a lasting record of American social and cultural life, a record that is truly of, by, and for the people.
This illustrated guide to the American Folklife Center provides an introduction to research collection that allows us to understand and embrace our American history and heritage, just as it offers the opportunity for us to study and better understand the many cultures of our globally linked, multicultural world. A sampling of audio recordings from the Archive of Folk Culture is provided in an accompanying compact disc.
Forward by Peggy A. Bulger, Director of Folklife
Stock Number: 003-001-00184-9