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Jon B. Lovelace Fellowship for the Study of the Alan Lomax Collection

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Alan Lomax, seated portrait.
Alan Lomax in 1959. Bess Lomax Hawes Collection (AFC 2014/008)

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress invites qualified scholars to apply for a post-doctoral fellowship for advanced research based on the Alan Lomax Collection. The Lovelace Fellowship, established in 2015 for the study of the Alan Lomax Collection, pays tribute to the 60-year friendship between philanthropist Jon B. Lovelace and James H. Billington, who served as Librarian of Congress from 1987-2015. Under Billington’s leadership and through the generous benefaction of Jon and Lillian Lovelace, the Alan Lomax Collection was acquired in 1999 by the American Folklife Center and the Association for Cultural Equity at Hunter College. The Lomax Collection is a major collection of ethnographic field audio recordings, motion pictures, photographs, manuscripts, correspondence and other materials that represent Lomax’s lifetime of work to document and analyze traditional music, dance, storytelling and other expressive genres that arise from cultural groups in many parts of the world, particularly the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the Caribbean. Lomax (1915-2002) was one of the greatest documenters of traditional culture during the twentieth century.

The Jon B. Lovelace Fellowship supports scholarly research that contributes significantly to a greater understanding of the work of Alan Lomax and the cultural traditions he documented over the course of a vigorous and highly productive seventy-year career. It provides an opportunity, for a period of up to 8 months, for concentrated use of materials from the Alan Lomax Collection, Lomax Family Collections, and other collections of the Library of Congress, through full-time residency at the Library. The fellowship program supports research projects in the disciplines of anthropology, ethnomusicology, ethnography, ethno-history, dance, folklore and folklife, history, literature, linguistics, and movement analysis, with particular emphasis on the traditional music, dance, and narrative of the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the Caribbean, as well as methodologies for their documentation and analysis. We encourage interdisciplinary projects that combine disciplines in novel and productive ways.


Applicants may be of any nationality. A Ph.D. degree or equivalent terminal degree is preferred.

Tenure & Stipend

The Jon B. Lovelace Fellowship in Folklife Studies is for a period of up to 8 months, at a stipend of $4,200 per month, for residential research at the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress will pay stipends monthly by means of electronic transfer to a U.S. bank account. Transportation arrangements, housing, and health care insurance and costs are the responsibility of the Fellow. The Library will provide Fellows with information on housing and can provide Fellows with contacts for commercial providers of health care insurance. The Library is required to ensure that nonresident alien visitors maintain minimum levels of medical insurance, and will provide information about insurers that offer qualifying policies to nonresident aliens.


Applicants must submit:

  • A completed application form, in English
  • A curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages; additional pages will be discarded)
  • A single paragraph abstract
  • A statement of proposed research (maximum 3 pages)
  • An explanation of why the Library of Congress is the required venue for your research (maximum 1 paragraph)
  • A bibliography of works you have consulted for your proposal (maximum 3 pages)
  • 3 references with completed reference forms from people who have read the research proposal. These references may not be from a staff member of the Library of Congress.

Successful proposals will clearly indicate the purpose and principal scholarly contribution of the project, and the benefit to the project of working in the Library of Congress using the Lomax materials and, if applicable, the Library’s other collections.

Due Date

The next deadline for applications is February 1, 2017. Application materials must be submitted by the deadline date via the Kluge Center’s online application system.


The Lovelace Fellow is expected to develop research of a publishable quality. As a Library of Congress resident scholar, fellows are also expected to make at least one public presentation about their research and to participate actively in Kluge Center events and programs as appropriate.

Contact Information

Completed application packets should be submitted via the Kluge Center’s online application system. Applications submitted via email, fax, or regular mail will not be considered. For questions about application procedures, the online application system, eligibility, stipend or deadlines, please email [email protected] or write to us at:

Jon B. Lovelace Fellowship for the Study of the Alan Lomax Collection
The John W. Kluge Center
Library of Congress, LJ-120
101 Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20540-4860
tel. (202) 707-3302; fax (202) 707-3595
email: [email protected]

For questions concerning the collections, please contact:

Todd Harvey
Lomax Curator
The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
tel. (202) 707-8245
email: [email protected]

Learn more about the collections:

Introduction, biography, and full list of collections:

Lomax Family Collections at the Library of Congress

Collection materials online:

Association for Cultural Equity (also includes biographical materials)

Alan Lomax Collection (manuscripts)

Alan Lomax Collection of Michigan and Wisconsin Recordings

Lomax Kentucky Collections (online presentation includes the Alan and Elizabeth Lomax Kentucky recordings)

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