Donn Borcherdt photos (Mexico, Chile) now online

The UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive is thrilled to announce that photos from the Donn Borcherdt Collection are now online as part of UCLA Library Digital Collections.
Donald R. Borcherdt, known as "Donn" to his friends and colleagues, received his B.A. from UCLA in music in 1956.  He earned his M.A. in music with a specialization in ethnomusicology in 1962, and by 1966 had advanced to doctoral candidacy in music with a specialization in ethnomusicology.  Borcherdt conducted field research in Mexico in 1960, 1961, and 1963-1964 and in Chile in 1966-67.  His publications include "Armenian Folk Music in the Los Angeles and Fresno Areas," Western Folklore (1959), as well as several book reviews.  Borcherdt also hosted the weekly radio program, "Many Worlds of Music," in 1960-1962, on KPFK in Los Angeles.  In 1961, Borcherdt, started a student-run mariachi class, Conjunto Mariachi or Conjunto Uclatlán [the land of UCLA], in the then Institute (now Department) of Ethnomusicology at UCLA, making UCLA the first academic institution in the United States to offer mariachi classes.  
Conjunto Huasteco - Art Gerst, Donn Borcherdt, Robert Saxe (c. 1961)
In 1967-1968, Borcherdt made a final fieldwork trip to Mexico to continue his studies on mariachi music in Jalisco and Michoacán.  He died unexpectedly in Mexico in 1969.  The Ethnomusicology Archive holds his complete collection, including fieldwork recordings, field notes, these photos, and nearly 2,000 index cards filled with the outline of his dissertation.  As Professor Lauryn Salazar concluded in her own dissertation, "had he lived to finish his dissertation, it would have been a seminal work within the field."
Here are a few photos from the Donn Borcherdt Collection.  Please check out the complete collection on the UCLA Digital Library Collections website.
Young Man with Vihuela
Man Playing Chirimigo

Man Playing Harp

Photos © Regents of the University of California, All Right Reserved. (For permission to use any images, contact the Archivists.  Email:

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