Folklorist Alan Lomax believed that folk culture, particularly folk music, is essential to human society. His lifelong goal was to record and document traditional folk culture so that it could be preserved for future generations. From the time he left his position as head of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress in 1942 through the end of his career as an internationally known folklorist, author, radio broadcaster, filmmaker, record producer and television host, Lomax compiled one of the largest and most culturally significant collections of ethnographic material in the world.
Included in this collection are photographs, video footage and sound recordings of traditional singers, instrumentalists, and storytellers captured by Lomax during numerous trips to the American South, the Caribbean, Haiti, Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, France, Spain, Morocco, Romania, Russia and Italy. All of the material in the collection is available for personal viewing at the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center. Many of the sound recordings, photographs, and videos may also be accessed online through the Association for Cultural Equity, fulfilling Lomax’s dream of preserving traditional folk culture and making it universally accessible for all.