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American Folklife Center Collections: Nevada

This guide provides access to ethnographic resources documenting expressive culture in the state of Nevada at the Library of Congress.


Carl Fleischhauer, photographer. Workhorse Barn. 1980. Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

The collections of the American Folklife Center contain rich and varied materials from Nevada that document the state's diverse folk traditions. Among its unique recordings are Ute, Northern Paiute, Washoe, and other Native American music recordings made by Omer Stewart in 1938 and Willard Rhodes in 1949; cowboy songs and stories by Jack H. "Powder River" Lee of Virginia City, 1942; oral histories and stories of traditional life made by Duncan Emrich, 1950; and Basque radio broadcasts from Station KELK in Elko, from the 1970s.

Paradise Valley Folklife Project

Paradise Valley is the name of both a cattle-ranching valley and a crossroads community in northern Nevada's Humboldt County. It is home to persons of Anglo American, Italian, German, Basque, Swiss, Northern Paiute Indian, and Chinese heritage. The valley is a cul-de-sac formed by the Santa Rosa Mountains and watered by their melting snows. Miners and agriculturists arrived at about the time of the Civil War, but the mines played out by the end of the century and the valley was devoted to ranching through the 1980s. Ranching has continued even as improved technology has again made the extraction of gold profitable and mining has been revived.

The project documented more than thirty ranches and numerous other sites and activities, resulting in extensive collection of administrative papers, printed materials, and collected ephemera; 45,300 color and black-and photos; 150 hours of sound recorded interviews; four hours of l6mm motion picture film; one hour of historic motion picture footage (copied to video); and 10 hours of video recordings.

Additional Collections of Interest

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional digital content are provided when available.

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Public Programming

Mariano Gonzalez y sus Invitados Especiales (Mariano Gonzalez and his Special Guests) performed at the Library of Congress on September 26, 2012. Born and raised in Buena Vista, Paraguay, Gonzalez began playing the harp at the age of five, under the tutelage of his father and grandfather. His passion for music propelled him onto the world stage where he expanded his repertoire to include lively Latin rhythms, free-spirited jazz, and original arrangements of popular standards.

Additional Public Programming