The Music Archive of Monash University (MAMU) is a subsidiary of the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University. Founded in 1974 in the Monash Department of Music (as it was called then), MAMU hosts one of the finest and rarest collections of the world’s sound and material arts, including musical instruments; audio and audiovisual recordings of music, theatre and dance performances in various media formats; pre-digital films; slides; photographs; theatrical puppets; theatrical masks, textiles, costumes; and more, from Asia, Australia and the Pacific, Europe, the Americas, and Africa. The documentary sources include oral histories, field notes, musical notations, sets of musical scores, theatrical and poetic texts, maps, books, pamphlets, scrapbooks and other written documentation of the artistic and social uses and functions of the audio- and audio-visual recordings and material objects. As a result, MAMU is an important resource centre that facilitates research by preserving, maintaining, promoting and providing physical and online access to its collections. Materials may not be borrowed but visitors can use facilities on the premises to listen to, read or watch their selections, or access digitised materials online.

Our collection

MAMU specialises in the music and ancillary materials of the Asia-Pacific region although its holdings encompass a far wider trajectory. Collections are grouped according to place, ethnicity, or donor. Thus the Asian Music Archive houses collections of field recordings, musical instruments and other materials from India (including the Louise Lightfoot Collection and the late 19th century Tagore Instruments Collection), from Indonesia (including the extensive Kartomi Collection of Music, the unique set of Gamelan Digul instruments built in a prison camp in 1926, and the Jeune Scott-Kemball Collection of Puppets), from Vietnam (collected by Tuan Le), from the Philippines (collected by Manolete Mora), and many more. The Sumatra Music Archive deserves special mention because it is the largest in the world thanks to over 40 years of field research and recordings by Margaret Kartomi. The Australian Archive of Jewish Music, which also focuses on the Asia-Pacific region, houses collections that are mainly donated or bequeathed and include the Miriam Rochlin Collection, the Nechama Patkin Collection and the Ben Segaloff Collection among many others. The European Archive includes the Vera Bradford Collection, the Early Music Instrument Collection of shawms, crumhorns and keyboards, and the online Monash Digital Archive of Early Australian Music.