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AFC (American Folklife Center) card catalog online

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Nerd 29 Jan 08 - 11:59 PM
Nerd 30 Jan 08 - 12:00 AM
katlaughing 30 Jan 08 - 12:02 AM
Nerd 30 Jan 08 - 12:19 AM
Anglo 30 Jan 08 - 12:46 AM
Desert Dancer 30 Jan 08 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Nerd, another computer 30 Jan 08 - 01:54 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Jul 10 - 11:24 AM
Tannywheeler 16 Jul 10 - 02:54 PM
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Subject: AFC card catalog online
From: Nerd
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 11:59 PM

Hi Folks,

I wanted to alert Catters that the American Folklife Center's disc-era card catalog is now online. You can search the catalog as though you were in the Library.

Several Caveats: this only covers our recordings that were both created and acquired from about 1930 to about 1950. Everything else is cataloged elsewhere--so if we got a big collection of 1930s discs in the 1970s, they won't be here. So collections like the Warners' (which was accessioned in two parts in 1950 and 1972) aren't here. Still, you can see the cards relating to many greats such as Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, etc.

At the moment, the actual recordings are not linked up--even those that are online in AFC online collections. So this is mainly for questions like "when/where/by whom was Lead Belly/Granny Riddle/Theophilus G. Hoskins recorded?"

To get to this resource, go to the AFC homepage, here . Then click on the link for "New Research Tool."

Do some searches, and you'll find cards like this and this .

Happy searching!


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Subject: RE: AFC card catalog online
From: Nerd
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 12:00 AM

To clarify the above further, AFC is the Library of Congress division now in charge of what was the Archive of Folk Song/Archive of Folk Culture. So this is a catalog of that legendary collection, containing many of the greats of rural American traditional music.


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Subject: RE: AFC card catalog online
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 12:02 AM

That is incredible! I saw your note on the other thread about starting this one. Wasn't sure what all it entailed. Impressive and invaluable!

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: AFC card catalog online
From: Nerd
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 12:19 AM

Thanks, Kat.

I should have said that you can search the catalog much better than in the library. The database has many more fields to search by! But you can see the cards as though you were in the Library, since this search function is based on scans of the actual shelflist card catalog.


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Subject: RE: AFC card catalog online
From: Anglo
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 12:46 AM

But can you browse?


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Subject: RE: AFC (American Folklife Center) card catalog on
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 01:01 PM

Doesn't look like it. You can enter a broad search parameter, though...


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Subject: RE: AFC (American Folklife Center) card catalog on
From: GUEST,Nerd, another computer
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 01:54 PM

Good question, Anglo

The cards used to create this were in the "shelflist" catalog, meaning their primary reference was the shelflist number, or "AFS number." Since that was the master catalog from which the performer, title, and geographical catalogs were derived, it was thought best to use that one. Since AFS number is mostly an internally-used reference, though, it isn't a very useful thing to browse by, so there's no explicit "browse" feature.

However, you can more or less browse by finessing the search. An asterisk can be used to replace any string of characters, for example. So, if you want to browse by performer name, you put in

"A*" and you will get all the cards with a performer whose name begins with A. Then you browse through those results. You can do the same for titles.

(And, of course, you can repeat for each letter.)


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Subject: RE: AFC (American Folklife Center) card catalog online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 11:24 AM

The AFC has just posted on Facebook that the Folklife Center News is now been digitized (to pdfs). They're available here. It looks like a fluke that the Winter-Spring 2008 issue featured there has all the photos in negative...

I just took a quick look, and the Summer-Fall 2008 issue has an article by Nerd entitled, "Sung With Gusto by the Men": A Unique Recording of "The Leaving of Liverpool" in the AFC Archive, which might be of interest to some here...

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: AFC (American Folklife Center) card catalog online
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 02:54 PM

Anyone interested in this topic should create the time to GO to Wash.DC & visit the L.of C. Meet the people who are our librarians/servants. Invariably eager to help, warm, kind, extremely bright, very knowledgeable. They want you to find what you're looking for & be able to use it. It's a moment to see that gov't works & is worth the trouble. Kinda makes a person hopeful...Tw


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