The Tunisian National Sound Archive (TNSA) collections feature more than 30.000 recordings (as of April 2017). The TNSA documents, preserves and makes accessible the largest collection of published and unpublished recordings of music from Tunisia, in addition to music from the Arab world and the Mediterranean countries dating back to as early as 1903, which may be broken up according to their provenance as follows:
- Legal deposit : more than 4200 recordings
- Donations: more than 9200
- Field collecting campaigns conducted throughout Tunisia, recordings made at the TNSA studios as well as recordings made as part of archiving of major musical festivals and events taking place in Tunisia : more than 2000 recordings
- Recordings made as part of archiving of activities taking place at the CAMM: more than 2600 recordings
- Acquisition : More than 8500 recordings
- Recordings transferred from other Tunisian institutions: more than 3800 including :
-the collection of the Tunis Higher Institute of music
- The collection of the National Committee for Culture
- Archival material of the Testour traditional Music festival
-The records collection of the Higher institute for Youth and Cultural activities in Bir al bey (south of the capital).
The holding features the following formats: 78 rpm double sided records/ vinyl 33 and 45 rpm records / cassette tapes/DAT/CDA/DVD/video tapes/magnetic tapes and digital files.
The National Sound Archive’s holdings consist of recordings from various geographical origins with an emphasis on Tunisia, the Maghreb, non Maghrebi Arab countries, Mediterranean countries and various other countries
The TNSA has expanded its holding thanks to a few collections from individual donors. These include:
- The personal collection of Dr. Salah El Mehdi (1925-2014), an outstanding figure of the Tunisian musical scene throughout the twentieth century. This collection contains 1460 records of Arab, oriental, African and western music in different formats (LP records, singles and a few 78’s).
- The collection of field recordings carried out in Tunisia in September /December 1960 by Dr. Wolfgang Laade, a German ethnomusicologist, based in Switzerland, which resulted in more than 46 hours of unpublished recordings. http://phonotheque.cmam.tn/archives/corpus/DAT-Laade-1960/
- The records collection of : late Mustapha Ennayfar (217 records), Mustapha Kaak (64 records 78 rpms), Rachel Khayat Sitbon, alias Smarda El-Olgia (80 records). These were donated to trhe NST by the families of these collectors.
The CAMM encourages holders of collections of musical sound recordings with a historical value, either published or unpublished, to donate them to the TNS. Any audiovisual documents; publications (books, monographs, reference books and theses papers) devoted to music, any object (sound reproducing equipment, posters, curiosities) will be gladly accepted by the TNS on the understanding that the physical integrity of all collections donated will be preserved.
The name of the donor will appear in the database of audio recordings http://phonotheque.cmam.tn
In addition, a plaque indicating the content of the donation as well as the name of the donor is clearly posted in the sound archive for each major donation.( please send us an email, if you want to contribute to the enriching of the sound archive holdings).