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Place, Jeff

Curator and Senior Archivist


American folk, bluegrass, blues and vernacular music, record labels, sound archives

Geographic Focus

Professional Biography

  • Jeff Place has been at the Center’s Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections since 1988. He holds an MLS from the University of Maryland and specializes in sound archives. He oversees the cataloging of the Center's collections and has been involved in the compilation of over sixty CDs of American music for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings including the Lead Belly Legacy Series; the Pete Seeger American Favorite Ballads; Jazz Fest; and The Asch Recordings (Woody Guthrie). Place has been nominated for eight GRAMMY Awards and twelve Indie Awards, winning three GRAMMYs and six Indies. He was one of the producers and writers of the acclaimed 1997 edition of the Anthology of American Folk Music and The Best of Broadside, 1962-1988 (2000). He has served on the curatorial team for a number of exhibitions including the traveling Woody Guthrie exhibition This Land is Your Land. In 2003, he co-curated the Smithsonian Folklife Festival program on Appalachian culture. In 2012, he is produced and co-authored (with Robert Santelli) the publication and CD-box set Woody at 100, the Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Collection in 2014, and the Pete Seeger Centennial Collection in 2019.

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