Indiana University Bloomington

The Archives of Traditional Music is an audiovisual archive that documents music and culture from all over the world. With over 100,000 recordings that include more than 2,700 field collections, it is one of the largest university-based ethnographic sound archives in the United States.

Its holdings cover a wide range of cultural and geographical areas, vocal and instrumental music, linguistic materials, folktales, interviews, and oral history, as well as videotapes, photographs, and manuscripts.

See and hear highlights from our collections

Herbert Halpert dictates a song from James L. Conklin in New York, 1946.  Photo by Violetta M. Halpert

Herbert Halpert Mid Atlantic collection. In 1939, while working for the WPA, folklorist Herbert Halpert (1911-2000) traveled through the New Jersey Pine Barrens, southeastern Pennsylvania, and New York recording individuals singing Anglo-American ballads, work songs, sea shanties, historical songs, bawdy songs, and game songs.


 

New at the Archives

ATM receives NEH grant to preserve cylinders

The Archives of Traditional Music has partnered with Indiana University's Media Digitization and Preservation Inititiative (MDPI) to transfer and digitally preserve the nearly 7,000 wax cylinders held in its collections.

Wax Cylinder Box

The ATM holds one of the largest collections of unique ethnographic wax cylinders outside of the Library of Congress. The content of the cylinders is remarkable in both breadth and depth. Comprised of 160 different collections made between 1893 and 1938, these cylinders were recorded in 60 different countries and on every continent except Antarctica. Because wax cylinders were the first viable method of sound recording, many of these recordings were the first ever made in certain parts of the world. The recordings are both irreplaceable artifacts of cultural history as well as documentation of the development of ethnographic science at the turn of the 20th century..

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Contact

The Archives of Traditional Music

Morrison Hall 117

1165 E. 3rd St.

Bloomington, IN 47405

Map showing this location

812-855-4679

atmusic@indiana.edu