Listen online to music collected by ethnomusicologists Alan Lomax and Charles Seeger:
"A field recording is technically any recording made 'in the field' or away from a traditional recording studio. However, in the context of American folk music, this phrase generally refers to the recordings made by ethnomusicologists and folklorists.
Usually, it's referring to the early 20th century collection of songs in different regions of the country. This period saw scholars going into communities to capture the kind of music traditional to that community, for catalog purposes."
-Kim Ruehl, "All About Field Recordings," About.com Guide
Some of these resources are located in the Music Library's reference section, and can only be used within the library. Click on the title to check the location and availability.