10 July 2012
Today I have the pleasure of featuring as guest blogger on the new Music in the British Library blog. My post discusses dongjing music scores (and other records including video and audio recitals of performances and interviews) received as part of two EAP projects:
The new Music in the British Library blog will be featuring news about the Music Collections here at the Library as well as announcements of events, activities and music-related projects. Well worth a look.
06 July 2012
The year is half over and it is time to tell everyone about our June Accessions. We received some really interesting material last month from four different projects working in Chile, Indonesia, Argentina and Mali. Here are the details:
This project copied printed musical scores and 78rpm discs from the Margot Loyola Collection. The surrogate digital material includes folk music and will provide researchers with a unique insight into the social history of Valparaiso, Chile, during the late 1800s and early 1900s. In addition to their musical content the scores and discs display advertising and some quite fabulous art work.
This pilot project set out to discover and evaluate the existence of private collections of lontara' manuscripts in the Makassarese language of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The results of their field work will be shown in a Survey Report. Alongside this, the project team took digital images from six manuscripts belonging to three Collections. The image below is from a manuscript concerned with the Islamic calendar.
The digital surrogates received from EAP375 are the result of a 12 month project to digitise part of the archives from a major newspaper company in Argentina, the Haynes Publishing Company. I will post more information on this, with images, next week when the principal investigator, Celina Tuzzo, will be our guest blogger.
We received the first submission of material from this major project. The project is copying manuscripts belonging to private collections housed in the Manuscript Library of Djenné or private family libraries. These Arabic manuscripts include important Islamic texts and other volumes covering a range of topics including themes of the occult and local history.
25 November 2011
This week images from EAP209 Survey on surviving dongjing archives in Jianshui, Tonghai and Mengzi were added to the EAP WebPages. The project visited three counties in South Yunnan and gathered information about surviving dongjing records in the area. It also copied 33 manuscripts from the collections of Li Chun and Kaichao Wang. These have made a substantial and important addition to the dongjing archives copied by an earlier EAP project: EAP012 Salvage and preservation of dongjing archives in Yunnan, China: transcript, score, ritual and performance.
Together these projects copied 100 dongjing manuscripts and approximately 36 hours of recorded material. The printed sources include music scores and lyrics, correspondence, a charter for the Dali dongjing society, guides and rules for conducting rituals and even seating arrangements for performances. The recordings are of performances and interviews. They provide an amazing amount of original material for students of dongjing culture, practices and belief and should be of particular interest to students studying dongjing music.
Interestingly, most of the original manuscripts digitally copied by EAP012 and EAP209 are themselves copies of earlier manuscripts. The texts and musical scores have been passed down, transcribed and re-copied by members of dongjing societies. In this way they have survived through centuries of political turmoil and social transitions. They contain the traditions of generations of dongjing practitioners.
02 September 2011
In my last post I announced that the eight Collections copied by EAP012 Salvage and preservation of dongjing archives in Yunnan, China: transcript, score, ritual and performance have been catalogued. Four manuscripts from three of these Collections have now been added to The British Library's Digitised Manuscripts pages. From here, they can be viewed along side early medieval volumes dating back to the sixth century - some of the treasures of the Library. The Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog provides updates on the Library's digitised manuscripts, information on the manuscripts themselves and the cultures and contexts from which they came, and images from some of the already-digitised items. Well worth a look.
The four manuscripts we have added are:
EAP012/2/1 [Dong jing pu], an anonymous music score from Qilin District, Qujing City
EAP012/5/1 Luliang dong jing yin yue zheng li chu gao, a booklet of Dongjing music scores from Luliang County
EAP012/7/15 Chuxiong Yi zhou dong jing gu yue, a score of archaic Dongjing music from Chuxiong in jianpu notation
EAP012/7/16 Min zu min jian gu yue-gong chi pu yi jian pu ben, a transcript of an archaic Dongjing music score written in gongche notation.
