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Folklore is a part of the everyday lives of people from all around the world. We have inherited a rich tradition of holidays, festivals, stories, fairy tales, proverbs, and folk remedies that define our society and our place in it. Consequently, an interesting avenue to explore this vast and growing treasury of knowledge is the World Folklore and Folklife database. With the power of a library card one can log in and uncover cultural traditions from around the world.
Some of the subjects included are:
- Tales, Myths, and Urban Legends
- Holidays and Festivals
- Celebrations and Rituals
- Food and Drink
- Music and Dance
- Religion and Belief
- Traditional Arts and Crafts
Regionally the content ranges from all over the world, including: Africa; Asia; Caribbean; Europe; Latin America; Middle East; North America; and Oceania. The entries for each country include an historical overview as well as the beliefs, traditions, folklore and the like.
Want to know the origin of Bluegrass music from an authoritative source?
How about Greek mythology? Wiccan? Druids? Origin of Christmas?
Additionally, looking for the complete Hans Christian Andersen stories or Grimms’ fairy tales?
Look no further than the World Folklore and Folklife database (which also includes thousands of other classic folktales from around the world). This electronic resource is the perfect place for any parent or storyteller to uncover traditions and pass them on from one generation to the next.
World Folklore and Folklife is also a great resource to help students bridge the gap between past and present and offer new ways to research topics for high school or college assignments.
Some such topics include:
- Social and religious practices
Additionally, as an example some of the featured content includes:
Chicano Folklore: Repatriation and Deportation of Mexicans (1930-42)
“A rude awakening began to set in by the late 1920s. The tremendous immigration from Southern Europe (darker skinned peoples) brought in a sense of panic to the nativist Anglo-American population who feared the darker races. In 1924 the Border Patrol was instituted, and the U.S. Congress passed the Quota Act of 1924. Mexicans were not included in the Quota Act due to strong pressure from agribusiness leaders, who felt they needed the Mexican workers for their agricultural fields. Nevertheless, by the late 1920s an economic depression began to set in, and Mexicans began to be targeted for deportations. The 1930s brought a full-fledged economic depression, and Mexicans began to be deported en mass. Some Mexican Americans, even though they were citizens, were also deported or ‘encouraged’ to go to Mexico.”
And as a reminder we also have a vast array of other subscription databases on many many other subjects that are available 24/7.
World Cinema Streaming Video
The World Cinema streaming video collection contains classic and contemporary feature films from around the globe, including the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
With more than 470 feature films this unique collection includes the best from the silent era as well as groundbreaking directors from all over the world. World Cinema includes American and European masterpieces from the mid-20th century as well as award-winning contemporary films and titles from Africa (and the African diaspora). The collection shines a light on the history of cinema while also providing a glimpse into the cultures and issues from countries around the world.
The collection contains masterpieces and award winning films directed by some of the most famous names in the history of cinema, including:
- Fritz Lang
- Jean Renoir
- Sergei Eisenstein
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Akira Kurosawa
- Buster Keaton
- Charlie Chaplin
- Orson Welles
- Frank Capra
- Federico Fellini
- Roberto Rossellini
- Satyajit Ray
- Joseph Von Sternberg
Broken down by region some of the highlights include:
- German film — Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and Josef Von Sternberg’s “The Blue Angel.”
- French cinema — films by Jean Renoir.
- Japanese film — films by Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi.
- Soviet era film — Sergei Eisenstein’s the “Battleship Potemkin.”
- British film — pre-Hollywood films of Alfred Hitchcock.
- Italian film — Federico Fellini and “The Bicycle Thief” by Vittorio De Sica.
- Indian film — classics by Satyajit Ray.
- Turkish and Middle Eastern film — award winners from Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Israel, and Palestine, etc.
- Latin American film — award winning contemporary films from Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Chile, and Ecuador, etc.
- Chinese language film — Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Farewell My Concubine.”
And Best of all
All accessible with the comfort and ease
of a Patchogue-Medford Library card!!
Acquire the skills needed for academic or career success by using the LearningExpress Library, our featured database of the month. This resource is accessible from the Patchogue-Medford Library’s website and includes a comprehensive selection of academic and career-related resources.
It features skill-building tools for reading, writing, math, and science as well as test preparation for high school equivalency (TASC) and college admissions exams. Workplace resources include tools for job searching, exploring new careers, and preparing for occupational licensing exams, etc.
Covering more than 800 tutorials and practice exams, some of the features in the LearningExpress Library include:
- Skill building exercises (at all levels) to improve math, reading, vocabulary, science, etc.
- College preparation: SAT exam; TOEFL ; and writing the college admissions essay.
- Career resources for exploring different jobs and careers.
- Test preparation for occupational exams (e.g. civil service, nursing, etc.).
- Military exams: ASVAB.
- Resources for Spanish speakers.
- Citizenship Test.
- Job searching and workplace skills.
- Popular software tutorials.
Anyone seeking academic advancement or looking for a job and career development would be wise to avail themselves of this valuable resource.
“You may browse the site before registering, but once you locate a resource you’d like to use, you will be prompted to register before you can access it. Registration enables you to store any tests, eBooks, or tutorials for future use. To register from a computer in your library, simply click the New User? Register Now link on the landing page. On the following page, enter your name and email address, create a password, read and accept the disclosure agreement and click Register. If you are on a computer outside of your library’s network (at home), you must access LearningExpress Library™ 3.0 from the link on your library’s website. You may be asked to enter your library card number. For future visits to the site, you can simply login as a Returning User with your email address and the password you created at registration.”
The Library recently obtained 3 new war history books that have received many good reviews and publicity. Highly recommended!
Spanish Civil War History
“Spain in our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939” by Adam Hochschild.
A history of the Spanish Civil War as told through the eyes of a dozen or so unforgettable characters. In the mid 1930’s, as the Spanish Civil War dominated the headlines in America and abroad, volunteers flooded Spain to assist the democratically elected government fight off a right wing coup led by Spanish General Francisco Franco. Today much of what has been remembered about the Spanish Civil War has been told thru a few classic accounts, Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and George Orwell’s memoirs. But in this telling we see the experience of lesser known individuals. Interestingly, one of the more surprising accounts uncovered is that Franco received almost all his oil at reduced prices and on credit from a Texas oilman with Nazi sympathies.
NEW MAGNIFIER FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED AVAILABLE!
I saw the brilliant film Revenant recently and while I was watching it I couldn’t help but think of a title we recently acquired here at The Patchogue-Medford Library.
It’s called “Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks.”
“One Hundred Masterworks” is an extraordinary collection of vintage photographs that preserved for posterity the traditional life-ways of Native Americans in the early twentieth century. While this book documents a long gone era and way of life that has forever passed, I am stunned that these photographs were taken only 100 years ago. Starting in 1900 and going for another 30 years, Mr. Curtis painstakingly covered 80 distinct tribal groups, navigating such geography as the Southwestern U.S. to the Badlands all the way West to the tribes of the Northwestern United States. Once thought of as “savages”, Native Americans are America’s forgotten people, rarely ever being mentioned in the media or current events. Luckily for us, Mr. Curtis had the forethought to focus his lens on these amazing people.
Anyone interested in American history would enjoy this book. Highly recommended!
For further investigation I recommend these Web sites:
In addition, The Smithsonian has a museum in downtown Manhattan dedicated to the Native American called the National Museum of the American Indian–New York. Admission is free and the museum is located adjacent to Battery Park in Downtown Manhattan.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines revenant as “one that returns after death or a long absence.”