Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter to Alan Lomax Regarding the Voyager Golden Record

Format Manuscripts/Mixed Material
Contributors Lomax, Alan
Sagan, Carl
Language English
Subjects Communication in Science
Extraterrestrial Life
Life on Other Planets
Lomax, Alan
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Outer Space
Sagan, Carl
Voyager Golden Record
Voyager Project (U.S.)
Letter to Alan Lomax Regarding the Voyager Golden Record
Contributor Names
Lomax, Alan (Correspondent)
Sagan, Carl (Author)
Created / Published
June 6, 1977
Subject Headings
-  Sagan, Carl
-  Communication in science
-  Extraterrestrial life
-  Life on other planets
-  Outer space--Exploration
-  National Aeronautics and Space Administration
-  Voyager Golden Record
-  Voyager Project (U.S.)
-  Lomax, Alan
-  Ethnomusicology
-  Correspondence
-  Carl Sagan thanks Alan Lomax for agreeing to contribute his expertise in ethnomusicology to the help make final musical selections for the Voyager Golden Record. Voyager Golden Records are phonograph records which were included aboard both Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in 1977. They contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find them. In this letter, Sagan describes the Voyager mission and explains that the record has "a probable lifetime of a billion years" noting that "it is unlikely that many other artifacts of humanity will survive for so prodigious a period of time."
Dimensions in inches: 11 x 8 1/2
Call Number
AFC 2004/004: Folder 13.04.15 (6/6)(1/2) Voyager (NASA) correspondence, notes, research documents 1977-1992; Carl Sagan; Warner New Media, Blake Lewis
Source Collection
Alan Lomax Collection (AFC 2004/004)
American Folklife Center

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress has digitized various items from numerous Library of Congress collections to create the online collection Finding our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond. As a result, the individual collection items may have varying rights and access restrictions. Whenever possible, the Library of Congress provides factual information about copyright owners and related matters in the catalog records, finding aids and other texts that accompany collections. For further information with respect to a specific collection item, see the associated rights & access statement on the individualized web page displaying that specific collection item.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and generally does not grant or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Permission and possible fees may be required from the copyright owner independently of the Library. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the Library's collections. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Researchers must make their own assessments of rights in light of their intended use.

If you have any more information about an item you've seen on our website or if you are the copyright owner and believe our website has not properly attributed your work to you or has used it without permission, we want to hear from you. Please contact with your contact information and a link to the relevant content.

View more information about copyright law from the U.S. Copyright Office

Rights assessment is your responsibility.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.