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Lomax Family at the American Folklife Center

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About the Lomax Family Collections

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John Lomax, John Lomax, Jr., and John Lomax III, ca. 1946.
John Lomax, John Lomax, Jr., and John Lomax III, ca. 1946.
Bess Lomax Hawes collection (AFC 2014/008)
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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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Research questions about Lomax collections or questions regarding the use of Lomax collections:
Contact Todd Harvey, Lomax collection curator.

Lomax Centennial queries:
Contact Nancy Groce, coordinator American Folklife Center Lomax Centennial, or visit Lomax Centennial.

Media requests for Lomax Centennial:
Contact Steve Winick, American Folklife Center Writer / Editor.

To license Lomax collection material made prior to 1942:
Contact Todd Harvey, Lomax collection curator.

To license Lomax collection material made after 1942:
Contact the Association for Cultural Equity.

For other Lomax-related queries:
Contact Todd Harvey, Lomax collection curator.

 

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   November 21, 2014
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