Researchers who rely on field interviews for their work used to strive for their sources to be conserved not only for the preservation of evidence, but also to open the way to get feedback from other researchers or for the reuse of the recorded materials.

In the 1970s in France, this led to a long-lasting collaboration to disseminate research audio archives, between the CREM and the MMSH, two sound archives of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the largest governmental research organisation in France.

Choeur a tenore, Lodé, province de Nuoro, Sardaigne. credit: Bernard Lortat-Jacob

Choir a tenore, Lodé, province of Nuoro, Sardinia. credit: Bernard Lortat-Jacob

Nowadays the participation of the CNRS in Europeana Sounds is a sound way to spread polyphonies between resource centers in Europe and behond, and to create a new sonic territory. To illustrate this kind of vocal performances, listen to the two following recordings:

  • Polyphonies recorded in Sardinia by Bernard Lortat-Jacob and archived in the CREM (1992). Link in Telemeta, the CREM’s data base.


Credit: Gabriele Doppiu

Tenors from Oliena; Credit: Gabriele Doppiu


  • Polyphonies recorded in the South of France, in Vésubie, by Patrick Vaillant, archived in the MMSH and singed by Zéphirin Castellon and Thierry Cornillon (1989). Link in Ganoub, the MMSH’s data base.


Saint-Jean-la-Rivière : Vue générale avec le pont sur la Vésubie, Base Mémoire, Ministère de la Culture, accessible sur Europeana : 

Saint-Jean-la-Rivière : General view with the bridge over the Vésubie river, French Ministry of Culture, Europeana

 by Véronique Ginouvès and Joséphine Simonnot