Audio Samples

1965–70 Fieldwork Recordings now available online at the UW Digital Collections Center

In the course of interviewing people for DARE, Fieldworkers asked them if they would be willing to be recorded, on any topic they wished to talk about, and if they would read the passage “Arthur the Rat.” Over 1,800 agreed to one or both. These recordings, made on reel-to-reel machines, give a snapshot of daily life in the years 1965 to 1970, as well as local history and other topics. We’ve posted here one composite recording of “Arthur,” which will soon be followed by several complete recordings from different parts of the U.S. There are also audio clips of two- to four-minute segments on several different topics. These are listed by state below.

Listen to audio samples:

“Arthur the Rat” reading passages

Alaska, Soapstone carving

California, Moon landing

Hawai’i, Hukilau

Idaho, Origin of polygamy

Maine, Boatmaking

Michigan, Prejudice while seeking employment

Mississippi, Feeding chickens

New Mexico, Chuck wagon etiquette

New York, Smuggling liquor

South Carolina, Desegregating Edisto State Park

Tennessee, Black power

Texas, Export shipping to Mexico

Wisconsin, Well witching


2013–14 Online Survey of Wisconsin English Telephone Interviews Are Here!

To hear more audio clips from DARE‘s collection, check these sites:

Digital DARE: Any entry marked with the speaker icon has an audio recording that corresponds with the DARE Tape quotation. If you don’t have subscription-level access, these 10 words from the 100 Sample Entries have audio clips: Antony-over, elbedritsch, first-footer, flying jenny, izzard, kitty-corner, kolacky, lawyer, summer complaint, and uptown.

American Languages: Our Nation’s Many Voices Online: We worked with the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures and the Max Kade Institute here in Madison to post segments of our DARE audio interviews. Segments from 31 states were posted. Go to English Dialects.