Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
About this Guide
This guide contains resources related to Caffè Lena as well as the American Folk Music Revival of the mid-20th century. There is a selection of relevant reading materials as well as selected CDs. For additional titles, please visit our catalog or contact the Reference Desk. For more information on Caffè Lena, please visit www.caffelena.org!
About Caffè Lena
"Caffè Lena is widely recognized as
the oldest continuously operating folk
music venue in the United States…
Opened in a former woodworking shop
in 1960, the café has helped to launch
many of America’s best loved songwriters,
ranging from Bob Dylan in 1961 to
Sawyer Fredericks in 2014, with an
amazing 'who’s who' list in between.
Upon the passing of founder Lena
Spencer in 1989, Caffè Lena was converted
to a non-profit institution supported by
concert revenue, private and corporate
donors, grants and bequests, and an
ever-evolving team of volunteers."
Anthology of American Folk Music Harry Smith's 6-CD set of blues, ballads, fiddle tunes, and traditional songs.
Call Number: CD FOLK COLL ANTHOLO
Publication Date: 1997
Before the Blues String band tunes, ballads, and instrumentals -- a wellspring of great music.
Call Number: CD MJ COLL BB Y 15
Publication Date: 1996
The Complete Recordings by Johnson only recorded twice and all of his works are included here.
Call Number: CD POPULAR JOHN COMPLET
Publication Date: 1996
*The Caffè Lena collection*
Call Number: [begins with] CD CAFFELENA ...
Browse through nearly 100 titles in this extensive collection
of recordings by artists who have performed at the Caffè.
General Nonfiction Books
American Roots Music
by Explores the creative outpouring of the geniuses who wrote uniquely American genres of folk music that originated in small communities.
Call Number: 781.62 Ame
Publication Date: 2001-09-01
American Ballads and Folk Songs
by Notes on each song, a bibliography, and an index round out this extensive and valuable collection.
Call Number: 784.4973 Ame
Publication Date: 1994-10-21
Chronicles: Vol. One
by Dylan keeps things interesting by jumping around in time. Also included is a lengthy account of starting out in Greenwich Village.
Call Number: B Dylan
Publication Date: 2005-09-13
Bound for Glory
by During the journey of discovery that was his life, Guthrie composed and sang words and music that have become a national heritage.
Call Number: B Guthrie
Publication Date: 1983-09-15
Pete Seeger: In His Own Words
by Nowhere is his life story more personally chronicled than in these, his private writings, documents, and letters stored for decades in his family barn.
Call Number: B Seeger
Publication Date: 2012-06-30
The Mayor of MacDougal Street: A Memoir
by A unique first-hand account by a major player in the social and musical history of the '50s and '60s.
Call Number: B VanRonk
Publication Date: 2005-04-12