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About AFC Geographic Guides
The collections held by the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress comprise cultural documentation of folk and traditional culture from six continents, every U.S. state and territory, and the District of Columbia. Additionally, AFC staff maintain reference resources that provide descriptive access to our collections; create digital publications such as blogs or podcasts that offer interpretation and context for our collections; and produce public programming that augments collection materials.
These geographic guides offer entry points into the above resources, and draw on the collective knowledge and expertise of the AFC staff.
American Folklife Center Bulgarian collections document the diversity of this nation's expressive culture at home and in the diaspora. Among its unique collections are the Martha Forsyth collection of traditional singing made in Bulgaria during the 1970s and 1980s, and the Center for Traditional Music and Dance collection, which featured Bulgarian and Bulgarian-American musicians in New York.
Perhaps the most famous Bulgarian recording in the Center is Valya Balkanska's version of "Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin," recorded in 1968 by Ethel Raim and Martin Koenig, who were studying dance traditions in Bulgaria. This recording was later included on a gold-plated disc affixed to the two unmanned Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977, the "Voyager Golden Records." The original recording is part of the Martin Koenig Collection (AFC 2021/005), recently acquired by the American Folklife Center. Astronomer Carl Sagan and ethnographer Alan Lomax were tasked making the track list of representative music and language from around the world. Read more about this in "Alan Lomax and the Voyager Golden Records" in Bertram Lyons' January 30, 2014, Folklife Today blogpost.
Field recordings of accompanied and unaccompanied folksongs from various regions of Bulgaria recorded by Martha Forsyth from 1978-1985. Includes her published recording, Traditional song in south-western Bulgaria, (1983).
Nancy Groce and Elizabeth Peterson interview Ethel Raim and Martin Koenig about their work presenting music and dance traditions of immigrants in New York City. The Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD) was founded by Martin Koenig as the Balkan Arts Center in 1968; it became the Ethnic Arts Center in 1981 and the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in 1997.
Turkish and Bulgarian vocalists and instrumentalists Tzvety Weiner, Valeri Georgiev & Varol Saatcioglu share their traditional music.