Alan Lomax’s life’s work now available in the ACE Online Archive

The Alan Lomax Archive and the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE) is pleased to announce the launch of the ACE Online Archive – the fulfillment of over a decade of the restoration, digitization, and cataloging of Alan Lomax’s life’s work. ACE Executive Director Don Fleming appeared on The Colbert Report last night, March 8 accompanied by Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris discussing Lomax’s work. You can view that here:

Considered America’s foremost folklorist, Lomax devoted seven decades to documentation, research, and advocating for cause of cultural equity, which he defined as “the right of every culture to express and develop its distinctive heritage.” The ACE Online Archive includes nearly 17,000 full-streaming audio field-recordings, totaling over eight hundred hours, collected by Lomax between 1946 and 1991; scans of 5,000 photographic prints and negatives; sixteen hours of vintage radio transcriptions; and ninety hours of interviews, discussions, and lectures by Alan Lomax and his colleagues. Each media collection can be browsed as well as searched, and is accompanied by detailed descriptions. I hope you’ll consider doing a feature or news story on ACE and it’s current initiatives.

Materials from the sound, photograph and video collections have been used in film, television, and print; Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers are among the filmmakers who have utilized them. Alan Lomax’s field recordings have been used as samples in many modern compositions, including Moby’s “Natural Blues,” from the album Play, and in the new Bruce Springsteen album Wrecking Ball, which features samples from Lomax’s archive on two of the songs, “Death to My Hometown” and “Rocky Ground.”

Additional sessions will be added to the ACE Online Archive when restoration and cataloging is complete. These will include Lomax’s 1954-55 Italian and 1985 Louisiana expeditions and several of his collections made under the auspices of the Library of Congress; among them his 1937 Haiti and Eastern Kentucky collections.


ACE Online Archive homepage:

Sound Collection Guide:

Photograph Collection Guide:

Alan Lomax Archive and the Association for Cultural Equity: