The audio archives of the CNRS – Musée de l’Homme gather commercial and unpublished recordings of music and oral traditions from around the world, from 1900 to the present. Consisting of diverse types of media (wax cylinders, 78 rpm, vinyl records, magnetic tapes, audio CDs, born digital records), these archives are among the most important in Europe in terms of quality, quantity and diversity.


Managed by the Center for Research in Ethnomusicology (CREM), these archives index:

  • Over 42,000 unpublished sound documents, among which 32.000 are available for listening, spread though more that 1,000 collections, representing about 4,000 hours of recordings of unpublished fieldworks.
  • Over 13,000 published materials, among which 4,600 are available for listening, in more than 4,600 collections, for about 3,700 hours (including more than 5,000 discs among which some are very rare)
  • 199 countries, and 1,200 ethnic and social groups are represented, making it possible to hear a wide array of musical and sung expressions, languages and dialects.

Today, about 21,000 recordings are available for listening on free access. The others are only available with an access code. To obtain one, write to crem.lesc (at), explaining the reasons for your request. The archives database is also available on computer sets at the CREM, at the Bibliothèque Eric de Dampierre, at the Médiathèque du Musée du Quai Branly and at the Bibliothèque du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle.

Data management

The CREM has been the major partner of the Telemeta project from the beginning in 2006. Because the plartform has been developed closely to their research needs, the data models and user workflows are related to computational musicilogy methodology. The CREM's Telemeta instance is maintained by Parisson and hosted by HumaNum.

From 2011, a mean of 400 Go/year of audio data and metadata are imported in the instance.


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