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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 collections from Ilinois include rich and varied materials that document the diversity of the state's folk traditions. Among its unique recordings are blues, dance, and Lithuanian music from Southern Illinois. In 1977, the Center conducted the Chicago Ethnic Arts Project, a field survey of ethnic artistic expression in the Chicago area. The material created from this project, including recorded music and interviews, transcriptions, and still photographs, is available online.
The Chicago Ethnic Arts Project survey was conducted in 1977 by the American Folklife Center at the request of the Illinois Arts Council to assess and document the status of ethnic art traditions in more than twenty ethnic communities in Chicago, and was jointly sponsored by both organizations.
The collection consists of approximately 344 sound recordings, 14,141 photographs, 269 folders of manuscript materials, 2 videorecordings, publications, ephemera, administrative files, and field notes produced and collected during the 1977 Chicago Ethnic Arts Project field survey from 1976-1981; but primarily during fieldwork conducted by fourteen folklorists directed by the American Folklife Center in 1977. The final project report presented to the Illinois Arts Council summarized the current conditions and folk arts needs in a number of Chicago's ethnic communities. Materials from post-project activities such as workshops in the ethnic communities and a traveling photographic exhibit by Jonas Dovydenas are also included.
The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.
Sones de México Ensemble is a Mexican folk musical group that specializes in Mexican son, a genre encompassing the roots of mariachi music and other regional styles, including huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho, and more. The ensemble was formed in Chicago in 1994 and soon incorporated as a non-profit organization to keep the tradition of Mexican ‘son’ alive in its many regional forms. The current members of the ensemble are Juan Díes, Lorena Íñiguez, Juan Rivera, Zacbé Pichardo, Gonzalo Córdova, and Javier Saume-Mazzei. Library of Congress, September 16, 2015.