world Geo Navigator




Sound archives of the CNRS - Musée de l'Homme

The audio archives of the CNRS – Musée de l’Homme gather commercial and unpublished recordings of music and oral traditions from around the world, from 1900 to the present. Consisting of diverse types of media (wax cylinders, 78 rpm, vinyl records, magnetic tapes, audio CDs, born digital records), these archives are among the most important in Europe in terms of quality, quantity and diversity.

For a historical presentation of these archives, see the website of the CREM.


The archives are involved in the project of European sound portal (2014-2017): Europeana Sounds.

Display audio player options are being developed by the DIADEMS program. As in the experimental phase, these tools are not all yet operational. Thank you for your understanding.



Managed by the Center for Research in Ethnomusicology (CREM), these archives index:

✔ Over 42,000 unpublished sound documents, among which 32.000 are available for listening, spread though more that 1,000 collections, representing about 4,000 hours of recordings of unpublished fieldworks.
✔ Over 13,000 published materials, among which 4,600 are available for listening, in more than 4,600 collections, for about 3,700 hours (including more than 5,000 discs among which some are very rare)
✔ 199 countries, and 1,200 ethnic and social groups are represented, making it possible to hear a wide array of musical and sung expressions, languages and dialects.

Today, about 21,000 recordings are available for listening on free access. The others are only available with an access code. To obtain one, write to crem.lesc (at), explaining the reasons for your request. The archives database is also available on computer sets at the CREM, at the Bibliothèque Eric de Dampierre, at the Médiathèque du Musée du Quai Branly and at the Bibliothèque du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle.

Organization of the catalogue

The database is organized on 4 hierarchical levels of description: Archives Series (Fonds) > Corpus > Collection > Item. The main level of description is ‘Collection’. Each gathers a relevant ensemble of sound items corresponding to recordings collected within one research fieldwork or to a published record. Some collections are assembled together in corpuses and archive groups linked to their collectors.

The number of recordings available online on the platform is constantly increasing. They are indicated by a speaker. The platform’s users fill descriptive forms collaboratively: researchers, students, archivists working together. The CREM welcomes all collaborations aiming to enrich and enhance this valued musical patrimony. You can write to us at crem.lesc (at)

playlists Musical selection

Kerala, Inde du Sud, Inde, Asie méridionale, Asie
Musique des danses ballo et tarantella _16
Italie, Europe méridionale, Europe