Alan Lomax ‘Global Jukebox’ Goes Digital

One of the greatest ethnomusicologists ever is getting a wider audience.












From the NYT Online:

A decade after his death technology has finally caught up to Lomax’s imagination. Just as he dreamed, his vast archive — some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online. About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February, and later some of that music may be for sale as CDs or digital downloads.

On Tuesday, to commemorate what would have been Lomax’s 97th birthday, the Global Jukebox label is releasing “The Alan Lomax Collection From the American Folklife Center,” a digital download sampler of 16 field recordings from different locales and stages of Lomax’s career.


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We had no idea!

The Smithsonian has an online streaming radio station. Amazing, right?

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YouTube, and Now The Smithsonian Do Too

FROM The LOC Blog: Posted / April 7th, 2009 / Matt Raymond

Well, this is a day that has been a long time in coming. The Library of Congress has been working for several months now so that we could “do YouTube right.” When you’re the stewards of the world’s largest collection of audiovisual materials … nothing less would be expected of you, and our own YouTube channel has now gone public.

We are starting with more than 70 videos, arranged in the following playlists: 2008 National Book Festival author presentations, the Books and Beyond author series, Journeys and Crossings (a series of curator discussions), “Westinghouse” industrial films from 1904 [snip], scholar discussions from the John W. Kluge Center, and the earliest movies made by Thomas Edison, including the first moving image ever mad (curiously enough, a sneeze by a man named Fred Ott).
But this is just the beginning. We have made a conscious decision that we’re not just going to upload a bunch of videos and then walk away. As with our popular Flickr pilot project, we intend to keep uploading additional content.

Not so incidentally, all of the videos we post on YouTube will also be available at … [and] on American Memory … .
Library of Congress YouTube Playlist

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The University of Texas School of Architecture’s Visual Resources Collection

The UT VRC has produced a bunch of videos now available on YouTube.
Check them out!

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Penn Museum + Internet Archive

The Penn Museum and the Internet Archive have teamed up to digitize and stream much of their unidentified film collection.

Penn Museum has for over 120 years collected materials representing the cultural history of the world, including artifacts and materials of archaeological and anthropological significance. The film archives contains over 1800 items, the majority of which are unique 16mm original reversal films, mainly amateur travelogues filmed all over the world, from the 1920’s through the 1970’s. The remainder of the collection consists mostly of films of archaeological digs and expeditions, smaller collections of anthropological fieldwork films, and a few produced films and television shows originally shot on film.

Plans for the future of the collection include subject cataloging for greater access (including collaborative tagging with indigenous or source communities), integration of the collection with exhibitions of the Museum, and interpretive online film exhibits on subjects including travelogue film and tourism.”

Check out the Beta collection Here.

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The archaeologist and the artist meet up to talk about presence


video link

“In 2005, Michael Shanks, the Omar and Althea Hoskins Professor of Classical Archaeology at Stanford University and director of the Archaeology Center’s Metamedia Lab, and three colleagues started The Presence Project to explore issues of presence and documentation across the arts and sciences. Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, whose work has been shown at more than 200 major institutions and is part of the permanent collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, joined soon after and, together with Shanks and others in the Stanford Humanities Lab, created Life to the Second Power, an online encounter with her archive. As they see the project through to its completion in 2010, Shanks and Hershman Leeson plan to further explore memory, identity, and place. Seed invited them to advance the conversation.”

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Good News From

The National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship is the highest honor that our nation bestows upon its folk and traditional artists. Each year, ten to thirteen individuals, “national living treasures” from across the nation, are chosen to
receive this one-time-only Fellowship in recognition of lifetime achievement, artistic excellence and contributions to our nation’s
cultural heritage.

This years’ recipients include two related to films on

Nick Benson, son of John “Fud” Benson, the stone carver featured in “Final Marks.” Nick Benson continues the stone carving tradition of his father and grandfather at the John Stevens Shop in Newport, R.I., founded in 1705 and in continuous operation since that date.

Another artist getting the award this year is African American string band musician Joe Thompson of Mebane, N.C. He appears in Alan Lomax’s “Appalachian Journey,”

Other artists given this award in previous years also appear in films
on Folkstreams, Read more…

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Have you listened to these yet?

The Arts Libraries includes some extensive and amazing audio databases. Not just music, but speeches, poetry and much more can be found.

Our two newest database collections of audio are from Naxos Jazz which represents many leading jazz labels,and Naxos Music Library which is rich in classical music content.

For Vintage jazz, blues, ragtime, stage, gospel and other forms of African American musical expression check out African American Song

For over 52,000 audio tracks of classical music from the Medieval to the contemporary, with chamber music, symphonies, choral music, solo vocal and instrumental, and other forms, go to The Classical Music Library

Smithsonian Global Sound has audio tracks and related texts documenting the world’s musical traditions, along with spoken word recordings such as political speeches, and even nature sounds. The music ranges from remote cultures worldwide to famous folk musicians. Over 35,000 tracks are available!

The Database of Recorded American Music contains a wide spectrum of North American (USA) music, from 19th century to contemporary compositions, electronic music, folk, jazz, Native American music, opera and musical theater.

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