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National Sampler:
Selections from Illinois Collections

Mary and Hartop Goshtigian
1996 Illinois State Winner in the Lands' End All American Quilt Contest Collection; Birch Garden by Geri Kinnear. Quilts and Quiltmaking in America: 1978-1996. Call number AFC 1997/011: Folder 9075 P1.

Illinois, the "Prairie State," is the fifth most populous state in the United States and also one of the most diverse. A microcosm of America, it encompasses a wide variety of landscapes, including the Great Lakes port city of Chicago; broad, flat prairies; historic Mississippi and Illinois River towns; classic Midwestern suburbs; some of the nation's most prosperous farms; and mid-size, post-industrial cities.

The state's population is as diverse as its geography: Illinois has attracted immigrants from throughout the world, and the Mississippi River has served as a major highway for migrants from the American South, especially African Americans who followed the great river north in search of work and better opportunities.

The following examples from the American Folkife Center's Archive include folklife interviews, ethnographic photographs, songs, ballads, instrumental music, and oral histories from various collections. This sampler serves as an overview and introduction to the American Folklife Center's extensive holdings documenting this state's cultural heritage.

For more information about the American Folklife Center's Illinois collections and services, go to Foklife in Your State: Illinois. For a more complete list of our Illinois collections see the finding aid Illinois Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture.

View Selected Photographs From the Collections

Browse the Illinois Audio and Video Samples and Notes (16 tracks)

These recordings are presented in mp3 format.


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   December 1, 2011
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