some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts.
Lomax was an ethnographer who traveled throughout the U.S. and, eventually, the world to record people playing music and talking about their art. He later became interested in dance and performance. His recordings document musical traditions from around the world and are an unparalleled resource for musicians and historians. Now, the collection is in the process of being fully digitized and made available for free on the internet.
As I work on my dissertation and contemplate my career prospects, I am constantly confronting questions about the roles of scholarship, academia, and education in an era in which an unimaginable amount of information is available to anyone with a computer. What’s the role of researchers, writers, and educators when everyone can find the answers to their questions with a Google search? Reading about this enormous digital collection helped me figure out a way to articulate an answer.