Songs of America

Songs of America provides extraordinary links between American History and song created by the Library for use by educators. The truth of the collection’s theme is both obvious and profound:

"Know the songs of a country and you will know its history for the true feeling of a people speaks through what they sing." – Preface to The Songs of Henry Clay Work (1884)

Currently featured items from among the 88,000 digitized examples of songs provide insight into how everyday people celebrated, lived and mourned.

Teachers will find interactive maps of the U.S. which highlight musical traditions by state, region and “Mapping the Songs of the Civil War”.   A timeline illustrates the connection between culture and history.  Historical topics such as immigration, prohibition, politics, sports and industry are connected to music in essays with links to primary source sheet music and audio recordings at:

Although we celebrate May 1 with flowers and rites of spring, in much of the world it is also a day to remember the contributions of laborers.  You will find a collection of the Songs of Work and Industry at

See also the Educator’s guide at: