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Hawes (Bess Lomax) Student Folklore Collection
URB.BLH  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical Information:
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Access:
  • Conditions Governing Use:
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • General
  • Preferred Citation:
  • Processing Information:

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Bess Lomax Hawes Student Folklore Collection
    Creator: Hawes, Bess Lomax, 1921-2009
    Identifier/Call Number: URB.BLH
    Extent: 10.50 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1959-1975
    Abstract: Bess Lomax Hawes is the daughter of famed folklorist John A. Lomax. Ms. Hawes had an active musical career as a singer, instrumentalist and songwriter. Her career as an educator began in 1954 when she became an instructor in guitar, banjo and folk music in the extension division at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1963, she joined the Anthropology Department at San Fernando Valley State College. The material contained in this collection consists of folkloric data collected between 1958 and 1977 by students enrolled in Anthropology 309: American Folk Music, Anthropology 311: Introduction to Folklore, and various senior seminars at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge).
    Language of Material: English

    Biographical Information:

    Bess Lomax Hawes was born in Austin, Texas in 1921 to Bess Bauman-Brown Lomax and John A. Lomax, famed folklorist and author of Cowboy Songs, American Ballads and Folksongs, Adventures of a Ballad Hunter, and director of the Archive of American Folksong at the Library of Congress. She is also the sister of folklorist Alan Lomax, author of Mr. Jelly Roll, Folksongs of North America, Folk Song Style and Culture, and editor of the Columbia World Library of Folk Music and the Global Jukebox.
    Ms. Lomax Hawes' education and training includes a B.A. in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania and an M.A. in folklore from the Department of Anthropology, University of California Berkeley. She held two honorary Ph.D.'s from Kenyon College, Ohio and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
    From 1941 to 1952 Bess Lomax Hawes had an active musical career as a singer and instrumentalist with the Almanac Singers, a topical song group which included well-known folk musicians Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. She also performed on a number of sound recordings including Talking Union, Citizen CIO and Folkways recordings American Folk Songs, Songs of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and Woody Guthrie Sings Folk Songs. As a parodist and songwriter, she co-authored the Kingston Trio hit "Charlie on the MTA."
    Her career as an educator began in 1954 when she became an instructor in guitar, banjo, and folk music in the extension division at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1961, she became a part time instructor in folk music, folklore, and ethnomusicology at University of California, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University Northridge), and Los Angeles State College. In 1963, she joined the Anthropology Department at San Fernando Valley State College as an assistant professor. She received tenure in 1968, and became a full professor in 1974.
    Throughout her career, Bess Lomax Hawes' ongoing research interest as a folklorist and ethnomusicologist focused on child lore. She produced and directed the 1968 film titled Pizza Pizza Daddy-O, a film on traditional African American children's singing games. She authored a number of books and papers including; Step it Down: Games, Plays, Songs and Stories from the African American Heritage, co-authored with Georgia folk singer Bessie Smith Jones, "Law and Order on the Playground," and "Folksongs and Function: Some Thoughts on the American Lullaby." For a complete listing of Bess Lomax Hawes' published works, honors and positions please see her vitae included in the published works file at the end of the collection.

    Scope and Contents

    The Bess Lomax Hawes Student Folklore Collection consists of folkloric data collected between 1958 and 1977 by students enrolled in Anthropology 309: American Folk Music, Anthropology 311: Introduction to Folklore, and various senior seminars at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge). The collection was developed primarily as a teaching tool and secondarily as an archive. No standard formula for data presentation was required; students were urged to organize their material according to the problem which concerned them. In addition to the data itself, students were required to provide the names and biographical information of the informants, data and collecting contexts, a description of the collecting method, explanatory information provided by informants, and an analysis of the information gained.
    In the culture-specific file, so-called "ethnic lore" is generally combined (e.g. Swedish and Swedish-American). In a major exception, African American folklore is located in the North American section, while lore from African nations is filed under the geographical name. Jewish cultural material has been treated as its own subseries. However, material that originates from a specific geographic location (Israel, Ethiopia, etc.) will be found filed under the geographic region. The collection is arranged in three series: Adult Folklore (1960-1974), Children's Folklore (1959-1974), and National Origin/Culture Group (1960-1975).
    Series I, Adult Folklore, consists predominantly of folklore reported from adult informants and is divided into two subseries: Adult Song (1960-1973) and Adult Verbal Folklore (1961-1974). The subseries are then arranged by genre into groups such as Blues, Love Songs, Cowboy Songs, etc. The files are arranged alphabetically.
    Series II, Children's Folklore, primarily consists of folklore reported from child informants, or adult observation of children's games and stories. All data in the series are grouped by age of informant. The series is divided into the three subseries: Children's Song (1965-1972), Children's Play (1968-1972), and Children's Verbal Folklore (1959-1973). The subseries are arranged by genre into groups such as Lullabies, Song Parodies, TV Jingles, etc. The files are arranged alphabetically.
    Series III, National Origin/Culture Group, is comprised of folkloric data which originates from a specific national origin or cultural group. The series is divided into ten subseries, each reflecting a different geographical region. The regions are arranged as follows: Africa (1965-1973), Latin America (1963-1975), North America (1962-1973), Asia (1967-1974), Eastern Europe (1964-1974), Northern Europe (1960-1972), Western Europe (1964-1973), Jewish Tradition [Old and New World] (1960-1975), Middle East (1961-1974), and Oceania (1968-1972). The files are arranged alphabetically. In cases where the subseries is large and contains a sizable amount of raw data, the information has been arranged into smaller groupings which reflect genre.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open to research use.

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Bess Lomax Hawes, 1996.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I: Adult Folklore 1960-1974
        Subseries A: Adult Song, 1960-1973
        Subseries B: Adult Verbal Folklore, 1961-1974
    Series II: Children's Folklore, 1959-1974
        Subseries A: Children's Song, 1965-1972
        Subseries B: Children's Play, 1963-1974
        Subseries C: Children's Verbal Folklore, 1959-1973
    Series III: National Origin/Culture Group, 1960-1975
        Subseries A: Africa, 1965-1973
        Subseries B: Latin America, 1963-1975
        Subseries C: North America, 1962-1973
        Subseries D: Asia, 1967-1974
        Subseries E: Eastern Europe, 1964-1974
        Subseries F: Northern Europe, 1960-1972
        Subseries G: Western Europe, 1964-1973
        Subseries H: Jewish Tradition [Old and New World], 1960-1975
        Subseries I: Middle East, 1961-1974
        Subseries J: Oceania, 1968-1972

    General

    Other Information:
    Funding for this project was provided in part by a grant from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, California State University Northridge.
    The descriptive finding aid was revised in October 2004, in part under a generous gift from the J. Paul Getty Trust.

    Preferred Citation:

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Processing Information:

    Robert G. Marshall, Deborah L. Atwell; 1998

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Audiovisual materials
    Documents
    Photographs