Alan Lomax's Archive to Stream For Free

Late musicologist's extensive field recordings collection features Woody Guthrie, Muddy Waters

January 31, 2012 5:45 PM ET
alan lomax
Alan Lomax
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Alan Lomax's extensive archive of field recordings is being digitized for an online collection that will begin streaming by the end of February.

Some 17,000 of Lomax's recordings will be available for free, including early recordings of folk and blues legends such as Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly and Muddy Waters. Selections of the music in the Lomax archive will later be sold on CD and digital download. In addition to 5,000 hours of music, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs, 400,0000 feet of film and several manuscripts in Lomax's vast collection are also being digitized.

A digital sampler of Lomax's recordings, The Alan Lomax Collection from the American Folklife Center, was released today on the Global Jukebox label. It features 16 songs recorded at various locations throughout the ethnomusicologist's career, beginning with his earliest work in the mid-Thirties. 

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