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The American Folklife Center
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 home >> about the center >> folklife in your state >> district of columbia
Child looking out through front screen door
Looking for Daddy by Anacostia. Photo: Dion Johnson
Part of the documentation
in District of Columbia's Local
Legacies project.

District of Columbia

The District of Columbia has a richly diverse community including immigrant populations from many parts of the world. Among the Archives recordings are documentation of Washington, DC street songs; church services, songs, and sermons; songs and a sermon by Flora Molton; and African-American children's game songs, jump rope rhymes, clapping songs, and "cheers." Lectures and concerts held at the Library have included presentations by members of Washington's diverse cultural communities, such as African American hand dancers, hair braiders, Hungarian dancers, Chinese opera performers, Indonesian Gamelan performers, Flamenco dancers, and musical performances by African American, Andean, Anglo American, Armenian, Bengali, Carribbean, Cuban, Ghanaian, Japanese, Puerto Rican, Senegalese, and Vietnamese groups.


Finding Aid: View a complete list of our Washington, D.C., collections.

Local Legacies Collection: This project provides a "snapshot" of local culture as it was expressed in the year 2000. View Washington, D.C.'s Local Legacies project.

Veterans History Project: Browse state collections from the Veterans History Project.

Songs of America: Browse an interactive state map for selected songs from the American Folklife Center’s collections, as well as songs from the Library’s Music Division and Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.

Concert Webcast

Reverb. African American gospel from Washington, D.C. Recorded at the Library of Congress, February 7, 2007: [event flyer and webcast] [catalog record]

Additional Resources

Educational Resources: View a list of educational materials related to Washington, D.C., from Folklife Resources for Educators.

Folklife Resources: Find state folklife-related agencies, societies, archives, higher education programs, and more, in Folklife Sourcebook: A Directory of Folklife Resources in the United States.

Public Services

District of Columbia residents, along with others in the greater Washington, D.C., area, are fortunately situated to take advantage of the many services offered by the American Folklife Center. These include reference assistance in its Folklife Reading Room, use of its Archive of Folk Culture, and the lectures, concerts, conferences, and other public events offered at the Library of Congress. Area students enrolled in American studies and other folklore-related programs have easy access to both the collections of the Folk Archive and the staff of the Center. Most Center-sponsored programs are open to the public.


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   May 15, 2015
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