Anna Lomax Wood of ACE and Todd Harvey of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress gave presentations on the blues in four Baltic countries in honor of Black History month. The speaking tour was a program of the U.S. Department of State and was sponsored by the American Embassies in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in partnership with local universities and cultural institutions. The multi-media presentation, entitled “Seeking the Roots: the Lomax Legacy,” explored the development of early blues and related genres through the work of Texas folklorists John and Alan Lomax, who were among the pioneers in collecting and disseminating African American and Afro-Caribbean folk song.
Harvey and Wood also visited leading folklore and ethnomusicology archives in the Baltic countries to learn about their collections and methods of preservation and digitization. We thank Stacey Rose-Blass of the U.S. State Department, the Embassy Public Affairs officers and their staffs, and our host institutions in the Baltic, for helping to make the tour a success.
Originally posted: February 1, 2008