Through the broad aims of the School of Music's project Communicative Human Musicality, the Archive provides the research team with bibliographic support and appropriate materials from the John Blacking Collection. Research pathways are being identified based on preliminary finding aids created as part of the Blacking Collection Project.
The University of Western Australia (UWA) facilitates access to and stimulates research on the John Blacking Collection. The Collection was presented to the University by Professor Blacking’s widow in 1997. It contains Blacking’s original fieldwork from his time among the Venda and other African peoples as well as his published and unpublished materials. As custodian of the John Blacking Collection the Archive is responsible for the development and management of the Collection and takes a lead role in overall project management.
The Archive plans to establish sustainable management practices and undertake major processing of the John Blacking Collection at UWA.
In support of the project’s research requirements, the Archive responds to requests for appropriate research material by identifying and retrieving suitable items from the largely unprocessed collection.
As part of the processing, the Archive is developing a series of ‘finding aids’. Chief among these are a comprehensive listing of the entire collection, an authoritative bibliography of Blacking’s writings, and a chronology of Blacking’s life and career based on biographical information taken from documents in the collection.
At the 31st National Conference of the Musicological Association of Australia (MSA), Melbourne, December 2008, the Archive team presented two papers as part of a themed panel-session titled John Blacking the Multi-Disciplinary Man: Reflections on the Life and Work of John Blacking.
The papers were:
Kaye Hill, "Archivist Meets Ethnomusicologist: Reconstructing the Papers of John Blacking". (To be published in Ethnomusicology Forum, 2011), and
Brian Dawson, "How Organised is Man?: the Research Practices of John Blacking".
In July 2009 researcher Dr Andrea Emberly, visited the Limpopo area of South Africa to undertake fieldwork with the Venda people. This short video showcases a small portion of the footage she collected as part of her work on the Communicative Human Musicality project. The complete footage is now stored in the Callaway Centre Archive.
View the Venda music video (Flash version 4.2MB) (Quicktime version 7.8MB)
This project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP0879196). The Chief Investigators acknowledge and thank the ARC for its support.