Established in 2009, Makerere University Klaus Wachsmann Audio-visual Archive (MAKWMAA) is a multi-media archive and resource center for traditional, popular and art music, recited word, dances and stories and recollections of musicians and dancers of Uganda. Founded by Dr. Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga-Tamusuza, it was named after Klaus Wachsmann because of his great contribution as the first curator of the Uganda Museum, an ethnomusicologist, teacher and researcher on music of the Ugandan people.
The Klaus Wachsmann Collection, constitutes repatriated digital copies from the British Library Sound Archive in 2009, forms the initial collection of the MAKWAA. In addition to the founding collection, MAKWAA has: 1) MAKWAA Collection, 2) Peter Cooke Collection from UK; 3) Andrew Tracey Collection from South Africa; 4) Linda Cimaldi Collection from Italy; 5) Peter Hoesing Collection USA, and 6) Makwa Collection (Ugandan Ethnomusicologist)
i. To collect and record all kinds of Ugandan music and dance including field and commerce recordings of indigenous and popular musics as well as scores, manuscripts, transcriptions, photographs, musical art works and musical instruments; ii. To digitize Ugandan music recorded on discs, LPs and cassette-tapes formats for permanent preservation; iii. To provide access to the archived collections and ensure that they are properly utilized in a manner that protects the intellectual property and copyright ownership; iv. To research and publish on Ugandan music and dance through print and online publications, workshops, exhibitions and conferences; v. To network with institutions and individuals to repatriate Ugandan music collections; vi. To be the training center for archiving music and dances and share knowledge on best practices in archiving.
The main features of the measure include:
Collecting and recording Music and Dances
The Archive maintains a field recording project of traditional music and dance performers through out the country, which is divided into four major regions: North, East, Central and West. Each region is assigned a collector-in charge and the archive upholds the need to train and retrain music collectors in order to address the challenges of the changing recording technology. We have three collections to-date: 1500 items of audio recordings, 1400 items of video recording, and 2000 photo items/objects. Plan is underway to facilitate a collection of commercial recordings of both popular and traditional music and dance from within and outside Uganda.
In addition to recorded materials, the Archive collects printed materials related to music and dance of Uganda. The Archive also maintains a collection of written materials related to the academic discipline of music and particularly, ethnomusicology.
Negotiating for Repatriation of Music ad Dances Collections
Through networking and collaboration, the Archive negotiates for the repatriation of copies of audio recordings, video recordings, and photographs of Ugandan music (and accompanying notes, if available). The British Library Sound Archives repatriated copies of Klaus Wachsmann's recordings of 1949, 1950, and 1954 and these total to 1575 items of audio recordings. We have also repatriated more then 200 items of the Tracey's collection from South Africa and a number of researchers from Italy, USA and UK have deposited their field recordings with MAKWAA.
Beyond facilitating the repatriation of collections from outside Uganda, under our Community Repatriation Project, we take back recordings to the communities of origin since not all users are able to come to Makerere University.
Preserving and Maintaining Collections
We preserve and maintain all collections for future access through physical and digital storages. We also repair damaged tapes in order to recover as much as possible the original recording.
Providing Access to Collections
Our collections are accessible to Makerere University staff and students. National and international researchers as well as the public can access the archive after acquiring a Library permit. The Archive offers listening and viewing facilities. Some materials in closed access can also be consulted on request. All accessible collections are in digital format, which makes recorded sound materials available in a convenient, electronic format for users.
Providing Resources for Teaching
The archive is a resource centre for teaching materials on music and dance. It also offers facilities for teachers to deposit listening assignments for students' access.
Conducting Training on Archiving and Research
The Archive conducts research on music and dance and organizes workshops on research and archiving. In March 2010, we hosted the First International NORAD Workshop on Music recording and archiving, which drew participants from Norway, Uganda, Tanzania, (including Zanzibar) and Sudan. We have also developed courses in archiving for both undergraduate and graduate programs at the Department of Performing Arts and Film.
1. Two scholars were awarded PhD Scholarships to pursue further studies.
1. Local collections of music, dance and film have been developed
2. Five sets of collections of music, dance and film have been repatriated from overseas.
3. Local collections of music, dance and film from various parts of Uganda have been archived.
4. A number of scholarly publications based on the collections have been published in international journals.
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
University of Melbourne, Australia
York University, Canada
American Embassy in Uganda
NORAD Arts and Cultural Education Program, Norway
Norwegian Program for Development, Research and Education (NUFU) Program, Norway
University of Stellenbousch, South Africa
Audio-visual archiving, while very important in historicizing about and documenting the past, telling of the present, and predicting the future, it is a novel activating in preservation of Uganda's cultural heritage, which is majorly oral.
What MAKWAA is doing is just a little drop in the ocean and with limited funding. There is need for more local funding so we can set the agenda of archiving Uganda's heritage.
More cultural organizations should be involved in the archiving of Uganda's rich heritage so we can share the present into the very dynamically changing future
The Ugandan government agencies should take particular interest in professional audio-visual archiving as a support to the few print archives