The University of Washington Ethnomusicology Archives has been collecting and curating unique ethnographic music recordings for over 50 years. Its holdings of more than 15,000 items include field recordings documenting music traditions of all kinds from most areas of the world, concert recordings of visiting musicians, and films and videos of a variety of musical events, as well as several hundred musical instruments. The Archives serves the students and faculty in the UW Ethnomusicology Program, the broader university community, Pacific Northwest tribes, and an international clientele of musicians, students, and teachers.
Archival recordings are available for on-site listening. Depending on collection deposit agreements, copies of some materials may be obtained by researchers. Students are particularly encouraged to utilize archival materials to assist with class projects and help prepare for their own field work. The Archives employs several students each year and works informally with most ethnomusicology students as they begin to consider recording format options, equipment purchase, the practical problems of documentation in the field, and other issues related to their research. Students and other researchers are invited to deposit their field collections in the Archives, which offers secure storage and computer catalog access to all materials.
For more information, contact Joe Kinzer, Archivist, (206) 543‑0974; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To support the instructional and research mission of the University of Washington and the Ethnomusicology Program.
- To apply professional sound archiving standards to the performance of the archival tasks of collection, documentation, access, and preservation.
- To provide archival services to a worldwide clientele of students and researchers.
- To safeguard the musical heritage embodied in the Archives’ recorded collections.
- To encourage responsible ethnomusicological field research and appropriate documentation, storage, and preservation of resulting research materials.
- To balance the need for open, unrestricted access to research materials with the need to restrict access due to privacy concerns or cultural/spiritual restrictions.
Policies & Use
- The University of Washington Ethnomusicology Archives collects ethnographic documentation of all kinds, with particular emphasis on sound recordings in all formats, film, and video. The Archives accepts collections on a deposit or gift basis and does not purchase materials.
- As part of the Ethnomusicology Division of the School of Music, the Archives primarily serves the students and faculty of the Division. Students are expected to deposit their field recordings and other documentation to the Archives upon completion of the Ph.D, along with a copy of their dissertation. Faculty members in the Division and other UW researchers are the other major source of recorded collections. Materials of ethnomusicological interest from other sources are also accepted.
- A “Contract for Deposit of Materials” is negotiated between the archivist and the depositor in each case to reflect the specific requirements of the collection. Depositors are encouraged to impose as few restrictions as possible or to restrict access only for a limited period.
- Collections are generally not solicited by the Archives, but the deposit of material of local or regional importance is encouraged and welcomed. Because of its location in the Pacific Northwest, the Archives has become identified as an appropriate repository for both historical and contemporary recordings of music of Northwest Coast people. In housing and preserving such collections, particular attention is paid to issues of song ownership, appropriate use, and access by members of Native communities. It is Archives policy to make copies of these recordings at cost for requesting tribal groups.
- The Ethnomusicology Archives is a closed-stack facility. Most recordings are available for listening or viewing on-site under the supervision of Archives staff. Students and teachers, as well as researchers, are welcome to visit. Because of extreme space limitations in the Archives, most listening or viewing needs to be scheduled in advance.
- Visitors with a general interest in music of a particular area or genre are encouraged to consult the Music Library Listening Center collection (Music Room 19). Many commercial recordings of ethnomusicological interest are located in the Listening Center, with access available through the library’s on-line catalog.
- The Ethnomusicology Archives contains non-commercial, unpublished recordings and accompanying documentation which generally require some previous knowledge to use effectively. Archives staff are available to assist visitors find the information they need.
Media Duplication Policy
- Recordings in the Ethnomusicology Archives may in some cases be available for duplication. Requestors should fill out the “Media Duplication” request form available from the Archives (email email@example.com). All requests are to be authorized by the Archivist and additional permission obtained as necessary.
- There is no easy answer to the question, “May I get a copy of ____?” Most collections in the Archives were deposited by field researchers; their deposit agreements on file in the Archives are the basis for decisions regarding media duplication. Similarly, for concert recordings, the formal agreement between the artist(s) and the Archives must be consulted.
- University of Washington students who study with visiting artists in the Ethnomusicology Program often perform in concerts with those artists during their stay. Single copies of those performance recordings are generally available to the students who performed in them, unless the visiting artist prohibits such copying; students are asked to provide their own blank discs or tapes in these cases.
- For most media duplication requests, a fee for blank discs or tapes plus labor costs is charged; consult the Archivist for current rates.
- Requests to license Archives recordings for publication or broadcast should also be submitted to the Archivist.