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DepositVernacular Music Material Culture in Space and Time

Few musical instruments are more closely tied or hold greater significance to American history than the banjo. From its West African roots, to its birth in the seventeenth century Caribbean, and through its meteoric rise in nineteenth century American popular culture, the banjo is an iconic instrument whose impact is woven into the cultural fabric of the American experience. As scholars, researchers, and enthusiasts continue to discover new information about the early banjo, there is no collective location to maintain, interact with, and collectively analyze this important data. The proposed Banjo Sightings Database Project (BSD) will combine rare and widely-dispersed primary source material (circa 1650-1870) with appropriate and innovative technological applications, resulting in a system that not only catalogs information about the early banjo, but also establishes an interactive, peer-reviewed knowledge management system, allowing users to explore the early banjo.

DepositPlantations and Homes: The Material Culture of the Early Nineteenth-Century Jamaican Elite

This article is about the wealth and material culture of the Jamaican elite during the age of abolition. The planter class had a huge material investment in plantation slavery, and wealth derived from this allowed it to live ostentatiously and to consume conspicuously. Those who did not migrate away from Jamaica were drawn towards colonial towns, many of them taking up residence in, or at the edges of, urban centres. Lists of personal property found in probate inventories show how planters cultivated separate spheres of activity on the plantations and at their peri-urban homes, putting physical and cultural distance between themselves and the sources of their wealth.