This newly available digital resource includes 40 hours of audio field recordings by the African American academic and linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner, the “Father of Gullah Studies,” relating to: African American History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Languages, Linguistics, Music and Music History. The recordings were made 1932-1952, relating to Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil and the United States where Turner encountered native speakers of Yoruba, Igbo, Portuguese, English, Creole, and Gullah. The collection finding aid provides detailed information regarding the contents, which states: “Of special significance are Turner’s African field recordings document[ing] Yoruba speakers in Nigeria and Benin [on] 50 wire recordings and 2 reel-to-reel audio recordings (1951).”
The Amistad Research Center is pleased to announce the completion of our recent digitization project, “Continuing to Break the Code: The Field Recordings of Lorenzo Dow Turner at the Amistad Research Center,” supported by a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The project digitized close to 40 hours of field recordings made by African American academic and linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner, known as the “Father of Gullah Studies.” The recordings were made between 1932 and 1952, and cover a variety of geographical locations, from Nigeria and Cameroon to Brazil, as well as locations within the United States, where Turner encountered native speakers of Yoruba, Igbo, Portuguese, English, Creole and Gullah among other languages and various dialects. Turner used these recordings as evidence to trace the linguistic and cultural connections between West Africa and the Americas.
The finding aid for the collection can be found here (Please note, the collection’s URL will change in January 2020 when a new finding aid goes live). For more information about the collection and to listen to the recordings, please contact Amistad’s Research Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.