Archives for the Future

Global Perspectives on Audiovisual Archives in the 21st Century

Anthony Seeger, Shubha Chaudhuri


6.5 x 10 inches, xxvii + 300 pp. 2004

ISBN : 9788170462231

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This unique book is based on a workshop for an international group of administrators of research-based archives held near New Delhi in December 1999, the aim of which was to bring together archivists from industrializing countries which have a relatively recent history of audiovisual archives, principally from the Southern Hemisphere; to take concerns of audiovisual archives outside the national and regional boundaries that so often define them; and to focus on audiovisual archives that document musical and folklore traditions or ethnomusicology.


Pooling the experience of participants from Austria, Australia, China, Cuba, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, South Africa, Sudan, and the United States, the volume will be of interest to cultural workers both as an introductory textbook in ethnomusicology courses and as a book for specialists.


The book begins with a theoretical introduction, including general observations on archives, a discussion of the principal points in the participant papers, a description of the workshop itself, and how the process of the workshop has been transformed into this volume. Section One deals with archive structure and operations, including a chapter on recording technology which begins with a paper by the world-renowned expert in technology for audiovisual archives, Dr Dietrich Schuller, Director of the Vienna Phonogramm-Archiv, Austria, the oldest such archive in the world; and one on issues of copyright and ethics by Grace Koch. Section Two consists of the participants’ papers. The volume also includes useful material such as sample agreement forms, a bibliography of major resources on audiovisual archives, and a website list of the most important professional organizations and archive sites. 

Shubha Chaudhuri is the Director of the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies. She is also the Vice-President, International Association of Sound and Visual Archives. 

Anthony Seeger is Professor of Ethnomusicology at University of California at Los Angeles.


Culture Studies