Alan Lomax—collector, radio host, writer, record producer, and scholar—is remembered for many things, not least his recordings of Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie, and Son House. In 1938 the Archive of American Folk-Song at the Library of Congress dispatched Lomax to complete a folklife survey of the Great Lakes region. He returned almost three months later with a cache of 250 discs and 8 reels of film. These materials documented the diversity of ethnicity in Michigan, as well as cultural expression among loggers and lake sailors.
This innovative e-publication celebrates the 1938 field trip with a compelling narrative illustrated with original items from the trip, including audio and video clips, field notes, and telegrams. Together, these materials provide fascinating insights into both the region that Lomax called “the most fertile source” of American folklore, and the man who would become the most famous 20th century folklorist in America.