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Slovenian Collections in the Library of Congress

American Folklife Center

Benedikt Lergetporer, photographer. Girl in native costume, Carniola. 1897. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Reading Room.

The American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress collects and documents folklife and traditional culture from the United States and around the world. Originally concentrating on folk music in the 1920s, the American Folklife Center now collects ethnographic materials in many formats. Some of those collections and materials are Slovenian in origin or content.

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. It is a good source of folk music and photographs from various American ethnic groups including Slovenian such as the recording of a concert by the Danica Slovenian Society, performed in Cicero, Illinois in 1977. Many of the recordings in the collection are freely available on the Library of Congress website, with some other materials accessible only onsite at the American Folklife Center. Scroll down to listen to a recording from this collection.

Also of potential interest is the Ethnic Broadcasting in America collection which recorded ethnic broadcasts from 54 radio stations, including ones in Slovenian from Pittsburgh and Cleveland from 1978. A recording of Slovenian-American accordion music by Lillie and Sally Zadra from Leadville, Colorado, appears in the Colorado State Folk Arts Program / "Do Not Pass Me By" Collection which documents musical and spoken traditions of Colorado. Another collection containing Slovenian content is the Barbara Krader collection of Serbian, Macedonian, and Croatian music with 8 sound reels of folk music from a festival of folk songs and dances held in Opatija, Croatia, September 9-13, 1951.

To locate Slovenian material in the Folklife Center you can use a filter in an advanced search of the Library's catalog. For example, use the search terms "Slovenia" or "Slovenian" and limit your location to the American Folklife Center for archival collections and to the American Folklife Reference Collection for books in the AFC reference collection. For further information about the Slovenian content held by the American Folklife Center, contact them directly and see their online collection guides.

Besides the selected special collections in the American Folklife Center mentioned above, the Library of Congress collects in depth published books and periodicals on the folk ways of other countries, including Slovenia. Those materials are part of the vast general collections and may be identified using the Library of Congress online catalog. Staff of the European Reading Room are happy to help researchers locate published materials on Slovenian folklife.

About the American Folklife Center

The American Folklife Center was created in 1976 by the U.S. Congress to "preserve and present American folklife" through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibitions, publications, and training. Designated by the U.S. Congress as the national center for folklife documentation and research, the American Folklife Center continues to collect and document living traditional culture, while preserving for the future its unparalleled collections in the state-of-the-art preservation facilities of the Library of Congress.