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Lomax Family at the American Folklife Center

About | Lomax collections online | List of Lomax collections

About the Lomax Family Collections

The Lomax family has a long history of collaboration with the Library of Congress. John A. Lomax, Sr., began a ten-year relationship with the Library in 1933, when he set out with his son Alan, then eighteen, on their first folksong gathering expedition under the Library's auspices. Together they visited Texas farms, prisons, and rural communities, recording work songs, reels, ballads, and blues. John Lomax was named "Honorary Consultant and Curator of the Archive of American Folk Song," which in 1928 had been created in the Library's Music Division. Alan became the Archive's "Assistant in Charge" in 1937, and he continued to make field trips and supply recordings to the Library until 1942. The Lomaxes recorded such legendary musicians as Huddie Ledbetter ("Lead Belly"), Vera Ward Hall, McKinley Morganfield ("Muddy Waters"), Aunt Molly Jackson, Son House, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Texas Gladden, Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton, and Woody Guthrie. Other members of the family — Ruby Terrill Lomax, Bess Lomax Hawes, and John A. Lomax, Jr. — took part in some of these field trips and have, over time, added their own work to the archive.

The entire body of Lomax material at the American Folklife Center encompasses more than 100 collections and includes 700 linear feet of manuscripts, 10,000 sound recordings, 6000 graphic images, and 6000 moving images. Created by Alan Lomax, John A. Lomax, Sr., and many others, the body of material documents the creative expression of nearly 1000 culture groups from around the world. Contact the Folklife Reading Room for inquiries about any of our collections.

Lomax Collections Available Online

After the Day of Infamy: "Man on the Street" Interviews Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
A presentation of approximately twelve hours of opinions recorded the days and months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor from over two hundred individuals in cities and towns across the United States.

Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal
This collection captures the culture and music of the men, women, and children who worked and lived along the Ohio and Erie Canal. Included are 75 songs, sung by Nye, along with transcribed lyrics, photographs, and personal letters Nye sent to the Library from 1937 to 1944.

Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip
Nearly 700 sound recordings, as well as fieldnotes, dust jackets, and other material that documents a three-month, 6,502-mile trip through the southern United States. John and Ruby Lomax traveled from Port Aransas, Texas to Washington, DC documenting folk singers and folksongs across a broad spectrum of traditional musical styles.

Woody Guthrie and the Archive of American Folk Song, Correspondence 1940-1950
A collection of letters that highlights the correspondence between Woody Guthrie and staff of the Archive of American Folk Song (now the Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center). The material provides a unique perspective on Woody Guthrie's past, his art, his life in New York City, and his feelings about WWII.

Lomax Collection (Prints & Photographs Division)
The collection includes 400 snapshot photographs made in the course of sound recording expeditions carried out by John A. Lomax, Alan Lomax, and Ruby Terrill Lomax, between 1934 and ca. 1950 for the Archive of American Folk-Song. The photographs were transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division from the Archive of American Folk-Song in 1950.

Association for Cultural Equity Online Archive external link
Many materials from the Alan Lomax Collection are available from the ACE online archive. Link to 17,000+ streaming audio recordings organized into 30 collections and totaling over 800 hours of music, stories and interviews; 5000 photographs in 10 collections; 300+ hours of radio programs, discussions, interviews and lectures; 300+ video clips in 7 collections.

John and Alan Lomax in Louisiana, 1934
Digital resource for the study of the 1934 John and Alan Lomax trip to lower Louisiana, where they recorded a diverse array of songs in English and in Louisiana French.

List of Lomax Collections at the American Folklife Center

Following is a list of 120 collections created by or about the Lomax family (John A. Lomax, Sr.; Ruby Terrill Lomax; John A. Lomax, Jr.; Alan Lomax; and Bess Lomax Hawes). All of these materials are housed in the American Folklife Center's archive.

John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax Papers, 1932-1942
call number: AFC 1933/001 | catalog record

Song Texts collection
call number: AFC 1933/002

Alan Lomax, Zora Neale Hurston, and Mary Elizabeth Barnicle expedition collection
call number: AFC 1935/001 | catalog record

John A. Lomax southern states collection, 1933-1937
call number: AFC 1935/002 | catalog record

Alan Lomax Recordings of Aunt Molly Jackson, September 1935
call number: AFC 1936/001 | catalog record

Alan and Elizabeth Lomax Kentucky collection
call number: AFC 1937/001 | catalog record

Captain Pearl R. Nye collection
call number: AFC 1937/002 | catalog record

John A. Lomax and Alton C. Morris Florida collection, 1937
call number: AFC 1937/004 | catalog record

Charles J. Finger recordings
call number: AFC 1937/005 | catalog record

Janie Ellis Mason and Alan Lomax recordings
call number: AFC 1937/006 | catalog record

John A. Lomax Southern States collection, 1937
call number: AFC 1937/007 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of Myra E. Hull
call number: AFC 1937/008 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of Los Tres Rancheros
call number: AFC 1937/009 | catalog record

