Musealizing the sounds of the world. Collections and exhibitions of ethnographic sound at the Danish National Museum

Name of applicant

Anne Folke Henningsen


University of Copenhagen


DKK 124,155



Type of grant

Research Infrastructure


The invention of the phonograph in the late 19th century enabled the recording of sound, and ethnographers quickly embraced the new technology. As a result, collections of ethnographic sound were established in museums and archives in (primarily) North America and Europe. With a few exceptions, these sound recordings have been living long, forgotten lives in storage and have only rarely been used in exhibitions or in cultural analytical research. Through field trips and archival/collection studies, the project explores the curatorial ambitions, expectations and strategies connected to the collection of ethnographic sound at the Danish National Museum in the 20th century as well as engages in development of new curatorial strategies for incorporation of sound in ethnographic exhibitions.

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