Skip to Main Content

NEA National Heritage Fellowship Awardees: Resources at the American Folklife Center

Searching the Collections

Letter to Bess Lomax Hawes from NEA Chairman John Frohnmayer
Letter from NEA Chairman John Frohnmayer to Bess Lomax Hawes. September 28, 1990. Bess Lomax Hawes collection, Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

The American Folklife Center (AFC) has numerous collections that relate to the topic of NEA Heritage Fellows. These include collections made by Heritage Fellows, collections of concert performances by Heritage Fellows, lectures or presentations about a Heritage Fellow, and collections where the Heritage Fellow may be one of many performers.


How Do I Search The AFC Catalog?

Using the links under individual performer names on the "Library of Congress Collections" page of this guide will direct you to holdings within the AFC collection.

If you prefer to conduct a wider search of the Library's catalog:

  • Go to the Library's Catalog search page and click "Advanced Search"
  • Enter the search term. This is often, but not always, the full name of the NEA Heritage Fellow. Some Heritage Fellows are also in the catalog under additional subject headings, such as alternate spellings of their name or the name of a group which which they perform.
  • Add Limits. First select "Location in the Library" and then choose "American folklife" from the dropdown menu (not "American folklife reference collection," since the latter refers only to books on the reading room shelves). Following this, you can further narrow your search by adding additional limits, such as type of material (film, book, etc.) or date range of publication.


A Note on Searching

While the Center has collections for many performers, presenters and collectors there are many individuals whose body of work may be found in more than one division. If a search for an NEA Heritage Fellow did not return any results from the American Folklife search limit, we recommend expanding your search to include other relevant divisions. Common cross-overs include collections in:

  • Moving Image
  • Recorded Sound
  • Performing Arts
  • Prints & Photographs
  • General Collections

Only American Folklife collections are available for viewing and research in the American Folklife Center.


Analog Collections

In addition to collections which are searchable through the Library-wide catalog, the Center has a significant collection of NEA Heritage Fellows materials which is currently in process. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted. Researchers interested in viewing this collection should contact the AFC Reading Room.

Selections from the Library's Online Collections