Alan Lomax Haiti collection
call number: AFC 1937/010 | catalog record

Alan Lomax Recordings of Leadbelly, 1937
call number: AFC 1937/011 | catalog record

Jelly Roll Morton collection, 1938
call number: AFC 1938/001 | catalog record

John A. Lomax, Ruby T. Lomax, and Bess Lomax Old Fiddlers' Convention collection
call number: AFC 1938/003 | catalog record

Alan Lomax Ohio and Indiana collection
call number: AFC 1938/004 | catalog record

Kay Dealy and Alan Lomax recordings of Jennie Devlin
call number: AFC 1938/005 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of Francis P. Sullivan
call number: AFC 1938/007 | catalog record

Alan Lomax and Mary Elizabeth Barnicle collection
call number: AFC 1938/008 | catalog record

Alan Lomax 1938 Library of Congress Sessions collection
call number: AFC 1938/011 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of Will Geer and Burl Ives
call number: AFC 1938/012 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of labor songs from the Bryn Mawr summer labor college
call number: AFC 1938/013 | catalog record

John and Ruby Lomax 1939 southern states recording trip
call number: AFC 1939/001 | catalog record

Alan Lomax CBS radio series collection, 1939-1945
call number: AFC 1939/002 | catalog record

Alan Lomax collection of Michigan and Wisconsin recordings
call number: AFC 1939/007 | catalog record

John Hammond and Alan Lomax recordings of blues and jazz musicians
call number: AFC 1939/008 | catalog record

Frank A. Melton and Blaine Stubblefield recordings
call number: AFC 1939/009 | catalog record

Captain Richard Maitland recordings of sea shanties
call number: AFC 1939/011 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of Aunt Molly Jackson
call number: AFC 1939/012 | catalog record

Interview with George Harris
call number: AFC 1939/015 | catalog record

Alan Lomax and Helen Hartness Flanders recordings from New Hampshire and Vermont
call number: AFC 1939/020 | catalog record

Alan Lomax miscellaneous photographs, 1935-1950
call number: AFC 1939/021 | catalog record

Alan Lomax Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter recordings
call number: AFC 1939/023

Alan Lomax and Pete Seeger recordings of the Bog Trotters
call number: AFC 1939/024

John A. Lomax RCA Studio recordings, 1939
call number: AFC 1939/027

John and Ruby Lomax 1940 southern states recordings collection
call number: AFC 1940/003 | catalog record

Woody Guthrie manuscript collection
call number: AFC 1940/004 | catalog record

John A. Lomax recordings of Oda Smith
call number: AFC 1940/006 | catalog record

Alan Lomax collection of Woody Guthrie recordings
call number: AFC 1940/007 | catalog record

Alan Lomax and Jerome Wiesner recordings of Hobart Ricker
call number: AFC 1940/012 | catalog record

Alan Lomax collection of Emory Stroop recordings
call number: AFC 1940/015 | catalog record

John A. Lomax recordings of cowboy songs
call number: AFC 1940/016 | catalog record

John A. Lomax Oklahoma and Texas cylinder recordings
call number: AFC 1940/017 | catalog record

John A. Lomax African American folksong cylinder recordings
call number: AFC 1940/018 | catalog record

Jackie Foy recording
call number: AFC 1940/020

Library of Congress/Fisk University Mississippi Delta collection, 1941-1943
call number: AFC 1941/002 | catalog record

"Man-on-the-street" interviews collection
call number: AFC 1941/004 | catalog record

Radio Research Project manuscript collection
call number: AFC 1941/005

Alan Lomax recordings of rehearsals for White House program
call number: AFC 1941/006 | catalog record

Radio Research Project recordings
call number: AFC 1941/011 | catalog record

John A. Lomax Texas recordings, October 1941
call number: AFC 1941/017 | catalog record

Joan and Betty Raynor recordings
call number: AFC 1941/019 | catalog record

John A. Lomax recording of an Arkansas song
call number: AFC 1941/020 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of French Canadian folksongs
call number: AFC 1941/021 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of Carrie Grover
call number: AFC 1941/023 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, 1940
call number: AFC 1941/024 | catalog record

Robert MacGimsey recordings
call number: AFC 1941/026 | catalog record

Alan and Elizabeth Lomax collection of Virginia recordings
call number: AFC 1941/028 | catalog record

Wade Mainer recordings
call number: AFC 1941/030 | catalog record

Songs by Woody Guthrie
call number: AFC 1941/031 | catalog record

John M. (Sailor Dad) Hunt recording
call number: AFC 1941/036 | catalog record

Alan Lomax and Elizabeth Lomax photographs of Texas and Mexico, 1941
call number: AFC 1941/037 | catalog record

John A. Lomax Singing cowboy yodels
call number: AFC 1941/040

John A. Lomax Texas recordings, winter 1941
call number: AFC 1942/005 | catalog record

John A. Lomax Texas recordings, 1942
call number: AFC 1942/006 | catalog record

Alan Lomax Recordings of Mariana Schaupp
call number: AFC 1942/009 | catalog record

