Digitizing the Ancestors Project

The AMMSA Archives is home to over 2,000 separate audio items and over 5,000 items tagged as photographs, event documentation, and other ephemera. As a Pilot Project, the team has selected approximately 40 hours of broadcast audio recorded on over 130 reel-to-reel tapes. These include recordings of indigenous stories and legends in both spoken and musical expressions as well as conversations and interviews with community leaders. The pilot project is designed to develop protocols for assigning permissions to individual recordings following the OCAP guidelines and for ensuring high quality digital preservation and archiving, and to establish culturally-appropriate metadata of these digital files to ensure the discoverability of content.

Recordings in this pilot project are in both Cree and English languages and require collaboration between the AMMSA community, ethnomusicology, Linguistics, Native Studies and the UAlberta Libraries. The pilot project is therefore led by an interdisciplinary co-facilitation team of researchers with the Sound Studies Initiative at UAlberta, whose mandate is to preserve and investigate cultural expression and to increase mutual understanding across communities. Although this project is limited to a small subset of the AMMSA media archives, the creation of protocols and practices will serve as the foundation for future digital archiving and retrieval projects in other communities, languages, and multimedia formats and, more specifically, a future project that will seek to digitize the complete AMMSA archive.


Research Team:

Bert Crowfoot, Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta
Mary I. Ingraham, Professor of Musicology and Director, Sound Studies Initiative
Benjamin V. Tucker, Professor, Department of Linguistics
Kamal Ranaweera, Team Lead, Arts Resource Centre (ARC)
Clare Peters, Multimedia and Electronics Technician, ARC
Thomas Welz, Research Computing Analyst, ARC
Sean Luyk, Music Librarian, Department of Music, University of Alberta Libraries
Krista Jamieson, Digital  Archivist, University of Alberta Libraries
Rebekka Puderbaugh, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Linguistics
Courteney Durand, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Faculty of Native Studies