Skip to Main Content

American Folklife Center Collections: Argentina

This guide provides information on archival materials at the American Folklife Center related to the history and culture of Argentina.


Concert poster of Argentine musician Mercedes Sosa from 1986.
Mission Gráfica, publisher. Poster for performance by Argentine musician Mercedes Sosa in Chicago, Illinois. 1986. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The American Folklife Center stewards nine collections related to the history and culture of Argentina. Musicologists, folklorists, and documentarians collected these materials from 1907-2023. Most of the collections are musical recordings. Musical genres such as zamba, chacarera, and tango feature prominently in the collections. The collections also feature Argentine indigenous communities, with recordings from individuals who identify as Ona (or Selknam) and Yahgan (or Yamana). Recently, the American Folklife Center hosted a concert performance by accordionist Alejandro Brittes, and his quartet, who are masters of chamamé music—a genre strongly associated with the northwest of Argentine province of Corrientes. Taken together, these collections illustrate the diversity of Argentine people’s musical expression in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The American Folklife Center is just one repository for Argentine-related materials at the Library of Congress. To learn more about archival collections related to Argentina at the Library of Congress, see this research guide.

Featured Collection - Seamus Doyle South American Collection

This recording project was carried out as a cultural exchange with the United States in conjunction with the South American tour of the American Ballet Company, directed by Lincoln Kirstein, in 1941 and 1942. Seamus Doyle made recordings of traditional and popular music and songs in the cities on the tour, facilitated by ethnomusicologists and radio producers. The collection features field recordings of folk music, popular music, dance music, guitar music, humorous songs, lullabies, children's songs, work songs, fishermen's songs, religious songs, and ballads, of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru. The collection includes Doyle's six-page "Report on the Collection of Folk Music in South America" and a detailed song list with performers, titles, genres, recording dates, and locations. It also includes correspondence from Seamus Doyle; from Charles Seeger at the Pan American Union; and with Alan Lomax and Harold Spivacke at the Library of Congress about possible publication of the recordings. In Argentina, Doyle recorded musicians in the cities of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Mendoza. 

Learn more about the collection at this link. 

Other Collections of Interest

Public Programs

On September 21, 2023, the American Folklife Center welcomed the Alejandro Brittes Quartet to the Library of Congress for a concert and oral history interview. American Folklife Center staff organized Brittes’ visit as part of the Center’s Homegrown Concert Series and in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Led by Alejandro Brittes on accordion, the quartet’s other members included Carlos de Césare (bass), André Ely (guitar), and Charlise Bandeira (flute and percussion). At times, the group was also joined by Dr. José Curbelo, the group’s manager, on accordion.

On September 21, 2023, American Folklife Center staff conducted an oral history interview with Alejandro Brittes, prior to his concert performance above. In the interview, Brittes discusses his early life, his musical career, and his research about the origins of chamamé music.