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American Folklife Center Collections: Romania

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting Romanian expressive culture in Romania and the United States in the collections of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.


United States, Central Intelligence Agency. Romania. 1996. Geography and Maps Division, Library of Congress. 

American Folklife Center collections documenting Romanian and Romanian-American people depict some of the diversity of their expressive culture, especially dance.  Included are recordings from Transylvanian communities with ties to neighboring Hungary as well as to a Chicago family, while sacred traditions of both Chasidic Jews and Old Believers are represented. The largest set of unique material is the documentation comprising the Gheorghe and Eugenia Popescu-Judetz collection, with its more than 2000 folk dance variants notated in a form developed by Gheorghe Popescu-Judetz for this purpose.

Dance archivist Michelle Forner, as part of the Dance Heritage Coalition Access Project, worked together with Eugenia Popescu-Judetz herself in the mid 1990s, during the process of arranging and describing the collection. Forner wrote about the collection in Folklife Center News (Fall 1995, pages 3-8), providing photos of types of materials included. See Forner article here.

Collections of Interest

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available. 

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Harmonia presents traditional folk music of Eastern Europe, ranging from the Danube to the Carpathians. Its repertoire reflects the cultures of this region: Hungarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, Romanian, Croatian, and Roma (Gypsy). Performed on authentic folk instruments, and styled after turn-of-the-century eastern-European Gypsy bands, their music is drawn from both the urban and rural traditions of eastern Europe. The musicians come from varied eastern-European backgrounds; in Harmonia they have found a common musical language.   this was a concert in the Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress on July 11, 2013, par of the Homegrown concert series sponsored by the American Folklife Center.   At about 21:00, the ensemble performs a series of Romanian tunes featuring pan-flute and cimbalom (hammered dulcimer).