Alan Lomax, the American folklorist and ethnomusicologist, has long been regarded as one of the great field collectors of folk music.
His personal project with The Association for Cultural Equity is set to stream 17,000 tracks recorded by Lomax, which includes tracks from Ireland, the U.S., Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the Caribbean.
For the majority of the 20th century, Lomax spent his time collecting and promoting folk music. According to the New York Times, the digital archive has more than 5,000 hours of sound recording, 3,000 videotapes and 4 million feet of film.
Lomax’s website of recordings will be released this month via Global Jukebox. The site allows visitors to listen for free and will eventually sell mp3s and CDs of the recordings. It is reported that most of the recordings have never been released to the public.
Anna Lomax Wood, Lomax’s daughter says, “This project has evolved as the technology has evolved. This is the biggest private collection of dance film anywhere, and from everywhere.”