Profile: Stephanie Hall

Specialist, Library of Congress

Stephanie A. Hall is an automation reference specialist at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. She has worked at the Center since 1989 in various other roles: as processing archivist, archivist, and coordinator of processing, as well as providing reference service. She has participated in web and internet development at the Library since 1990. She was a writer and a member of the content team for the online presentation, “The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America,” a project that brought together collection materials from the Music Division; the Motion Picture, Broadcast and Recorded Sound Division; and the American Folklife Center. She has a PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania.

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NoteStreams By Stephanie Hall

Kites Rise on the Wind: The Origin of Kites

In trying to learn about the story of kites I find it is often told back to front. But to begin close to the beginning I think we should start with a story that is very old. It appears in myths and legends in Asia and Polynesia.
Library of Congress Blogs: Folklife Today

Category: History

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Music and a Mystery to Celebrate Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Rooster begins on Saturday, January 28th. To celebrate, here are samples of four recordings of Chinese music recorded in 1902 and 1903.
We hope that someone reading this article might be able to tell us more about these songs.
Library of Congress Blogs

Category: Music

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Gay Pride Parades: Identity, Protest, and Tradition

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, homosexual behavior, cross-dressing, and other expressions of gender nonconformity were treated as crimes in most parts of the United States.
Library of Congress

Category: Social Awareness

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A Dance for the Birthday of the Buddha

The birth of the Buddha is thought to have occurred in the sixth century BCE (about 563) at the full moon on the eighth day of the fourth month. The date for modern celebrations is usually determined by Asian solar-lunar calendars, which vary among different ethnic groups.

Category: History

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Folklore and Folksong of Trains in America: Part I

The advent of railroads in the United States is part of the country’s coming-of-age story as an industrial power during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Because of this, trains and people associated with the developing railways became part of the legend, folklore, and mythology of the nation.

Category: History

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The Language of Birds

John James Audubon was born on April 26, 1785 in what is now Haiti. His passion for North American wild birds fostered an ongoing interest in birds and bird conservation in the United States. But, of course, interest in birds and birdsong is as old as humankind. This essay will look at some of the ways that birdsong is reflected in the many folk traditions of North America with examples from the Library’s collections.

Category: History

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Snowballs to Sculptures: Material Culture that Melts

Making things from snow and ice no doubt dates from very ancient times. But snow leaves no artifacts and so we can only imagine the surprise of the first human pelted by a snowball. In spite of its temporary nature, things made of snow are part of material culture: the traditions related to physical objects and how they are made and used. In the Arctic, understanding the insulating value of snow is important for survival, as was probably true for our ancestors during the last ice age.

Category: Arts

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