Special Archives

1. The Sumatra Music Archive mainly comprises the extensive sound and audiovisual recordings and related materials (such as photographs, slides and text documentation) collected by Professor Margaret Kartomi during her field research since 1973 in all regions and provinces of Sumatra including some of its offshore islands.

The collection, which covers the music and other cultural activity of a wide range of Sumatran groups over an extended time span, constitutes a unique primary resource for research projects into many aspects of Sumatran studies. Reel-to-reel and cassette tapes were used for the earlier recordings. All of these have been digitised and are available online via the Monash ARROW website.

Professor Kartomi’s ongoing fieldwork interest culminated in the publication of her book Musical Journeys in Sumatra, published by Illinois Press in 2012. Dr David Goldsworthy, Dr Lynette Moore, Dr Mauly Purba, Dr Iwan Amir and Ashley Turner are among several other Monash academics and students who have researched the music cultures in this region.


2.  The Japanese Music Archive was established in 1988 in order to coordinate and promote understanding of and research into Japanese music in Australia. The Japanese music materials in the Archive include records, tapes, compact discs, videotapes, books, journals, scores, personal collections and musical instruments such as the koto (a 13-string zither) and the shamisen (a 3-string lute). These instruments have been used for teaching purposes and in concert performances at Monash.

The Archive has been active in establishing close contacts with members of the local Japanese community who perform Japanese music. Among the Archive’s aims are the acquisition of materials pertaining to the classical (traditional), popular and contemporary music of Japan including concert programmes and press cuttings, and the collection of materials on Japanese music education and the establishment of links with organisations involved with Japanese methods of music education such as the Suzuki method.


3. The Australian Archive of Jewish Music (AAJM), inaugurated in 1994, is a collection accumulated through field work and through donations of sound recordings by members of the Jewish and wider communities in Australia. These recordings were either produced in Australia or brought by Jewish immigrants from overseas in numerous waves during the past century and reveal a rich variety of musical styles and traditions.

The major foci of the AAJM, however, are the Australian and Asian components of the collection and the latter has already provided a window to the historic Jewish music cultures that developed along trade routes to Asian cities such as Bombay (Mumbai), Rangoon (Yangon), Singapore, Penang, Jakarta, Surabaya, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The Australian component has been digitised and stored in Monash University’s LaRDS facility.

A select number of these recordings are accessible on the ARROW website. The AAJM has an advisory committee consisting of Australian and international members. The founding patron was the late Right Honorable Sir Zelman Cowen A.K., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., K.S.T.J., Q.C., P.C.