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American Folklife Center Collections: Connecticut

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of Connecticut at the Library of Congress.

Introduction

Candacy Taylor, photographer. Rosaria Monarca works with a client. Rina's Beauty Centre, Rocky Hill, Connecticut, January 20, 2013. Hairdresser and Beauty Shop Culture in America collection. Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

American Folklife Center collections from Connecticut document the diversity of its expressive culture. Among its unique materials are an abundance of occupational folklife, from dairy farms in the Markham Starr collection (AFC 2013/031), to tobacco workers in the Connecticut River Valley, described below. Folk music fans will be interested in the Indian Neck Folk Festival collection, described below, and the famed 1935 sessions of Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter made in Wilton by John and Alan Lomax (AFC 1935/002).

Hairdresser and Beauty Shop Culture in America

In 2012, documentarian Candacy Taylor received an Archie Green Fellowship to document hairdresser and beauty shop culture across America. The resulting 16 in-depth interviews were conducted at various types of hair-related establishments, from upscale New York City salons to home beauty parlors in Philadelphia and West Virginia, and suburban and small town shops in Washington, D.C., Boston, and California. The collector focused on shops that served particular communities and/or immigrant populations, including Asian Americans, Dominican and other Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Indian Americans, and Anglo-Americans as well as a Jewish American wigmaker in Brooklyn, New York, who made wigs primarily for the Hasidic community. This collection is part of the Occupational Folklife Project, a multi-year project by the American Folklife Center.

Additional 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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Negrura Peruana performs the music and dance of Peru's African and criollo population from the coastal region just to the south of Lima, the nation's capital. Group members emigrated from Lima to the Hartford area of Connecticut about ten years ago and formed Negrura Peruana in 2002.