The American Folklife Center today launched the online publication of the Lomax Family manuscripts, with access to 25,000 pages created primarily by folklorist Alan Lomax during the 1940s and 1950s. . More than 350,000 pages from the 100 archival collections documenting the work of John A. Lomax Sr., Ruby Terrill Lomax, Alan Lomax, Bess Lomax Hawes and John A. Lomax Jr. will become available to the public during the next year.
Researchers will now have online access to the writings of the Lomax family: the field notes, logs and indexes related to these unparalleled collections, as well as their correspondence and their academic and creative writing projects. Resources are accompanied by subject guides to assist researchers as they explore this unique corpus.
Items of note include Alan Lomax’s 1942 field notebook made during his famed trip with a Fisk University team to the Mississippi Delta. In his interview of 29-year-old Muddy Waters, Lomax writes, “Been knowing Son House since ’29. Learned how to play bottle neck from him by watching him for about a year.” In addition, also available are Alan’s CBS radio scripts, voluminous correspondence with scholars such as Carl Sagan and George Herzog and his drafts for the unpublished “Big Ballad Book.”
This presentation of manuscripts complements an array of existing online Lomax materials, including the Library’s disc recordings from Ohio (1938), Michigan (1938) and the South (1939) and the Lomaxes’ 1934 recordings from Louisiana (lomax1934.com), a digital resource from recent John W. Kluge Center Alan Lomax Fellow Joshua Caffery.
In addition, AFC partners The Association for Cultural Equity, the University of Kentucky and Berea College have worked with the center to present Lomax sound recordings, photographs, and videos.
Read the Complete Announcement