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Latinx and Latin American Collections: Resources in the American Folklife Center

This guide provides access to ethnographic collections documenting Latin American and Latinx cultural expressions in the US at the Library of Congress.


Jefferson Miller, photographer. Johnny Colon School of Music, East 104th Street, between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue, New York, New York. May 30, 1982. Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

This guide provides an introduction to Latinx and Latin American documentation found in American Folklife Center archival collections. These collection materials point to the vast variety of language, ethnic, and racial identities that are part of diverse Latinx expressive cultures found throughout Latin America and the United States.

Among the many American Folklife Center collections that include documentation of Latinx and Latin American traditions, performance, and personal narratives are the Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Collection with its numerous recordings of musical performances throughout the city; the online presentation for California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties Collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell featuring photographic documentation and recordings of Puerto Rican singers who migrated to California during economic crisis; and the Hispano Music and Culture of the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B. Rael Collection documenting religious and secular music of Spanish-speaking residents of rural Northern New Mexico and Southern California, among others. These collections and guides are more fully described in the Digital Collections and Searching the Collections sections of this guide.

The American Folklife Center has also sponsored numerous public programs centered on various Latinx arts, cultural traditions and experiences. One such performance was recorded as part of our virtual event series, Homegrown at Home, featuring Changüí Majadero, a concert of Cuban roots music by the California based band. More recorded events, including lectures, book talks, symposia, and other musical and traditional performances can be found using the search strategies in the Related Online Resources section of this guide.

The following guide offers general research strategies for use of the American Folklife Center collections.