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Lomax Family Collections at the American Folklife Center

Alan Lomax Collection

Alan Lomax, 1959
Alan Lomax, 1959.
Bess Lomax Hawes collection (AFC 2014/008)

*New online: Manuscripts from the Alan Lomax Collection

In March 2004, the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress acquired the Alan Lomax Collection, which comprises the unparalleled ethnographic documentation collected by the legendary folklorist over a period of sixty years. The acquisition was made possible through a cooperative agreement between the American Folklife Center (AFC) and the Lomax Digital Archive,external link and the generosity of an anonymous donor. The Alan Lomax Collection joins the material Alan Lomax collected during the 1930s and early 1940s for the Library's Archive of American Folk-Song, and its acquisition brings the entire seventy years of Alan Lomax's work together under one roof at the Library of Congress, where it has found a permanent home.

The Alan Lomax Collection (AFC 2004/004) contains approximately 650 linear feet of manuscripts, 6400 sound recordings, 5500 graphic images, and 6000 moving images of ethnographic material created and collected by Alan Lomax and others in their work documenting song, music, dance, and body movement from many cultures. The collection includes field recordings and photographs Lomax made in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, England, France, Georgia, Haiti, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Spain, the United States, and Wales, 1930s-2004. Indexes for many of these materials are available upon request. Many materials are also available online through the Lomax Digital Archive,external link and the Alan Lomax YouTube channel external link.

The collection can be accessed in the Folklife Reading Room, located in the Jefferson Building (room LJ G-53). While appointments are not necessary, we recommend that you contact us before your visit to allow us enough time to locate collection materials and to provide you with any additional information you might need. All researchers must obtain a Reader Registration card prior to doing research in any Library of Congress reading rooms.

For research requests contact Todd Harvey, Curator, Alan Lomax Collection, [email protected], 202-707-8245.

For questions about permissions and licensing contact: Alan Lomax Collection and Lomax Digital Archive, permissions.external link


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   August 12, 2021
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