Top of page

Collection Ancestral Voices

Rights and Access

Rights and Usage

The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for noncommercial purposes such as education and research. The Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, donor of the recordings, have consented to this online presentation. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.

Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance.

Traditional Knowledge Labels

The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress has undertaken a collaborative preservation digitization and access project focusing on its historical Native American audio recording collections. The project involves: a) digitally reformatting older media formats, including wax cylinder recordings, in order to recover and preserve the recorded voices and languages of Native American people, and b) developing curatorial protocols that are attentive to community cultural sensitivities regarding unique cultural materials along with digital access tools (online interfaces, catalog records) that embed Native American cultural knowledge about and descriptions of the content of the recordings in Library collection records, to the extent possible.

For this project, the AFC has partnered with members of the Passamaquoddy community and two non-profit organizations, Local Contexts and Mukurtu, to apply Traditional Knowledge Labels (TK Labels) to Passamaquoddy recordings made in 1890 and 1891 by anthropologist Jesse Walter Fewkes.

Local Contexts and its partners are working towards a new paradigm of rights and responsibilities that recognizes the inherent sovereignty that Indigenous communities have over their cultural heritage. Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels are an educational and informational digital marker created by the Local Contexts initiative to address the specific intellectual property needs of Native, First Nations, Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples with regard to the extensive collections of cultural heritage materials currently held within museums, archives, libraries, and private collections. Indigenous communities use TK Labels to identify and clarify community-specific access protocols associated with the materials and convey important information such as guidelines for proper use and responsible stewardship of cultural heritage materials. TK Labels provide information to help users of traditional cultural knowledge from outside the creators' community understand the importance and significance of this material, even when it is in the public domain.  More information is available at Local ContextsExternal.

The Passamaquoddy Tribe is a present-day community that retains cultural authority over its heritage. The TK Labels selected and defined for this collection by Passamaquoddy community leaders provide community knowledge and context that define the significance and responsible representation of their cultural heritage. The Passamaquoddy Tribe requests that you follow its recommendations for use as indicated on the TK Label text on each recording. For more information and related collections see the Passamaquoddy People website supported by staff at Local Contexts, and Washington State University’s Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation .

Traditional Knowledge Label: Attribution - Elihtasik (How it is done).
When using anything that has this Label, please use the correct attribution. This may include individual Passamaquoddy names, it may include Passamaquoddy as the correct cultural affiliation or it may include Passamaquoddy Tribe as the tribal designation.
Traditional Knowledge Label: Outreach - Ekehkimkewey (Educational).
Certain material has been identified by Passamaquoddy tribal members and can be used and shared for educational purposes. Ekehkimkewey means 'educational'. The Passamaquoddy Tribe is a present day community that retains cultural authority over its heritage. This Label is being used to teach and share cultural knowledge and histories, and to raise greater awareness and respect for Passamaquoddy culture and worldviews.

Traditional Knowledge Label: Non-Commercial - Ma yut monuwasiw (This is not sold).
This material should not be used for commercial purposes, including ways that derive profit from sale or production for non-Passamaquoddy people. In Passamaquoddy, Ma yut monuwasiw means 'this is not to be purchased'.

Credit line

Jesse Walter Fewkes collection of Passamaquoddy cylinder recordings (AFC 1972/003), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.