The Digitised Manuscripts viewer has easy to use navigation tools that allow you to move around the items, choose pages, view two pages at once, rotate the images, zoom in and zoom out etc.
25 January 2011
This week we have started to catalogue the material created as part of EAP132: Digital Archive of North Indian Classical Music. Run by the School of Cultural Texts and Records at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, the project digitised approximately 1,150 hours of north Indian (or Hindustani) classical music held by private collectors and institutions.
Collectors in West Bengal provided most of the material, and one collector was committed enough to transport his material from Venezuela to be digitised. A follow up project - EAP274 (stage two)- is currently underway, which focuses on special collections of relatively rare styles (such as dhrupad singing) and Bengali popular music from 1902 to 1936.
Sound recordings are threatened by the physical decay of their carriers and technological obsolescence, and material was digitised from gramophone discs, vinyl, cassette tapes and CDs in various states of repair. The EAP is working with the British Library Sound Archive to ensure that our digital copies can be accessed in the future.
The user community of the SCTR digital archive have set up a website featuring audio clips, video footage and biographies of the performers featured in the collections. The site also provides a forum for users to exchange information about the collections and related resources.
27 October 2010
Just a quick post to draw your attention to the fact that today is the UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, established to raise awareness of the value of audiovisual material , and the challenges we face in ensuring its preservation for current and future generations. The UNESCO web pages have more information about the day, including details of a programme of short films to be screened in Paris this evening in celebration.
EAP projects have digitised a range of audiovisual materials, documenting such varied performances and events as Chinese Dongjing performances, initiation rites for the Dagara Bagr cult of Northern Ghana and Southern Burkina Faso, records created by the East Timor Commission on Return, Truth and Reconciliation from 2002-2004, and recordings of North Indian Classical Music.
29 September 2010
2971 examples of Bengali street literature have been digitised by staff at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Digital copies and (some of) the original material can be consulted at the School of Cultural Texts and Records or the reading rooms here at The British Library. The books cover subjects including folk literature, music and songs, theatre booklets, homeopathy, astrology, adventure novels, horror stories, grammar guides, religious practices and belief, and many many other topics. Anyone reading this blog will be familiar with some of the material, and seen some of the images produced by the Project.
The material is organised into 11 separate Collections, based on the name of the Collector of the original material. This includes the School of Cultural Texts itself whose Collection contains seven sub-collections, reflecting the development of their holdings. The 11 Collections are:
EAP127/1 SCTR Collections
EAP127/2 R.P. Gupta Collection
EAP127/3 Devajit Bandyopadhyay Collection
EAP127/4 Sukanta Chaudhuri Collection
EAP127/5 Samantak Das Collection
EAP127/6 Arun Ghosh Collection
EAP127/7 Satyabati Giri Collection
EAP127/8 Gautam Mitra Collection
EAP127/9 Rudrajit Mookherjee Collection
EAP127/10 Prabir Sen Collection
EAP127/11 Sukumar Sen Collection
05 March 2010
February was another busy month for the EAP. We received material from six projects:
Alex and I also participated in the Endangered Languages Week Open Day organised by the Endangered Languages Project. This was held in the Brunei Gallery at SOAS. The day was well attended by organisations and universities involved in documenting and preserving endangered languages around the world and in promoting research in this area. Our table was next to the World Oral Literature Project who actively document and make accessible endangered oral literatures. It was fascinating to hear about their activities. I took the opportunity to browse the room and pick up a few brochures. It proved an informative day for me. It was also exciting to see so much interest in the preservation of languages and the cultures, traditions, histories and literatures associated with them.
Endangered archives blog recent posts
- New online - February 2021
- Call for applications now open
- World Radio Day: Recordings from the Endangered Archives Programme
- An Abundance of Bulgarian Bagpipes
- New collections online - April 2016
- Stories they tell: clues from endangered archives
- Flowers of Persian Song and Music
- Syliphone - an early recording label from Guinea
- Dongjing musical scores feature on Music in the British Library
- June Accessions