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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 documenting Lithuanians represent the diversity of their expressive culture. Among its unique collections are documentation of Lithuanian American music, celebrations, and material culture.
The Jonas Balys collection includes recordings of Lithuanian music and song in various parts of the United States. Alan Lomax recorded Lithuanian singers and musicians in Michigan performing dance tunes and songs. The Ethnic Broadcasting in America collection includes recordings of Lithuanian radio broadcasts. The American Folklife Center's Ethnic Heritage and Language Schools in America Project collection includes documentation of a Lithuanian festival in Baltimore Maryland.
The Chicago Ethnic Arts Project collection includes interviews with Lithuanians and photographs of carved wooden chapel poles, sacred markers that are placed on roadsides and homes in Lithuania and now found in some parts of the United States where Lithuanians have settled. The collection also includes photographs of handmade traditional dress; and knitted mittens, dresses, and sweaters. More information on these collections can be found below.
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. Includes documentation of chapel poles and textile arts of Lithuanian Americans as well as interviews with members of the community in Chicago.
The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.