Still in Need of Preservation

Two large collections have yet to be preserved. Alan Lomax, Irmgard Bartenieff, and Forrestine Paulay assembled The Dance & Movement Film Collection from 1962 to 1994 for their pioneering study of world dance. It consists of 150,000 feet of 16mm and 35mm of film from ca. 600 cultures. One of the most diverse libraries of dance film in the world, the Dance & Movement Film Collection contains ethnographic, documentary, and news films and footage produced by dozens of independent scholars, filmmakers, and journalists. While its special focus is on indigenous and folk dance and movement, it includes footage of modern dance, ballet, and classical dance traditions from Asia, Africa and Western Europe.

Lomax's collection of Field Recordings by Pioneering Collectors, represented in over 3000 hours of 1/4" tape, is the work of many scholars. Among them are Jaap Kunst (Holland; Indonesia); Isabel Aretz (Argentina); Fosco Mariani (Ainu); Giorgio Nataletti and Diego Carpitella (Lucania; Sardinia; Italian-Albanian enclaves); Georges Condominas (Vietnam); Svatava Pirkova Jakobson (Serbia and Czechoslovakia); Elizabeth Hopkins (Uganda); Pierre Gaisseau (Tribal New Guinea; Kuna, Panama); Chet Williams (Somalia); Frederica de Laguna (Pacific Northwest Indians); Helmuth Fuchs (Guajiro, Maquiritare, South America); Anne Chapman (Ona, Argentina); Bruno Nettl (Cheremis [Mari], Russia), Robert Gardner (Ethiopia); Francis Deng (Dinka, Sudan); Gilbert Rouget (West and Central Africa); Thomas Stanford, José Helmer (indigenous and Mestizo Mexico); Edith Gerson-Kiwi (Yemenite, Kurdish, Iraqi and other minority musics of the new Israel); Hugh Tracey (Anglophone Africa); Paul Bowles (Morocco); Malcolm Kirk (Asman, Irian Jaya, Trobriands, New Guinea); Tony Beamish and Ivan Polunin (Valley Laos, Xayaburi); Dick Katz (Khoisan, Kalahari); Lin Lerner and Chad Wollner (Ethiopia, multi-ethnic) are only a few. Many recordings came from the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University (Cecilia Hendricks, Palau); Archives of Radio Moscow (Anna Rudneva and others: Russia, Siberia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan); Australian Broadcasting System (Adolphus "A. P." Elkin: Aboriginal Australia and New Zealand; and Ray Sheridan: Papua New Guinea); National Museum of Canada, Ottawa and Columbia University (Laura Boulton: North American Hunters and Villagers); Archives of and the State Archives of Romania (Constantin Bräiloiu: Southern Transylvania); and The Library of Congress (Frances Densmore, Willard Rhodes and William N. Fenton: Native Americans from North America).

These two collections were assembled by ACE with special agreements and were used for research and in educational publications. Most are copies but may be the only extant ones. In 2004-2007, ACE contacted or attempted to contact the contributing scholars to update their addresses, confirm their status as custodians of the rights, and to notify them that their materials had been moved to The Library of Congress, where they constitute special collections.

We continue to seek funding to preserve both of these unique and important collections.



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