Reel 2 Real: Sound at the Pitt Rivers Museum
March 19, 2013 3:46 PM   Subscribe

Reel 2 Real: Sound at the Pitt Rivers Museum is a digitization project that is taking the archival field recordings of the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford University's museum of ethnography and anthropology), digitizing them, and placing them online with Soundcloud.

I've been trying to figure out collections structure and permissions, without much success. But there are some themed collections (e.g. these BayAka recordings, and some downloads available. But I just pressed 'play' on SoundCloud, and took it from the top.

Bonus if you are in Oxford: The official launch is on Wednesday March 20th, 4.30 - 7.30 p.m., when project staff will discuss the digitization, curation, and hosting of the materials.
posted by carter (12 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I live just up the road from the Pitt Rivers, and lemme tell you, it's an extraordinary place. Terrific fun to visit. Interesting sounding project - thanks for the post.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 4:23 PM on March 19, 2013

Ooooh! Oooooooh! That first audio clip up on the page (Balonyona) is the kind of thing that ROCKS MY WORLD. Thanks so much for this post, carter!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:26 PM on March 19, 2013

By the way, carter's Soundcloud link in the FPP is a link to items tagged with "Pitt Rivers Museum". Just for completeness' sake, here's a link to the Pitt Rivers Soundcloud page, Pittriversound.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:39 PM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

There are clips here that would make a cool Buddha Box-sort of thing. :7)

Note that flapjax's link leads to a page with field recordings (of singing, chants, &c.) as well as talks about the making of and collection of these recordings.

Cool stuff.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:38 PM on March 19, 2013

I visited the Pitt Rivers Museum about 10 years ago. I remember a multitude of stuffed animals, cabinets, grotesqueries, feelings of claustrophobia, shadows... I'd recommend it to anyone.
posted by misterbee at 10:35 PM on March 19, 2013

I haven't been to the Pitt-Rivers since my grad school days, but I was immediately reminded of James Fenton's great poem about it, which begins

The Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford
Is shut
22 hours a day and all day Sunday

Sadly, the only chance we have to read it online is via JSTOR, apparently.
posted by blacksmithtb at 10:49 PM on March 19, 2013

Thanks for the update, flapjax at midnite. - Perhaps a mod could fix the second link in the post? - Many thanks!
posted by carter at 11:33 PM on March 19, 2013

I was just at the Pitt-Rivers, and it is fabulous. I could have easily spent a week there.
posted by X-Himy at 1:54 AM on March 20, 2013

I love the Pitt-Rivers. Just up the road from me and (nearly*) my favorite Oxford Museum.

*The best is, of course, the Museum of the History of Science.
posted by Gilgongo at 3:09 AM on March 20, 2013

This is a great post. Thanks!
posted by OmieWise at 4:51 AM on March 20, 2013

I'm in complete agreement with everyone who's expressed their love Pitt Rivers in this thread, though it nearly killed my degree, as it was next door to the faculty where all of my lectures took place. On the mornings when I did manage to pull myself out of bed and get onto Parks Road, the museum was always more alluring than a dry old lecturer, and so invariably I'd go in.

I know the place so well now I'm pretty sure I can take a tour of it just by closing my eyes. Apart from the shrunken heads (1st floor, one cabinet in, two to the right), my highlights are the amulets to ward off evil magic, like the heart full of thorns (far right corner), the Hawaiian feather cloak (far left) and the Heath Robinson-esque wolf trap (top floor, halfway on the right). Huh, if anyone wants me for the rest of the day, I'm going to be sitting here day-dreaming about Pitt Rivers.
posted by Ned G at 5:09 AM on March 20, 2013

Nice. For those interested, the BBC's In Our Time programme did a show about Pitt Rivers himself a couple of weeks ago.
posted by adrianhon at 2:32 PM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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