Ethno Archives

Ethno ArchivesSince 1963 the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy Archives has col­lected ethno­graphic data in the form of field record­ings, live con­cert record­ings, films and videos of a vari­ety of musi­cal events, and musi­cal instru­ments. The col­lec­tion of nearly 10,000 tapes and discs is avail­able for lis­ten­ing; depend­ing on deposit agree­ments, copies of some mate­ri­als may be obtained by researchers.

Stu­dents are par­tic­u­larly encour­aged to uti­lize archival mate­ri­als to assist with class projects and help pre­pare for their own field work. The Archives employs sev­eral stu­dents each year and works infor­mally with most eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy stu­dents as they begin to con­sider record­ing for­mat options, equip­ment pur­chase, the prac­ti­cal prob­lems of doc­u­men­ta­tion in the field, and other issues related to their research. Stu­dents and other researchers are invited to deposit their field col­lec­tions in the Archives, which offers secure stor­age and com­puter cat­a­log access to all materials.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Lau­rel Ser­combe, Archivist, (206) 543‑0974; e-mail

Our Mission

  • To sup­port the instruc­tional and research mis­sion of the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton and the Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy Program.
  • To apply pro­fes­sional sound archiv­ing stan­dards to the per­for­mance of the archival tasks of col­lec­tion, doc­u­men­ta­tion, access, and preservation.
  • To pro­vide archival ser­vices to a world­wide clien­tele of stu­dents and researchers.
  • To safe­guard the musi­cal her­itage embod­ied in the Archives’ recorded collections.
  • To encour­age respon­si­ble eth­no­mu­si­co­log­i­cal field research and appro­pri­ate doc­u­men­ta­tion, stor­age, and preser­va­tion of result­ing research materials.
  • To bal­ance the need for open, unre­stricted access to research mate­ri­als with the need to restrict access due to pri­vacy con­cerns or cultural/spiritual restrictions.