Collections & Research Services: The Archive of Folk Culture
The Archive of Folk Culture mainly consists
of the collections of the American Folklife Center. It was originally founded
as the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library in 1928. In 1978 it
became part of the American Folklife Center and was subsequently renamed
the Archive of Folk Culture. Today the Archive includes more than six million
photographs, manuscripts, audio recordings, and moving images. It consists
of documentation of traditional culture from all around the world including
the earliest field recordings made in the 1890s on wax cylinder through
recordings made using digital technology. It is America's first national
archive of traditional life, and one of the oldest and largest of such
repositories in the world.
We strongly advise that you contact the reference staff a minimum of one week before your visit to allow us enough time to locate collection materials and to provide you with any additional information you might need. Arrangements must be made to access unprocessed materials (digital and analog) or materials stored offsite. Our hours are M-F, 8:30am-5:00pm, except Federal Holidays.
Frequently Asked Questions