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Selected Publications

The publications we have highlighted here will help you undertake the life-long and potentially life-changing process of documenting, recording, presenting and preserving folklife traditions in your community. Check this page frequently as we will update it with additional materials over the coming days, months, and years.

Image of Explore Your Community Poster

Poster: Explore Your Community

A colorful presentation that encourages students to research their own community heritage. Complete with project suggestions and tips for beginners. Especially for middle and high school students.
Image of Folklife and Fieldwork

Folklife and Fieldwork: A Layman's Introducton to Field Techniques

View and print out this comprehensive guide (also available in .pdf format) to conducting field and archival research, with step-by-step instructions from preparation to publication.
Quilt with the pattern "drunkard's path" made by Lura Stanley of Laurel Fork, West Virginia

American Folklife: A Commonwealth of Cultures by Mary Hufford

An in-depth look at the role cultural traditions play in American life, as well as the ways folklorists work to document and study them.
Please note: This text is also available as a full-color, illustrated, 20-page booklet available from the American Folklife Center. First 25 copies, $2 per copy; therafter, $1 per copy (thus, 30 copies would cost $55). Price includes postage and handling.

Sponge fishermen in Nassau, Bahama Islands, ca. 1900

Documenting Maritime Folklife

A helpful book for nonprofessional researchers and community groups contemplating the exploration of their own maritime cultural heritage. It will also provide guidance to students and laypeople working on projects under the direction of professional folklorists, anthropologists, historians, preservationists, cultural geographers, and other specialists in the study of culture.

Image: American Folklife Center Illustrated Guide

American Folklife Center: An Illustrated Guide

Written by American Folklife Center (AFC) editor James Hardin, the guide traces the growth of the Library's folklife collection from its roots in the Archive of American Folk-Song, which was founded at the Library in 1928 as a repository for American folk music, to a collection of oral histories of Americans at the turn of the 21st century.
Please note: This guide is available online from the above link and the print version available for purchase ($14.00) through the Library of Congress Sales Shop.

Image: Cowboy Songs CD

Published Sound Recordings from the Archive of Folk Culture

A listing of commercially available sound recordings featuring a wide array of traditional music and spoken word recordings from the US and around the world.

Image: Ethnographic Collections

Ethnographic Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture: A Contributor's Guide

A how-to guide for caring for archival materials. While intended for collectors preparing their materials for deposit in the AFC's Archive of Folk Culture, the guide includes practical advice on how collectors can protect ethnographic materials -- photographs, sound recordings, manuscripts, etc. -- in their own keeping.

Image: Care for Your Collections

Caring for Your Collections

Need advice on the care of books, photos, videos, and other media in your collections? These publications from the Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress answer many questions about the care, handling and storage of your valuable collections.

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   September 30, 2014
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