Digital Archiving on Chilean Music and Musicians, Part 2 by Eileen Karmy

Gretchen Pierce (She/her/hers) Blog Post

We continue our digital mini-series with the second of two posts about online resources for Chilean music. If you missed the first one, click here. Eileen Karmy is a music scholar interested in music politics, labor history, and archival research. She completed her PhD in Music at the University of Glasgow in 2019 with a thesis on the development of musicians’ unions in Chile. She has researched on popular music in Chile, especially cumbia, tango, and Nueva Canción. She regularly disseminates her research through articles, blog posts, films, and digital repositories. She created the digital archive of musicians’ organizations in Valparaíso ( in 2015. She has published books and journal articles on Chilean New Song, tango orchestras, tropical music, musicians’ working conditions, and the social history of musicians’ organizations in Chile. These include the book ¡Hagan un trencito! Siguiendo los pasos de la memoria cumbianchera en Chile (1949-1989), co-authored with Ardito, Mardones, and Vargas (2016), and her article “Musical Mutualism in Valparaiso during the Rise of the Labor Movement (1893–1931),” Popular Music and Society, 40, no. 5, 2017.


Digital Archiving on Chilean Music and Musicians, Part 2


In this post, I share a list of digital sources that hold relevant material and specific information about music and musicians in Chile that might be useful for scholars interested in researching Chilean music and culture in general. While I did not use these sites for my research on musicians’ unions I am familiar with them because they proved useful in my previous studies of Chilean popular music history.




Figure 1: Screenshot of the digital archive Memoria Musical de Valparaíso (


Figure 2: Screenshot of the digital archive Música Teatral (

Other digital sources for cultural research:

  • Archivo Ceneca. Digital archive with documents produced by the Centro de Indagación y Expresión Cultural y Artística (Ceneca) between 1977 and 1990, including interdisciplinary research on culture.
  • Archivo Central Andrés Bello, Digital Collections. Hosts seventeen collections of digital material, including bibliography, photography, iconography, and sheet music.
  • Archivo Digital Cineteca Nacional. Digital platform of the Nacional Film Archive. It allows viewers to watch more than 460 films of all kinds produced in Chile from 1903 to the present.
  • Archivo Fílmico de la Universidad Católica. Digital collection of audiovisual documents created by students and academics from different institutions of the university: Instituto Fílmico, Escuela de Arte de la Comunicación y Dirección Audiovisual. Film material dates from 1956 until the present day.
  • Archivo Fortín Mapocho. Digital platform with the archive of the now-defunct newspaper Fortín Mapocho that played a crucial role in opposing the Pinochet dictatorship. It comprises two collections: newspapers and photography. The first one includes a selection of digital copies of the newspaper from 1986 to 1990; the second contains pictures by the newspaper’s photographers (see Figure 3). This collection is divided into four groups: culture, government, politics, and society.
  • Archivo Fotográfico de la Universidad de Concepción. Digital archive of the photography collection produced and hosted by the Universidad de Concepción from 1919 to the late 1990s. It holds a wide variety of documents about the development of the university.
  • Archivo Patrimonial de la Universidad de Santiago de Chile. Digital archive of films, photography, and texts, produced and restored by the Universidad de Santiago de Chile. It includes material from the three educational institutions related to the history of the university: the Escuela de Artes y Oficios (1849-1974), Universidad Técnica del Estado (1947-1981), and the current university (from 1981). It contains more than 170,000 photographs, 728 films, and other documents.
  • Centro de Documentación de las Artes Escénicas. Archive of performing arts with documents from the Teatro Municipal de Santiago Ópera Nacional, including nearly 40,000 photographs, audio recordings, sketch designs, press cuttings, programs, and other materials dating from 1857. The topics cover dance, theatre, opera, and ballet.
  • Cineteca Virtual de la Universidad de Chile. Digital film archive of the Universidad de Chile, including a vast array of films dating from 1903 until the present day, organized in sixteen collections, with, for example, Chilean documentaries, popular art, digital cinema, and films made during the government of the Unidad Popular (1970-1973).
  • Kuriche. Website with articles, videos and other documents that promote research and cultural expressions of African origin in Chile. It hosts publications of Kuriche magazine, interviews, and videos. 

Figure 3: Chilean musician, Ángel Parra. Photographer: Anselmo Córdoba. Published in Fortin Mapocho, May 31, 1989. (

The digital platforms I described in these two posts hold a variety of documents and information. Some of these were created by independent scholars, who wanted to share their research findings in the form of digital archives, others, by institutions such as universities or public theatres. All of them are continually growing, offering unique materials and well-organized information that help to research remotely on any aspect of Chilean cultural history, especially on music and musicians.