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November 27, 2012

Nicole Saylor Appointed Head of American Folklife Center Archive

The Library of Congress has appointed Nicole Saylor as Head of the American Folklife Center Archive. Saylor will assume her duties next month. She replaces Michael Taft, who retired in early 2012.

In this position, Saylor will lead a long-established and highly regarded archive at the Library of Congress. Founded in 1928, the American Folklife Center Archive is the premier repository and research center for ethnographic documentation of worldwide cultural traditions. Its multimedia holdings consist of more than 3 million photographs, manuscripts, audio recordings and moving images, ranging from the earliest field documentation – which was collected in the 1890s on wax cylinders – to recordings utilizing present-day digital technology.

Before joining the Library, Saylor served as head of Digital Research and Publishing (DRP) at the University of Iowa Libraries. DRP aids scholars engaged in interdisciplinary digital research by assisting in the creation and delivery of unique digital content and by supporting sustainable, open-access publishing. DRP administers the University of Iowa Libraries’ digital library and institutional repository services and builds their participatory digital archives program as well as their spatial and data-services programs. Saylor joined the University of Iowa Libraries in 2007.

Saylor holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Iowa State University (1992) and a master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (2004) with a certificate in folklore. Her previous library positions include archivist-librarian at the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures (CSUMC) at UW –Madison and reference librarian at the Davenport (Iowa) Public Library. At CSUMC, she coordinated a project funded by the National Historic Publications and Records Commission to survey ethnographic collections in archives, public agencies and private hands throughout the Midwest.

For a decade prior to becoming a librarian, Saylor worked as an editor at the Kansas City Star and Wisconsin State Journal newspapers. She is a core team member of the National Folklore Archives Initiative Project, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the survey concerning the scholarly use of digital collections being conducted by Project Bamboo.

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 American Folklife Center 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

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PR 12-218
ISSN 0731-3527

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