Series - Sound recordings and moving images made and accumulated by Creighton

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Sound recordings and moving images made and accumulated by Creighton

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  • [1930]-1988 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

552 audio reels and other material

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Custodial history

Scope and content

Series forms part of Helen Creighton fonds and consists of audio reels, audio discs, audio cassettes, audio cartridges, and cylinder recordings compiled in the course of Creighton's field work. Creighton first began recording her informants on wax cylinder ca. 1930-1932. Previous to 1930, transcriptions were done by hand. The majority of field recordings comprising the series were compiled in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick during her association with the Library of Congress (1943-1944), joint Library of Congress-National Museum sponsorship (1947-1948), and sole National Museum sponsorship (1949-1967). Recordings consist of folk tales and over 4000 songs and ancient ballads sung or narrated by Creighton's informants of Gaelic ancestry in Cape Breton, Acadians, Mi'kmaq, African-Nova Scotians, and other ethnic groups such as English, German, Latvian, and Maori. Recordings include: Mi'kmaq songs sung by Chief William Paul at Shubenacadie, Acadian songs from West Pubnico, German songs and stories from Halifax and Lunenburg counties, and stories of ghosts, superstitions, witchcraft, and buried treasure. Other recordings accumulated by Creighton include military bands from World War Two, Meet the Navy show, nature sounds, general history, published sound recordings including Maritime, Canadian and international folk music, compilations of her previous recordings, her radio and television broadcasts for CBC and CHNS, recordings by others (some commercial) using Helen Creighton material, and some unidentified field recordings. Series also includes videocassettes and films produced for CBC, NFB, ATV, and the province of Nova Scotia.

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Physical condition

Wax cylinders were cracked prior to their donation. Several audio discs were scratched and fragile and several cassettes dry and brittle.

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Location of originals

Selected original audio discs are held by the Canadian Museum of Civilization (formerly National Museum) and the Library of Congress.

Availability of other formats

Audio reel copies and audio cassette listening copies are available for a large portion of the material. Compact disc listening copies available for the remaining recordings.

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Finding aids

Item descriptions for 1995-362 accession and a portion of earlier accessions available. Handwritten item descriptions (Film and Sound binder FSG 23) and accompanying indexes and content reports (Film and Sound MF 289) also available for a portion of the material.

Associated materials

Field notes, broadcast scripts, and transcripts pertaining to the sound recordings may be found in series "Correspondence and other material".

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Physical description

Includes: 307 audio discs, 15 audio cassettes, 4 audio cartridges, 4 cylinder recordings, 4 video casettes, 3 film reels.


Wax cylinders were sent to the National Archives of Canada for repair in 1986. Cylinders nos. 1 and 2 were transferred to audio reel.

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