Episodes: Masonry

S1 E6: Sound and Meaning: Preserving Native American Voice and Song

In this episode of Material Memory, we return to the Autry Museum of the American West in southern California, where a project is underway to preserve audiovisual materials documenting Native American voice and song. We’ll learn about the vital process of community-building and the relationships forged along the way. Transcript Joy Banks Narration: Hello and...

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S1 E5: “Hello, Friends” The Story of the Indians for Indians Radio Hour

In this episode of Material Memory, we talk with a staff member at the University of Oklahoma who has been working to preserve the recordings of the Indians for Indians Radio Hour program, a long-running broadcast that started in the 1940s at the university’s WNAD station.   We’ll hear about the show’s founder, the complications...

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S1 E4: Not Even in the Dictionary

Iñupiaq dialects—spoken by people in the Northernmost parts of Alaska—are considered  “severely endangered,” with about 2,000 native speakers of these dialects alive today. In this episode, we chat with the people who are preserving, transcribing, and translating collections of audio and video recordings of Inupiaq dialects. They discuss the joys and challenges of preserving the...

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S1 E3: The Duty of Memory

They thought they knew what had value. In 1980, soldiers stormed the headquarters of Radio Haiti, arrested its journalists, and stole or destroyed the equipment—not realizing that the station’s most powerful weapon was its audio archive, which was left neglected and damaged but intact.

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S1 E2: Connected to the Legacy

In this episode of Material Memory, we talk to experts at the Amistad Research Center who are working to digitize the audio field recordings of African-American academic and linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner. His work established a connection between the languages of West Africa and African Americans living in the low countries and sea islands of...

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S1 E1: The Ethics of Access

How can recordings of indigenous languages be made accessible to the communities they represent? In this episode of Material Memory, we talk to experts about the ethical considerations and complexities of providing broad access to recordings that may be culturally sensitive—sacred sounds, songs and language—and why it’s important to reconnect people to their own content....

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Keeping Cultural Memory Alive: What is at Stake?

What does it take to keep recorded memory alive for use by future generations? What are the threats to our cultural record, and what is at stake if it’s lost? In the first episode of Material Memory, we explore these issues with Charles Henry, president of the Council on Library and Information Resources. We discuss...

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