Repatriation Projects

Alan Lomax recording in Dominica, 1962. Photo by Antoinette Marchand.

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.

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.

Recent Repatriations

Folksongs from Another America – Lomax’s Upper Midwest recordings

2015, Lomax’s Centennial year, has been an exciting one with regard to his 1938 recordings made in Michigan. With the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, ACE has been able to collaborate with several diverse partners to bring …

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Photo Exhibition in Genoa, Italy

A photo exhibition entitled 1954-1955 Alan Lomax in Italia will be on display until Sunday, September 27th at the Palazzo Ducale, Spazio Aperto, in Genoa, Italy. Organized by Laura Parodi and Goffredo Plastino, it features photos taken by Alan during his time in Italy.

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Lomax Centennial events at Seedtime On the Cumberland

Starting June 5th and 6th, the Appalshop of Whitesburg, Kentucky, will be conducting a series of public programming and activities across the region that celebrate both the material that Alan Lomax collected and the communities and traditions he documented. These events will include performances of Lomax material by contemporary artists, collecting of stories from descendants and neighbors of people Lomax recorded, and public forums with noted scholars and folklorists.

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Educational Events in Mississippi

Dr. Patricia Campbell, our partner in educational outreach, will be leading several events this week in Mississippi. These lectures and workshops are a follow-up to our 2013 Mississippi Repatriation project.

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See a full list of our repatriation sites here.

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