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
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.
0.75 Linear feet
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Correspondence in Folder 10 not to be copied or cited per donor agreement.