Are the Archive of Folk Culture Recordings Commercially Available?

The best known publications from the Archive of Folk Culture are the albums edited by Alan Lomax, B. A. Botkin, Duncan Emrich, Frances Densmore, Willard Rhodes, Archie Green, Charles Seeger, and other archivists. These albums were issued by the Library of Congress beginning in 1941 under the series title Folk Music of the United States. 

A second series, Folk Music of America, was released at the time of the United States Bicentennial. The American Folklife Center and the Recorded Sound Section of the Library collaborated with Rounder Records and Rykodisc to re-issue many of the Center's recordings in compact disc format. Rycodisc recordings have been reissued on Smithsonian Folkways. In addition, commercial recording companies have issued more than 100 recordings compiled from the collections of the Archive.

Information about Published Recordings from the Collections

This catalog of published recordings lists the Folk Recordings Selected from the Archive of Folk Culture that were distributed by the Library of Congress. Recordings are available as downloads and as CDRs. A few albums are available online (see next item).

Liner note booklets for the majority of recordings are available on via the American Folklife Center Audio Recording Albums page. This page also presents information on selected albums fully available online.

Information about Rounder Records recordings produced from collections in the Archive of Folk Culture, including re-releases in CD format of some of the Library of Congress recordings from the catalog above. [Rounder CDs are currently out of print. These may be available from dealers in used and out of print recordings]

Information about The Endangered Music Project series of recordings from collections in the Archive of Folk Culture available from Smithsonian Folkways.


Last Updated: Sep 16, 2020
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