This collection consists of twenty-one audio recordings primarily concerning the Tlingit Indians of the Yakutat and Hoonah, which were recorded between circa 1951 and 1979. The recordings, all captured on 7 or 5 inch open magnetic reels—most all since migrated to CD for patron research, primarily contain Tlingit elders speaking about the history and heritage of the Tlingit clans from Yakutat and Hoonah. Some of the recordings are all in the Tlingit language.
These recordings were collected by Elaine Abraham and most concern her home village of Yakutat. Some recordings in the collection also concern Hoonah, such as the tapes recorded by presumably Andrew Hope between 1971 and 1973. The collection also contains recordings with Tlingit and Haida land claims lawyer I.E. Weissbrodt. Some recordings in this collection are copies of those made by anthropologist Frederica de Laguna in 1952 and 1954, and patrons interested in these should see SHI’s Frederica de Laguna Recordings Collection (MC 47).
Between 2010 and 2012 SHI archival migrated most all these recordings from open reel to CD, thereby making them accessible to researchers in CD format. In 2012 the all Tlingit language recordings were reviewed for content via an IMLS Enhancement Grant, which contracted a fluent language speaker to review the recordings. Fred White of the Shangukeidí Clan, Shangukeidí House, who was born in Yakutat, reviewed the recordings in this collection. White was related to and familiar with many people whose voices were captured on recordings in this collection, and as result, was able to give accurate feedback. This feedback, along with the wording written on the label of each original reel, is provided in an item by item description.