Have a question? Need assistance? Use our online form to ask a librarian for help.
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 documenting Korean culture in Korea and the United States represent the diversity of its expressive culture. Among its unique collections are songs recorded by several Korean students in Washington, D.C. in 1896 by Alice C. Fletcher; recordings of Korean shamanic dance and music by Karl Signell; recordings of Korean folk and classical music by Lee Hye-gu. The American Folklife Center field collections include documentation of Korean Americans. The Chicago Ethnic Arts Project documented Koreans in Chicago, including traditional dress, painting, music, dance and interviews with artists. The Ethnic Heritage and Language Schools in America Project included documentation of a Korean School in Maryland.
The Ethnic Heritage and Language Schools in America Project was conducted in 1982 by the American Folklife Center to survey selected religious and secular ethnic community-based schools conducted, at least in part, in a language other than English to document the continued ethnolinguistic and cultural diversity of the United States. The researchers documented the First Korean School in Silver Spring, Maryland, interviewing students and teachers. They observed a variety of classes, including cultural arts such as karate, choir practice, and a music and dance recital.
The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.
Sounds of Korea is part of the New-York-based Korean Performing Arts Center (KPAC), consisting of a dance troupe, an instrumental chamber ensemble and a percussion ensemble. Korean performance art includes a wide range of styles and settings, such as classical court music, theatrical masked dance, popular storytelling songs, drama, popular narrative vocal arts, and solo instrumental folk genres, as well as the percussion music and dances of farmers. The group's artistic emphasis is on the subtle grace and beauty found in Korean traditional dances in which the dancers with powerful, yet delicate, gestures and movements reveal a unique aesthetic beauty. The dance troupe was founded and developed by Sue Yeon Park at the organization's inception in 1993, and has maintained an active performance schedule over the past 20 years. Under Park's direction, the organization has performed and hosted performances at major concert venues in the U.S., including Lincoln Center, national museums and national festival stages, introducing Korean music and dance to a wide array of audiences of diverse cultural backgrounds. In addition, Sounds of Korea performance troupe participates in community outreach programs, as well as cultural exhibitions. Its members consist of professionals of the highest caliber and individuals from the Korean community who are dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding and appreciation of Korea's artistic heritage and history. (Event date: July 23, 2014)