Sound and vision blog

10 November 2011

British Library’s Historic Ethnographic Recordings receives UNESCO accolade - part 2

Janet Topp Fargion, Lead Curator, World and Traditional Music, writes:

Ethnographic-wax-cylindersUNESCO has officially recognised The British Library’s Historic Ethnographic Recordings as a collection of global significance and outstanding universal value. UNESCO’s International Advisory Committee has agreed to include The Historic Ethnographic Recordings in their Memory of the World International Register - akin to the list of World Heritage Sites for documents and archives. The Historic Ethnographic Recordings collection contains many rare field recordings of orally transmitted cultures made throughout the world by linguists and musicologists. Some of these recordings represent the earliest extant sources for research into those cultures and have been captured in the most vivid format available at the time, the linguistic and cultural diversity of today’s ‘global village’. This is a recording held in the BL on behalf of the English Folk Dance and Song Society and now included in the UNESCO registration. It's labelled: There is an ale house [Died for Love] and was recorded in England in 1908 on wax cylinder. The recording includes a violin solo played by John Locke.


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