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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This introduction to the Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation serves both as a general representation of the editors’ approach to the Handbook and as a critical analysis in its own right, posing questions and providing nuance to the concepts of heritage, preservation, and archives that emerge within this collection and in the field at large. As access to technologies shifts the preservation, control, and consumption of sonic heritage, the broad fascination with audiovisual archives has increased, as has the need to negotiate their role in various communities. This has been the general impetus for negotiating where archives “belong,” and doing the work of returning them there. That sonic heritage possesses such widespread use, appeal, and subjective potential reveals a far more complicated task for repatriation than simply returning audiovisual collections to their sites of excavation. The authors explore this complexity as a starting point for opening a dialogue about repatriation that resonates throughout the Handbook.

Keywords: access, archives, audiovisual, curation, handbook, heritage, ownership, preservation, repatriation, technology

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