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Folk Music Archives
The "Voice" of Folk Music

Since 1999, Frank Shane of Folk Music Archives has been recording folk artists and folk groups to preserve and archive their personal stories, backgrounds and recollections. Folk Music Archives is devoting archival research, resources, radio broadcasting expertise, equipment and production capabilities to record the stories of folk singers  "in their own words."  The fans and followers of folk singers and groups of the 20th Century know the music, lyrics and songs, but the majority, know little or nothing about those that sang the songs and preserved the folk tradition. They may have heard or seen a documentary on Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul & Mary . . . and countless others, but these are edited and produced for commercial viewing or listening. Many times the programs are interesting, but not historically correct or complete. Media time constraints, budgets and deadlines limit the ability to present the subject matter in a format essential for archival preservation.   

Folk Music Archives' Mission and Purpose 

The Mission and Purpose Folk Music Archives is to sustain and preserve the "VOICE" of Folk Music. The personal stories and recollections of folk singers that are equally as important as the folk songs and music they sing. As a repository of Folk Music Archives' interviews, the Library of Congress American Folklife Center will ensure that the archival research, recordings and interviews are properly utilized and will protect all intellectual property and copyrights. A collaboration with the Library of Congress American Folklife Center will enable these interviews to be available to the folk community and the American people. 


If not now . . .  When?

There are opportunities to do certain interviews now, which in a short period of time will not be possible. Why are these interviews different? They are recorded not only for archival preservation, but will enable the public and the folk community to have access to these recordings: folk archivists, folklorists, performers, broadcast media, folk organizations, folk societies, museums, folk clubs, festivals, managers, agents, venues, record companies, instrument manufacturers, arts administrators, well-known folk singers and front-porch folk singers.  

Why the Alliance with

The Library of Congress American Folklife Center?

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress was created by Congress in 1976 "to preserve and present American Folklife."  The Center incorporates the Archive of Folk Culture, which was established at the Library in 1928 as a  repository for American Folk Music. The Center and its collections have grown to encompass all aspects of folklife from this country and around the world.

The collaboration will ensure that the interviews of Folk Music Archives are properly utilized and will protect intellectual property and copyrights. The Folklife Specialists of the Center are essential for archival research and subject accuracy. As a collaborative effort, Folk Music Archives benefits from their expertise. Conversely, the Folklife Center has at its disposal the interview resources of Folk Music Archives. A collaboration enables these interviews to be available to the American people.

How are the recorded interviews archived?

Through digital and computer data base technology, Folk Music Archives will provide the American Folklife Center with entire interview recordings. In addition, Folk Music Archives creates a voice data base of each interview which is segmented and put on a computer archive system to enable the retrieval of not only interview recordings, but the retrieval of subject matter of one folk artist or all recorded folk artists. 

What is the benefit of this type of archiving?

Folk Music Archives through this digital technology has a data base of thousands of voice clips on a computer retrieval system. These are archived both by artist and subject matter. It provides the retrieval not only of a particular interview, but enables the retrieval of recordings by subject matter from all recorded interviews. For example, if you wanted the story and music of   "Where Have All The Flowers Gone"  the data base can provide interviews and voice clips from: Pete Seeger, Joe Hickerson, The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul & Mary. It took Folk Music Archives  two years, hundreds of hours, thousands of miles and thousands of dollars to interview, record, edit and archive this material. In addition the original song lyrics are sung by some of those artists during the interviews. Folk Music Archives also cites the proper recordings to accompany the song for archival accuracy.

Thank You!

Please tour the Folk Music Archives Web-site and the main pages: Funding, Folk Artists, Interviews, Coffee House, Archives, Production, FAQ's, Pictures, Voice Clips and Feedback. There are links to artists, songs and the American Folklife Center as well as other valuable information.

Your Feedback is not only welcome, but vital to Folk Music Archives.

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