Frances Densmore - (SI)
AT AGE 75, Frances Densmore's significant field work was largely behind her. She spent much of the next 15 years to seeing that the 2,500 delicate wax recordings got safely preserved in the Library of Congress. The library hired her-with money from a private donor-to catalog the vast collection.
The Densmore cylinder collection is there today. Experts on traditional American Indian music regard it as an American national treasure.
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Examples from the Densmore cylinder collection:
Moccasin Game Song
Why Should I be Jealous
Southern Dance Song
Densmore spent her last few years retyping boxes of field notes, articles and speeches. She was preparing herself for the historical record. In doing so, she likely destroyed whatever traces there may have been of the interior Frances Densmore. Her will specifically ordered that all letters, notebooks and manuscripts stored in her desk be burned. She had already distributed the "professional" Densmore papers to various archives.18