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February 24, 2014

Alan Lomax’s 1938 Survey of Michigan Is Subject of E-Book Discussion

“‘Michigan I-O’” Features Video Clips, Audio and Illustrations

In 1938, the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress dispatched Alan Lomax to complete a folklife survey of the Great Lakes region. Almost three months later, Lomax returned with a cache of 250 discs and eight reels of film. These materials documented the diversity of ethnicities in Michigan, as well as cultural expression among loggers and lake sailors.

Author Todd Harvey of the American Folklife Center will discuss his new e-book, "‘Michigan I-O’: Alan Lomax and the 1938 Library of Congress Folksong Expedition" (Dust to Digital, from the iBookstore, 2014), on Wednesday, March 12, at noon in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event, co-presented by the Library’s Center for the Book, Publishing Office and American Folklife Center, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Harvey will be joined by editor Aimee Hess of the Publishing Office.

The Library of Congress acquired the Alan Lomax Collection in 2004.

Harvey’s multimedia e-book celebrates the 1938 field trip with a compelling narrative illustrated with original audio and video clips, field notes and telegrams. Lomax, who would go on to become the most famous folklorist in America, called this region "the most fertile source" of American folklore.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library's rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, established by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit read.gov.

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PR 14-036
02/24/14
ISSN 0731-3527

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