May 19, 2022

More than 1,200 Hours of Rare Ethnographic Sound Recordings Digitally Available at the UC San Diego Library

From the UCSD Library:

More than 1,200 hours of rare sound recordings, which is roughly equivalent to 50 days, were captured and preserved thanks to the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings at Risk grant and the work of the Library’s project team, as well as community partners.

The project team spent the last year and a half on this large scale digitization project to digitize, preserve, and improve access to 804 quarter-inch reels and audio cassette field recordings from eight collections in the Tuzin Archive for Melanesian Anthropology at the UC San Diego Library Special Collections & Archives. The recordings include rare interviews, songs, performances, linguistic material and oral histories collected in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands from the mid-to-late 20th century and are now available by request and registration on the Library’s Digital Collections website.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of this project was listening to the voices of those represented in the collections as many of the recordings have not been played in over 50 years.” said Cristela Garcia-Spitz, curator of the Tuzin Archive at the UC San Diego Library. “This was my first time hearing the voices of the Anthropologists and central figures in the collections. ”


The Library prioritized reformatting these recordings because of their uniqueness and importance to Pacific Studies and the cultural heritage of the Pacific Island communities, as well as to safeguard against the deterioration of the physical materials and format obsolescence.

Learn More in the Complete UCSD Library Post

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.