World Music Archives (Wesleyan University)


Housed at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, U.S., World Music Archives is a collection of archives which started as Prof. Emeritus David McAllester's personal collection of Comanche and Navajo music, recorded in 1940 and 1950, respectively. The collection was first used in teaching at Wesleyan in 1953. As the World Music Program developed, scholars and graduate students, contributed materials used in research, expanded the collection into new areas.

The archives included many recordings of local performances, lectures, etc., by visiting artists. Today the Archives contain over 3 000 original audio tapes that are reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes, digital audio tapes, or digitally-recorded betamax. It has approximately 7 00 discs which are primarily 78 rpm commercial discs, and a number of instantaneous disc records. Included is also 100 videotapes in numerous formats, plus three four-drawer filing cabinets of accompanying notes, texts, and indexes.

Other important collections in the Archives include recordings from Rhodesia’s (now Zimbabwe) mbira music, and North Indian (Hindustani); and collections of Indonesian and South Indian (Karnatak) music.

The archives are recipients of three grants that have allowed it to catalogue and preserve the field recordings in the holdings. All tapes can be searched on the public catalogue. However, information about the commercial 78s and video material is electronically unavailable.

The World Music Archives is available to the public at the university from Monday to Friday at 11h00am until 17h00pm during summer. During fall and Spring, it is open from Monday to Wednesday at 11h00am until 17h00pm and again at 19h00 until 22h00pm, on Thursday and Friday it is open at 11h00am until 17h00pm and at 14h00pm to 17h00pm and again at 19h00pm until 22h00pm on Sundays.

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Wesleyan University
Profile added by Ano Shumba on 11 Sep 2015