Skip to Main Content

Frances Densmore: Recording & Preserving Native American Music : Primary Sources: Archives & Records

Primary Sources

Frances Densmore Papers, 1926-1939
Includes essays, addresses, and articles prepared by Densmore and accompanied by photographs (some taken by Densmore). The papers discuss Dakota and Ojibwe music, ceremonies, stories, and crafts.
MNHS call number:  Digital Finding Aid  

Benjamin Densmore and Family Papers
Among the many items by and about women members of the Densmore family are essays, notes, and fragments of articles by Benjamin's daughter, Frances Densmore, on Indian music and other topics.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid    

Papers Relating to Frances Densmore, 1867-1957
Biographical and professional information on Frances Densmore, a Red Wing (Minn.) native and authority on American Indian music, contained in materials compiled by Karen Daniels Petersen, a Minnesota researcher and writer on American Indians who was acquainted with Densmore.
MHS call number:  See the finding aid in the libary (P1605).
"Imitative Dances Among the American Indians," by Frances Densmore.
In Journal of American Folklore, vol. 60, no. 235 (Jan.-Mar. 1947): pp. 73-78.
MNHS call number: GR1 .J85 v.60:235

The American Indians and Their Music,
 by Frances Densmore.
New York: The Woman's Press, 1936.
MNHS call number: E98.M9 D34 1936
Chippewa Customs, by Frances Densmore.
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1979.
MNHS call number: Reading Room E99.C6 D38 1929a, also available for purchase. 

Dakota and Ojibwe People in Minnesota, by Frances Densmore.
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society, 1977.
MNHS call number: E99.D1 D39

Poems from Sioux and Chippewa Songs, by Frances Densmore.
Washington, D.C.: [s.n.], 1917.
MNHS call number: E99.D1 D4

Recent Developments in the Study of Indian Music, by Frances Densmore.
Washington, D.C.: [s.n.], 1917
MNHS call number: ML3557 .D4665 1917

"A Short History of the Indians in Minnesota for Use in School, 1937-1938," by Frances Densmore.
Saint Paul : Minnesota Historical Society, 1941.
MNHS call number: M157 (1 reel of microfilm).
Strength of the Earth: The Classic Guide to Objibwe Uses of Native Plants, by Frances Densmore.  
St. Paul, MN : Minnesota Historical Society Press, c2005.
MNHS call number: E99.C6 D415 2005, also available for purchase
Healing Songs of the American Indians
Includes program notes by Frances Densmore and Charles Hofmann.
New York: Folkways Records & Service Corp., 1965.
MNHS call number: Sound Disc 33-A
Songs of the …, recorded and edited by Frances Densmore.
Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Division of Music, Recording Laboratory.
  • Songs of the Chippewa, 1951, MNHS call number: Sound Disc 49-A
  • Songs of the Menominee, Mandan, and Hidatsa, [1953?], MNHS call number: Sound Disc 55-A
  • Songs of the Nootka and Quileute, [1953?], MNHS call number: Sound Disc 54-A
  • Songs of the Papago, [1953?], MNHS call number: Sound Disc 53-A
  • Songs of the Pawnee and Northern Ute, 1951, MNHS call number: Sound Disc 52-A
  • Songs of the Sioux, 1951, MNHS call number: Sound Disc 50-A
  • Songs of the Yuma, Cocopa, and Yaqui, 1951, MNHS call number: Sound Disc 51-A

Search for Primary Sources at MNHS

MNHS Reference Staff

reading room bookshelves


Gale Family Library
Minnesota Historical Society Library

Located on the Second Floor of the Minnesota History Center
345 West Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Library Hours:
Thursday to Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday to Wednesday: Closed

More Information on Visiting the Library


Contact Us:


Email Us

Visit our Main Website

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Hours and More InformationEmail us