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