British Isles, 1950-1958
Alan Lomax decamped from the United States to Europe during the 1950s. Ostensibly contracted to produce the multivolume Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music recording anthology, Lomax also recorded dozens of radio programs for the BBC. Like many Americans in the arts and broadcast fields, however, the move was precipitated by the anti-communist blacklist. Based in London, Lomax made extensive field trips to Spain (1952-1953) and Italy (1954-1955), but a recurring focus of collecting and broadcasting was the British Isles. The pages in this project include correspondence, interview and song transcriptions, and Lomax's field notebooks. They combine to provide a picture of a "Ballad Hunter in Britain," and convey his love for its rich expressive culture.