Figure 1: Screenshot of BNDC’s collections (http://www.bibliotecanacionaldigital.gob.cl/bnd/612/w3-propertyname-672.html)
For my research, documents in the music collection were the most useful. A hidden gem was the more than ninety digitized sheet music from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries by Antonio Alba (see Figure 2). These are all available online and downloadable in PDF.
Figure 2: Screenshot of Antonio Alba’s sheet music in the BNDC Music Archive
Although Memoria Chilena is part of the BNDC, and therefore some of the materials can be found on both pages, in the former site, sources are selected and organized under specific themes. These thematic “mini-websites” begin with essays that provide a contextual framework. The sites then provide links to documents, images, chronology, bibliographies, and relevant links. The “mini-websites” as well as the sources themselves can be searched for in a variety of different ways, including: place, theme, type of source, and dates. Most of the materials are in the public domain, but not all. This information is specified for each document, and researchers may reproduce them after contacting Memoria Chilena (more details here).
Memoria Chilena holds a substantial number and variety of press accounts, rulebooks, letters, sheet music, leaflets, photographs, articles, theses, and books. It also displays an interactive timeline, highlighting milestones per era, which can be useful for anyone interested in Chilean history (see Figure 3). For my research, it was especially relevant having remote access to magazines like Sucesos, which is available to download in PDF. Sucesos was published in Valparaíso from 1905 to 1932, covering national and foreign news and photography of urban life. Here I found some of the few existent portraits of the musicians I studied (see Figure 4).
Figure 3: Screenshot of Timeline in Memoria Chilena (http://www.memoriachilena.gob.cl/602/w3-propertyvalue-158839.html)
Figure 4: Musicians from the Sociedad Musical de Socorros Mutuos de Valparaíso who performed at the Saint Cecilia festival in Valparaíso. Sucesos, November 25, 1904, a magazine available at Memoria Chilena
Cine Chile works as both a repository to disseminate national film production and a digital archive of Chilean film history. The latter hosts digital copies and full transcriptions of an array of articles from newspapers and magazines that cover the various aspects of film production and reception in Chile. The inclusion of the transcriptions is remarkable because it is not a common practice and greatly facilitates the research process. The information can be located using the home search button with film titles or names of people. An advanced search is provided at the catalogue window (catálogo), and in the archive window (archivos históricos), another search button is available. The material is presented in three ways: in a compressed list of the press articles, a full list, and in “mini-websites” by era (especiales por época). The website also includes bibliography and chronology sections plus other multimedia sources, which go from 1895 to the present time, offering a treat for any researcher interested in the topic.
For example, Cine Chile holds material related to films produced in Valparaíso, such as Un paseo a Playa Ancha (1903), the oldest Chilean production available, and Un grito en el mar (1924) (see Figures 5 and 6). The former features a day trip with a shared lunch and cueca dancing, common practices among grassroots’ societies of the time, such as the one I studied, the Sociedad Musical de Socorros Mutuos de Valparaíso. The latter praised Paul Salvatierra, the Sociedad Musical’s secretary, for conducting the “magnificent orchestra” that performed “with synchronic accompaniment, a brilliant musical programme especially adapted” for the film (La Estrella, Valparaíso, December 30, 1924).
Figure 5: A couple dancing a cueca in the film Un paseo a Playa Ancha (1903). Film screenshot, Archivo Cine Chile.