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American Folklife Center Collections: Finland

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


Sidney Robertson Cowell, collector. Celia Koljonen (right) and unidentified woman from Finland. 1939. WPA California Folk Music Project, 1938-1940. Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

American Folklife Center collections of Finns in Finland and the United States document the diversity of their expressive culture. Among its unique collections are Finnish language songs and music recorded by Alan Lomax in Michigan in 1938; folk songs and Kalevalaic songs documented by the Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura in Finland; and an audio recording and other documentation of a symposium on the Kalevala at the Library of Congress in 1985.

California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties Collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell

This online presentation, California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties, comprises 35 hours of folk music recorded in 12 languages representing numerous ethnic groups and 185 musicians. It includes sound recordings, still photographs of the performers, drawings of folk instruments, and written documentation from a variety of European ethnic and English- and Spanish-speaking communities in northern California in the 1930s.

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.

Podcasts and Blog Posts

Public Programming

Ánnámáret is the performing name of Sámi musician Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman. Ánnámáret performs yoik, a distinctive singing and songwriting tradition of the Sámi people. For her Homegrown concert, Ánnámáret is joined by two members of her Nieguid duovdagat project: Ilkka Heinonen (who specializes in folk music on the jouhikko, G-violone and contrabass) and Turkka Inkilä (who plays flutes and electronic instruments). (Event date: April 07, 2021)

Additional Public Programming