Ethnographic wax cylinders at the British Library National Sound Archive: A brief history and description of the collection

Clayton, Martin (1996). Ethnographic wax cylinders at the British Library National Sound Archive: A brief history and description of the collection. British Journal of Ethnomusicology, 5 pp. 67–92.

Abstract

The ethnographic wax cylinder collection held by the British Library National Sound Archive, totalling over 3,000 items, contains material of considerable musical and historical interest, much of which has been until now little known outside the Archive. This paper summarises the history of the recordings and their accumulation under a single roof, and briefly describes their significance, with the aid of quotations from contemporary sources. The history of the collection is discussed with reference to the earliest recordings, recordings from Oceania, Australia, Africa, South Asia and other areas, connections with other archives, and the current situation.

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