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UW Ethnomusicology Archives: Welcome

The UW Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy Archives has been col­lecting and curating unique ethnographic music recordings, films, and video since 1962.


Founded in 1962, the UW Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy Archives is home to more than 80,000 rare and unique films, videos, and sound recordings. Collected by ethnomusicologists and community members, these materials document global and local music across a range of traditions and styles: click here to search. The Archives is open to everyone: UW students and faculty, Indigenous and other community members, music and film producers, scholars, musicians, and fans. Please note: most of our collections are not digitized or available online. Physical access to the Archives is limited and by appointment only. Some materials may be restricted or require special permission to access. Questions? Ask us!

Selections from the UW Ethnomusicology Archives 

Voices of the First People

Voices of the First People is a project created to honor the life and work of Vi Hilbert by making accessible audio and video recordings that are part of the Vi Hilbert Collection.

Aashish Khan and Zakir Hussain

View a selection of the Archives' unique films on the Internet Archive.

Seattle Free Jazz Vibes

In 1971, Seattle's Milton Simons (1923-1973) formed the band Jasis and recorded an album with Paul Dusenbury (piano and flute), Milt Gerard (bass), Jimmie Williams (drums). The masters came to UW as part of Kearney Barton’s archive. We’ve posted them below for your own spontaneous academic journey. And if free jazz is your go-to study soundtrack, check out John Coltrane Live in Seattle (UW NetID needed).

16mm Films

UWEA & ZM DAGAR on Spotify

Check out a selection of the Archives' ZM Dagar recordings on Spotify. 

Crocodile Cafe Collection

5 years of unique live audio and video recorded at the Crocodile Café by audio engineer Jim Anderson between 2002 and 2007, with 2,000+ artists performing in a variety of contexts: indie rock to punk, shoegazer to noise, hip-hop to math rock. Click here for more info: 

Folk Music of Afghnistan

Selections from Professor Sakata's Afghanistan Collections were released on Lyrichord in the 1970s. Now hear them online.

Global Field Recordings

Global Field Recordings  Access for all on-campus; login required from off-campus 

Unique field recordings from UW and UCLA. UW content features recordings made by UW ethnomusicology founder Robert Garfias and includes music from Bali, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Japan, Korea, Laos, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Nicaragua, Mexico, Myanmar, the Philippines, Romania, Zimbabwe and beyond (UW login required). 

Native NW Online

Learn about the Archives' work in a WSU-led, 36-month, Mellon/CLIR funded project to to advance the practice of collaborative curation with nine regional Tribes. 

Smithsonian Global Sound

American Sabor

Archives on Instagram

Barton on Light in the Attic

We partnered with Light in the Attic Records on Kearney Barton Architect of the Northwest Sound. We provided the music from our underground archival recesses, and they provided the exquisite (and green) double LP release. 

Record cover for the LP Architect of the Northwest Sound by Kearney Barton

John Blacking's "How Musical is Man?"

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