Field Recordings in Archives: Preservation and Related Issues – A Continuing Dialogue

The Center for Folklife, History and Cultural Programs at the Crandall Public Library in Glen Falls, NY,  hosted a successful forum on November 28, co-sponsored by the New York Folklore Society and the Southern Adirondack Library System, and organized by Todd DeGarmo, the Center’s Director. Anna Lomax Wood and the staff of the Alan Lomax Archive at the Association for Cultural Equity in NYC came Upstate to talk about the issues they face in preserving and providing access to the enormous collection of songcatcher Alan Lomax. Entitled “Preserving and Promoting,” they discussed topics such as Alan Lomax and his work, sound preservation, licensing and copyright issues, access and promotion of works in the collection, public database access, and successful genealogy use to track down musicians and heirs for copyright payments. In attendance was a nice group of librarians, archivists, and folklorists. In conjunction, the Center for Folklife has mounted a fascinating exhibition of Alan Lomax’s field photography from the American South, Italy, Spain, and the West Indies, that is open for public viewing through January 15, 2002. It is good to see this underappreciated aspect of Alan Lomax’s fieldwork get its due. The attendees came from as far away as Buffalo and the North Country, which was very rewarding for us.

Originally posted: November 28, 2001