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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The repatriation of sound and video recordings is one of the ethnomusicology archivist’s most sacrosanct functions. From reviving forgotten traditions to inspiring new ones, recordings have the potential to make a broad array of meaningful impacts once returned to their places of origin. Beyond repatriating recordings, what should archives do to benefit the countries, cultures, and traditions that have made ethnomusicology’s very existence possible? Should ethnomusicologists and archivists work to build the capacity of archives in the developing world? Should they make it a priority to help these archives preserve and provide access to the collections they possess? With this chapter the authors explore these questions while describing a project that has enabled archivists at Radio Afghanistan to preserve and provide wider access to some 8,500 hours of traditional music recordings.

Keywords: ethnomusicology, repatriation, archive, sound recording, Afghanistan, fieldwork, capacity building, preservation, Radio Television Afghanistan, RTA

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