Skip to main content

Research Guides


About the Archives

The UW Ethnomusicology Archives has been collecting and curating unique ethnographic music recordings for over 50 years. Its holdings of more than 25,000 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.


Search the Archives

We are currently migrating our online catalog to Archives West: While this process is under way, we encourage you to search both Archives West and the legacy Ethnomusicology Archives catalog:

Instructions on how to search the legacy EA catalog

  • Search by entering a single search term, such as:
    • the name of a performer (e.g., Z.M. Dagar)
    • the name of a collector (e.g., Hiromi Lorraine Sakata)
    • a keyword such as the name of an instrument, music genre, or tradition (e.g., rudra vina; dhrupad; gamelan)
    • the UWEA collection ID number (e.g., 1991001)

The basic search will produce a summary list of collections. For more information about a collection on the summary, click on the 7-digit collection number (e.g., 1999006).

                       Policies & Use

Featured Collections

The UW Ethnomusicology Archives is home to numerous unique field recording collections. Featured collections include:

The John Blacking How Musical Is Man? Collection

In How Musical Is Man?, John Blacking draws on his field research with the Venda people of the Northern Transvaal, South Africa, as well as his own musical background to demonstrate relationships between patterns of sound and patterns of human organization. This site presents recordings of the musical examples found in his work.

The Vi Hilbert Collection

In March 2005 Upper Skagit elder Vi Hilbert donated her extensive personal research collection of recordings and manuscripts to the University of Washington, where she taught Lushootseed language and literature from 1972-1987. The manuscript collection is housed in the U.W. Libraries’ Special Collections, and the audio and video recordings reside in the U.W. Ethnomusicology Archives. In addition to her own recordings of local elders, the collection includes recordings made between the 1950s and 2005 by linguists, anthropologists, and other collectors of the local language and song traditions.

The Allen Yonge Flamenco Collection

The Allen Yonge Collection (UW Ethnomusicology Archives collection 2009-14) includes original, unpublished recordings as well as commercial recordings documenting flamenco performance from the past to the present. In addition to Allen Yonge's studio recordings, radio programs, and published records and CDs, the collection includes field recordings made in the "baja Andalucía" region of Spain by Chris Carnes, Maureen Silver, and Carol Whitney.

Contact the Archives

By phone: (206) 543-0974

By email:

Friend us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter, @UWEthnoArchives!

For more information about the Archives, please visit our webpage.

Related Links & Guides

Loading ...