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Collection Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip

Research Materials

From The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip

Field Notes
The 307 pages of field notes, prepared by John and Ruby Lomax during and shortly after their recording trip, contain their itinerary, notes on the geography and culture of the regions visited, biographical and anecdotal information on some performers, historical and descriptive information on some recordings, excerpts from correspondence, lists of song titles, typed portions of song text, and handwritten song text. The original typed document was duplicated by the insertion of carbon between pages. When these duplicate pages contain different handwritten annotations, they have been included in this online presentation.

Trip Report
A draft of a 4-page report about the trip written by John Lomax.

Song Texts
Transcripts for 37 of the songs collected by the Lomaxes. In addition to the date and location of recording, notations include the names of performers from whom the texts were collected.

Disc Sleeves
Images and transcripts of the 104 extant record disc sleeves with notations by Ruby Lomax made on site as the discs were being recorded. These include the date and place of the recording, fragments of song text, and information about the songs and performers. There are also identifying Archive of American Folk Song (AFS) numbers in the upper left-hand corner.

Images and transcriptions of 57 items (110 pages) of correspondence written in the weeks before, during, and after the recording trip. The correspondence included in this collection comprises typed and handwritten manuscripts, telegrams, delivery receipts, and one business-size envelope. Much of the communication is between John Lomax and Harold Spivacke (1896-1983), chief of the Music Division from 1937 to 1972, regarding the progress of the expedition.

Annual Report
A ten-page excerpt from the Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress, this document provides contextual information about this trip and other activities at the Archive of American Folk Song undertaken in 1939.