Monday, December 20, 2004

What the internet is for

For those of you with the internet, whether at work or home, you would do good to spend the next 40 or 50 hours with the American Folklife Center. Since Paco was the one to point this wonder out, I'm guessing no one reading this will actually spend the time this site is worth. It is an extensive collection of american folk life, things ranging from man on the street reactions to pearl harbor to extensive folk collections that are wonderful recordings. what a great treat this is. take the time to get lost in all of this stuff over the holidays.


At 12/20/2004 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paco Here: Hell Yess! I am so excited about this! when i found this i couldn't believe my brain! I haven't checked it out too much yet, but what i have is wonderful. if you are interested but wondering where to start in this indeed daunting collection, I started with "Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip." John Lomax is the father of perhaps the most well know ethnographer/folklorist/whatever, Alan Lomax (who also has a link on the page, but unfortunately that link has scant offerings online as of yet because they just aquired the rights to his collection, which is insanely huge). Southern Mosaic is nearly 700 audio tracks and numerous documents and nearly 400 photo's of a 3-month journey through the south. This collection is actually how I found the other ones. (which is why I started with it) or for something a little more modern, "Working in Paterson: Occupational Heritage in an Urban Setting" contains an astounding number of interviews and photo's from workers in paterson, NJ from 1994. I haven't looked at it as much as southern mosaic but it looks interesting. In any case I am sure most of the archive contains beautiful, beautiful gold, that will probably take months to wade through. Find something for yourself.

as a side note, for those of you without fast internet connection, the audio files on most collections are all fairly small in size (usually less than one mb) as many are older and therefore don't require high bitrates. So you can hear things too! and its all free!


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