Traditional Music and Spoken Word Catalog
from the American Folklife Center
This database reflects the information as it was typed on the catalog cards from the 1930s to the 1950s. Some spelling errors occurred, so this may be reflected in the database. We are continually editing and updating information that needs correction. To do a thorough search of this material, one must be aware of inconsistencies in name spellings, song titles, place names, etc., so doing the same search in multiple ways may produce better results. Results appear in alphabetical order by title. Not all fields include data. Some information was not included on every card, or was incomplete on some cards, so there may be other relevant recordings that won't show up on a search.
All Fields (default)
Searches across all fields.
Catalog number assigned by the Archive of Folk Song to each sound item, i.e. one number per disc or per tape. Many discs have individual sides and cuts, i.e. AFS 500 A2 [side A, cut 2], and so you may get multiple hits for a single AFS number.
Title or variant title of a song, or, in some cases the genre for a spoken word item, such as “prayer,” or "monologue." Many items have no titles and will appear as “[no title].”
Name of singer, instrumentalist, or speaker. If a person both sings and plays a musical instrument on a recording, the role associated with the name is “performer,” more specific roles are “singer,” “speaker,” “composer,” etc. Keep in mind many names may appear with variant spellings, i.e. Polo Abrego and Polo Abrigo.
Name of person or institution who recorded or collected the cylinder, disc, tape, or wire.
Combines the two fields above to search names of performer, speaker, recordist, or collector.
Recording Date (MM-DD-YYYY)
Date that the recording was made, when known, entered in complete mm-dd-yyyy format.
Recording Month (MM-YYYY)
Date that the recording was made, when known, entered in complete mm-yyyy format.
Recording Year (YYYY)
Year that the recording was made, when known, entered in yyyy format.
Specific place of recording, such as Pleasant Grove Baptist Church or Bellwood Prison Camp.
Location (state, city, etc.)
Geographic place of recording (includes country, state, city, county, etc).
Language in which the recording was sung or spoken.
Primary or secondary instrument featured in performance.
The first line of a song is a variant title and will be retrieved in a title search.
The first line of the refrain or chorus is a variant title and will be retrieved in a title search.
Additional notes on the cards that may be helpful in keyword searching.