Learning & EngagementLearning Tools


Resources from The Library of Congress American Folklife Center

On this site, you will find links to manuscripts, unique images, archival repositories and their finding aids, sound recordings, and more. Explore as much as your time permits. Start with the four “quantitative interrogatives”: who? what? when? where? Use these questions to guide your discovery.

— Dr. Melanie Zeck

Meet Dr. Melanie Zeck

Additional Resources

Lili Boulanger

French Women & Feminists in History: A Resource Guide

For more information about Library of Congress holdings related to Lili Boulanger, see the Resource Guide published by the Library’s Latin American, Caribbean, and European Division.

Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky: A Guide to Primary and Secondary Resources at the Library of Congress

For more information about Library of Congress holdings related to Igor Stravinsky, see the Resource Guide published by the Library’s Music Division.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven: A Guide to Primary and Secondary Resources

This guide provides information on discovering materials at the Library of Congress–primarily in the Music Division–about Ludwig van Beethoven. These materials include music manuscripts, facsimiles, first and early editions of music scores, critical editions, scholarly literature on Beethoven, correspondence, special collections, and iconography.


The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (AFC) documents and shares the many expressions of human experience to inspire, revitalize, and perpetuate living cultural traditions. Designated by the U.S. Congress as the national center for folklife documentation and research, the Center meets its mission by stewarding archival collections, creating public programs, and exchanging knowledge and expertise. The Center’s vision is to encourage diversity of expression and foster community participation in the collective creation of cultural memory.  Here is how you can make the most of your visit to the American Folklife Center.  

According to the Library of Congress’s Collections Policy Statement, the American Folklife Center has nine “areas of distinction,” three of which involve music:

  • Music and Dance of the United States
  • Music, Dance, and Narrative of Native American communities
  • Music and Dance of the World

Another area of distinction is:

  • Vernacular Religious Expression

Religious folklife includes but is not limited to vernacular hymn singing recorded in homes, small churches, community centers, and at festivals; as well as documentation of wedding music and customs, funeral music; vernacular sermons (especially, but not exclusively, African American sermons); interviews with preachers and congregants, documentation of religious processions and material culture. The American Folklife Center holds a number of collections documenting vernacular religious expression related to Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism.

For example, in the Lowell Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1987/042) you will be able to view images of the New Hope Catholic Church in Lowell, Massachusetts, which is a little over thirty miles to the northwest of Boston.  Stravinsky received his commission for The Symphony of Psalms from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and completed the piece for the orchestra’s 50th anniversary in 1930. Although Stravinsky was raised in the Russian Orthodox faith, he set texts from The Vulgate (Latin version of the Bible), which is used by the Roman Catholic Church.

Take a look at the Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028), which documents a procession taking place at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Paterson, NJ.

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