Sound recordings and cultural heritage: the Fonck Museum, the Felbermayer collection, and its relevance to contemporary Easter Island culture

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Bendrups, Dan
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2013
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Abstract

Sound recording plays a prominent role in cultural heritage work in the Pacific region, supported by sound archives and institutional collections that serve to preserve this intangible cultural heritage. While it has long been a standard practice for field recordings to be lodged in institutions of learning, recent developments in Pacific research have emphasised the ethical and social benefits that can result from the repatriation of sound recordings to their communities of origin, and from the development of field recording practices in which cultural stakeholders are more directly involved. Meanwhile, the digitisation of historical sound recordings and the use of digital domains for dissemination have become matters of theoretical and methodological inquiry in their own right. This article seeks to contribute to the discourse surrounding the repatriation of historical field recordings through the presentation of findings from a recent Chilean government-funded digitisation and repatriation project involving previously undocumented recordings of Easter Island (Rapanui) music from the Fonck Museum, Viᡠdel Mar. It will explain the circumstances under which the project developed, the strategies pursued in bringing it to fruition, and the reception of the project by the Rapanui community.

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International Journal of Heritage Studies.
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Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Built Environment and Design
Studies in Human Society
History and Archaeology
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