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As curator for the UW Ethnomusicology Archives I steward some 75,000 recordings, films, and other materials that document international, national, and regional music traditions. Much of this work revolves around access, digitization, and repatriation. Since the Archives moved from the UW Ethnomusicology Program to the Libraries in 2017, I've been especially busy with repatriation as well as providing content for publications such as Adam Mathew's Global Field Recordings and Alexander Street Press' Ethnographic Sound Archives Online

When transferred to UW Libraries, the Ethnomusicology Archives merged with the preexisting Seattle Sounds Archiving Project (SSAP). SSAP consists of a large collection of local and Seattle area music, including the Kearney Barton, Crocodile Cafe, and 206 Hip Hop collections. 

I'm also curator for the Milo Ryan Phonoarchive of CBS Radio News broadcasts. 

Between September 2022 and August 2025, I'm UW PI and Project Lead for the CLIR-funded and WSU-led Native Northwest Online: Connecting Communities and Collections through Collaborative Curation

As affiliate faculty in Ethnomusicology and CHID--and guest faculty in Honors, and Museology--I facilitate the exploration of subjects across disciplinary boundaries. As part of this I support undergraduate independent studies, serve on graduate student MA and PhD defense committees, and offer courses in Ethnomusicology, CHID, Honors, Museology, and Cinema and Media Studies. Learn more about my teaching service here, including my UW Honors Seattle Sounds course

Outside of UW I'm involved with a handful of archive, digital humanities, and music related projects (e.g., Research Fellow for Sound Submissions, a digital humanities program in the Recorded Sound Section of the Library of Congress' National Audio-Visual Conservation Center; Consultant for the NEH-funded "America’s Music Scenes in the Age of Social Media" project).

Library Guides


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John Vallier
University of Washington
Suzzallo Box 352900
Seattle, WA 98195-2900
(206) 616-1210
Subjects: Music & Audio

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