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School of Music


Center for Southern  African-American Music

Center for Southern African-American Music

During the harvesting season, travel to any farming community in South Carolina and you’ll hear the chants that have been handed down from generation to generation. Visit an African-American church service on any given Sunday and listen to the beautiful mosaic of hymns.

South Carolina has a heritage made richer by the culture brought to the United States from the African and Caribbean slaves forcibly transported here. These individuals conveyed a wealth of music traditions and identities.

The mission of the Center for Southern African-American Music is to preserve and record oral histories, music recordings, film and video footage of African-American Music in the South to be remembered and enjoyed by all people. The university became the owner of 11 million feet of Movietone News rare footage film in 1980, and the collection holds some of the earliest footage of African-American songs.

The University of South Carolina is committed to preserving this history. The Center was created to document, record and archive these rich resources for future generations.

CSAM and the School of Music collaborate with disciplines across the university: African American Studies Program, College of Arts and Sciences and USC Libraries.

Archives

With an emphasis on music, our print, audio and video archives are available worldwide online, and our acquisition of commercial and non-commercial recordings, books, photographs and memorabilia continues to grow.

Presently available online are digitally archived recordings, photographs, scores and visual footage from the USC Film Library's Fox Movietone News Collection.

CSAM also captures music as it exists today through contemporary field recordings and audio/videotaping. CSAM seeks to be a repository for materials relating to African-American music in the South and through contemporary archiving procedures, will preserve them for perpetuity.

Southern African-American Music Collection Archive