Alan Lomax was a pioneer in the repatriation of cultural documentation. He deposited copies of his large collections in national archives at a time when tape and disc media made it difficult and expensive to do so, and, whenever possible, sent recordings to his colleagues and sources in the field.

As we practice it at ACE, repatriation is the return of documentation by scholars and others to source communities and artists and their families, in accessible and educational forms--and within the context of a kind negotiation and support, on the ground, which can  help prepare local institutions, community members, and leaders to curate and take charge of it.   

ACE joins with libraries and cultural organizations to bring home the compelling music, photographs, film, video, interviews, and research from the Alan Lomax Archive, reaching out as well to their virtual and diasporic communities. Collaborating with our local partners, we arrange for the families of the artists to take part in a formal repatriation ceremony and be given copies of "their" media. We encourage full use of these materials, including their integration into school curricula, museum collections, and radio programming, and we offer resources and counsel to help implement such cultural feedback strategies. We also develop associated lesson plans and teacher workshops.

ACE repatriation projects are ongoing in the U.S., Spain, Italy, and the Caribbean. Our goal is to reconnect people with their musical roots and to revitalize musical communities. We rely on donations to support these projects that encourage local communities to take pride in their great folk artists and cultures.

Our latest repatriations

Partners in Repatriation

High quality digital copies of all recordings, photographs, logs, and notes, as indicated

United States

The Historic Lomax Mississippi Recordings, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS. Oct 1, 2018. Recordings and video from the 1933-1943 Mississippi Recordings.
Films at the St. James Missionary Baptist Church, in Canton, Mississippi, South Arts, Canton, MS, St. James Church, Canton, MS. April 8, 2017. Films and video.
2014-2015 Kentucky Repatriation, Appalshop, Berea College, University of Kentucky. September 19-20, 2015.
Folksongs from Another America – Lomax’s Upper Midwest recordings, Michigan State University Museum. 2013. Field recordings.
Seedtime on the Cumberland, Appalshop, Whitesburg, Kentucky. June 5-6, 2015.
Tate and Panola Counties, Mississippi, Emily J. Pointer Public Library, Como, Mississippi. October 5-12, 2013.
Appalachian Recordings, 1946; 1959; 1982–1983, Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at Ferrum College, Ferrum, VA. 2006. Recordings and video.
African-American and Afro-Caribbean field recordings, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library. Field recordings and video.
Mississippi Delta and Hill Country, 1946—1948; 1959; 1978, Blues Archive, University of Mississippi Library, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS. Recordings and video.
Georgia Sea Islands and Johns Island; South Carolina; and Central Park, Avery Research Center for African-American History and Culture, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC. Field recordings and video.
Alabama and Sacred Harp Singing in Georgia, Alabama Center for Traditional Culture, Montgomery, AL. 2004. Recordings.
New Orleans Field Recordings, 1949 and 1982, Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. Recordings and video.
Cajun Recordings, Edith Garland Dupré Library, University of Southwest Louisiana, Lafayette, LA. Video recordings of Cajun folklife, 1982—1985.


Locorotondo 2018, Parish Hall, Locorotondo, Italy. April 28, 2018.
Cinquefrondi, Calabria, Italy, Mediateca Comunale “Pasquale Creazzo”. April 21, 2011. Photographs and recordings.
Romanian Field Recordings, Institutul de Etnografie si Folclor "C. Brailoiu," Bucharest, Romania. Recordings.
Andalucia, Spain, 1952, Campanilleros de Bormujos, Bormujos, Seville, Spain (Francisco Jose Reina Librero, Director). Recordings and photos.
Western Spain repatriation, Caceres, Arroyo de la Luz Town Hall, Arroyo de la Luz, Caceres, Spain. Recordings and photos.
Naples recordings at RAI, Archivio Sonoro della Canzone Napoletana della RAI, Naples, Italy. Recordings made in the city of Naples, 1955
Compagnia Sacco Recordings from Ceriana, Baiardo and Imperia, Fondazione Gian Maria Rubini, Imperia Province, Liguria, Italy.
Irpinia: Montemarano, Sant'Andrea di Conza, Mercogliano, Montecalvo Irpino (Avellino province, Campania); and Muro Lucano (Potenza province, Basicilicata), Museo Etnomusicale di Montemarano, Celestino Coscia & Antonio Bocchino. July 8. 2014. Recordings and photographs.
Asturias recordings, Muséu del Pueblu d'Asturies, Gijón, Asturias, Spain. Recordings and photographs.


UWI receives Alan Lomax and JD Elder Collection, Alma Jordan Library at Trinidad's University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine, Trinidad, WI. June 18, 2012. Recordings made in the Eastern Caribbean in 1962.
The Eastern Caribbean, 1962, Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College, Chicago, IL. 2010-2011. Recordings (60 hours).
St. Lucia 1962 recordings, Folk Research Center/Plas Wischès Foklo (FRC), St. Lucia. June 18, 2006. Recordings, photographs, and notes.
ACE/CBMR French Antilles Repatriation, Conseil Général de la Guadeloupe. July 9, 2007. Sound recordings, images, manuscripts, correspondence.
Nevis and St. Kitts, 1962, Nevis Historical and Conservation Society, Charlestown, Nevis, Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago. November 14, 2005. Recordings and photographs.
French Antilles (Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Barthelémy, Dominica) , La Médiathèque Caraibe Bettino Lara, Général de Guadeloupe, Basse Terre, Guadeloupe. July 8, 2007. Recordings and photographs.