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Seeger Family: Resources in the American Folklife Center

This research guide focuses on activities of the Seeger family such as fieldwork, performance, and programming documented in the collections of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress


This guide provides an introduction to doing research on the Seeger family, whom former Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington honored for:

"...their special ability to touch the American soul, to evoke and enrich the spirit of our culture over a very long period of time."

The Seeger family collections at the American Folklife Center reflect the family's long association with the Library of Congress, beginning in the 1930s and continuing today. Seeger family members appear in more than seventy-five AFC collections as performers, subjects, or documentarians. Of particular note are the recordings of 1950s bluegrass and country music made by Mike Seeger, film footage made by Toshi and Pete Seeger, a large number of interviews made by David Dunaway to prepare his biography of Pete beginning in the 1970s, and the Resettlement Administration recordings made by Charles Seeger during the 1930s.

As well, the Library of Congress Music Division holds significant collections relating to the Seeger family. A finding aid provides details to those materials:

In 2007, the American Folklife Center Center produced a two-day Seeger Family Tribute that brought together members of the family along with performers and scholars to consider the legacy of the family upon American culture.

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