Archival Collections: Sound Recordings
PLEASE NOTE: Access to the sound recordings collection is closed for the forseeable future. Access will re-open after all of the recordings have been converted into digital files and after completion of consultations with the communities in which the recordings were made.
The Arizona State Museum is the repository for over 1000 sound recordings made between 1938 and 1987. The primary geographical focus of the collection is the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The primary cultural focus is Native American groups. However, the collection also contains recordings from cultures as far away as Africa and the Philippines. Only twenty-five percent of the collection has been transcribed.
Sixty percent of the collection is comprised of the University of Arizona's portion of the Doris Duke American Indian Oral History Project. Other schools, which also had projects funded by the Doris Duke Foundation, include the Universities of: California at Los Angeles, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. At the University of Arizona, the project was under the direction of Dr. Bernard L. Fontana and the majority of the work was done between 1966 and 1972. The focus of this portion of the project was to encourage native peoples to record their own culture from their own viewpoint.
Of the non-Doris Duke recordings in the archives, almost all were done by people with long-standing relationships with a particular community or tribe.
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