Barbara Bell recordings
call number: AFC 1942/010 | catalog record

Program of Negro folk song with commentary : emancipation celebration, 1940
call number: AFC 1942/011 | catalog record

Alan Lomax rehearsals for a White House folk concert
call number: AFC 1942/012

Almanac Singers and cowboy yodels recordings
call number: AFC 1942/013

John A. Lomax recordings of Jess Morris
call number: AFC 1942/014

Alan Lomax recording of Blaine Stubblefield singing "The Golden Vanity"
call number: AFC 1942/015 | catalog record

Songs and dialog from Isleta Pueblo in New Mexico
call number: AFC 1942/016

Michael Cruise recordings of fiddle runes and miners' stories
call number: AFC 1942/018 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee
call number: AFC 1942/021

Alan Lomax recordings from Smithville, Tennessee
call number: AFC 1943/002 | catalog record

Alan Lomax and George Pullen Jackson collection of Sacred Harp music
call number: AFC 1943/004 | catalog record

Alan Lomax Recordings from Saltville, Virginia
call number: AFC 1943/005 | catalog record

Alan Lomax recordings of Pete Seeger square dance calls
call number: AFC 1943/006 | catalog record

John A. Lomax Southwest recordings
call number: AFC 1943/011

Alan Lomax Kentucky recordings
call number: AFC 1943/023

John Becker and Alan Lomax recordings of Negro longshoremen from the Ball Steamship Company
call number: AFC 1944/013 | catalog record

Arkansas Folk Songs
call number: AFC 1948/020

John A. Lomax collection of Dick Devall cowboy songs
call number: AFC 1948/021 | catalog record

Your Ballad Man: The People's Songbag, hosted by Alan Lomax
call number: AFC 1948/109 | catalog record

Bess Lomax collection of Bund songs
call number: AFC 1950/039

John A. Lomax Jr., Pete Seeger, and Toshi Seeger recordings, 1951
call number: AFC 1953/004 | catalog record

Dave Ricker recordings of Earl Collins
call number: AFC 1971/009 | catalog record

Archive of Folk Song Fiftieth Anniversary symposium, concert, and exhibit collection
call number: AFC 1978/030

Berkeley Folk Festival, 1960
call number: AFC 1979/071 | catalog record

John A. Lomax, Jr. Song repertoire collection
call number: AFC 1983/010

John Q. Anderson collection
call number: AFC 1983/027

American Dialect Society collection, 1931-1937
call number: AFC 1984/011 | catalog record

Alan Lomax "Cantometrics" collection
call number: AFC 1984/061

Alan Lomax Louisa Butler Lullaby collection
call number: AFC 1984/087

National Endowment for the Arts, Folk Arts Program collection, 1970-
call number: AFC 1985/011 | catalog record

Alan Lomax interview and news broadcast, 1986 July 15
call number: AFC 1987/022 | catalog record

Karen Cardullo collection on Ruth Crawford Seeger, 1940-1979
call number: AFC 1988/008 | catalog record

Center for Popular Music / Roots of American Popular Music
call number: AFC 1989/010

"Conversations with Texans" collection
call number: AFC 1990/007

Films from the Archive of American Folk Song, 1937-1942
call number: AFC 1990/017

Alan Lomax collection
call number: AFC 2004/004 | catalog record

Bess Lomax Hawes oral history, 2004-04-25
call number: AFC 2004/049 | catalog record

A celebration of the acquisition of the Alan Lomax Collection, Library of Congress, American Folklife Center, 2004-03-25
call number: AFC 2004/050 | catalog record

Lomax the Songhunter by Rogier Kappers
call number: AFC 2006/045

Mr. Jelly Roll, Mr. Lomax, and the Invention of Jazz, Concert and Lecture featuring Dave Burrell and John Szwed
call number: AFC 2006/048

The National Chorus of the Church of God and Saints of Christ and Judith Cohen Concert
call number: AFC 2006/049

The Lomax Legacy: Folklore in a Globalizing Century
call number: AFC 2006/050

Alan Lomax FBI file
call number: AFC 2006/054

Reengaging Blues Narratives: Alan Lomax, Jelly Roll Morton and W.C. Handy by Vic Hobson
call number: AFC 2008/041 | catalog record

"Alan Lomax, The Man Who Recorded the World: A Bio-Ethnography" lecture by John Szwed
call number: AFC 2010/008 | catalog record

Joan Halifax collection
call number: AFC 2011/020

Joan Halifax interview conducted by Todd Harvey
call number: AFC 2011/021

Writing archives / crafting order : a critique on the longstanding archival practices of arrangement and description by Bertram Lyons
call number: AFC 2011/046 | catalog record

Alan Lomax Photographs and the music of Williamsburg (1959-1960) / by Peggy Finley Aarlien
call number: AFC 2011/051 | catalog record

Bentley Historical Library collection
call number: AFC 2011/055 | catalog record

Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937-1946, lecture by Jim Leary
call number: AFC 2013/026 | catalog record

 

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