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Finding Aid to the Frances Densmore Papers MS.557
MS.557  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Frances Densmore was an American ethnographer and ethnomusicologist born in 1867 in Red Wing, Minnesota. She wrote more than 20 books and 100 articles. She also made more than 2,000 wax cylinder recordings of Native music, including recordings for the Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) in 1907. Densmore died on June 5, 1957 at the age of 90. The Francis Densmore Papers consist of manuscripts, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and ephemera from 1899-1961. The bulk of the material was created from 1907-1957.
Background
Frances Densmore was an American ethnographer and ethnomusicologist. Born in 1867 in Red Wing, Minnesota, Densmore became interested in Native American music after reading about the ethnomusicology of the Omaha tribe. She began her work in Minnesota by studying and recording the music of the Dakota and Ojibwe tribes. She also traveled across North America where she met with the Chippewa, Mandan, Hidatsa, Sioux, northern Pawnee of Oklahoma, Papago of Arizona, Indians of Washington state and British Columbia, Winnebago and Menominee of Wisconsin, Pueblo Indians of the Southwest, and the Tule Indians of Panama. She conducted fieldwork using a box camera and a cylinder phonograph. She wrote more than 20 books and 100 articles. She also made more than 2,000 wax cylinder recordings of Native music, including recordings for the Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) in 1907. She frequently published articles in the journals American Anthropologist and the Southwest Museum’s Masterkey publication. Densmore is especially noted for her recordings of Native American music and documenting their culture at a time when white settlers were moving into Native lands and encouraging tribes to adopt Western customs. Densmore died on June 5, 1957 at the age of 90.
Extent
0.75 Linear feet (2 boxes)
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the Braun Research Library at the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
Correspondence in Folder 10 not to be copied or cited per donor agreement.