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The Mary R. Haas Collection of Tunica Sound Recordings

Collection number: SCL LA 146
Primary contributors:  Mary R. Haas (researcher), Sesostrie Youchigant (consultant)
Language: Tunica
Historical information: The fourteen wax cylinders of Tunica that comprise this collection were recorded by Mary R. Haas in Louisiana in the 1930s. Haas received her PhD from Yale in 1935, writing a grammar of the language, but temporarily halted work on Tunica until 1938, when she began work on "Tunica Texts." She worked on the language through 1940, when her dissertation was published. Haas mailed at least twelve of the fourteen cylinders from Ann Arbor, Michigan to herself in Richmond, Indiana in August 1943. They later came to be stored at the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages at the University of California, Berkeley in two boxes (twelve cylinders in one, two in another). The 1943 mailing date can be made out from the twelve-item box, but no date can be discerned for the two-item box. In 1979 the twelve cylinders from one of the boxes were transferred to tape, but by that time the other two cylinders had been separated, and it was not until 1985 that the latter were similarly transferred; this latter tape was later digitized by the Berkeley Language Center. In 2014 all 14 cylinders, by this time all housed in the Survey, were used as a pilot for the National Science Foundation-funded project "Linguistic and Ethnographic Sound Recordings from Early Twentieth-century California: Optical Scanning, Digitization, and Access," involving the collaboration of the Department of Linguistics, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and University Library.
Scope and content: Fourteen wax cylinder recordings of songs and stories collected by Mary R. Haas in the early 1930s as part of her dissertation fieldwork on Tunica.
Repository: Survey of California and Other Indian Languages
Preferred citation: The Mary R. Haas Collection of Tunica Sound Recordings, SCL LA 146, Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, University of California, Berkeley,