Volume 62, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214


From the end of 1915 until just after the armistice, Wilhelm Doegen made gramophone recordings of the nearly 250 languages or dialects of the soldiers interned in the German prisoner of war camps. After the war, the 1650 shellac discs resulting from this impressive undertaking made up the foundation of his Sound Department at the Prussian State Library. After Doegen’s dismissal in 1933, the department was attached to the University of Berlin. Eventually, it wholly lost its autonomy and its sound files were neglected. Recently, however, they have been rediscovered, inventoried, digitized and integrated in a multimedia database at the Humboldt University. Doegen’s recordings of the respective dialects of six Dutch-speaking places in Belgium date back to the First World War. In 1927, he recorded an extensive series of samples of Frisian dialects in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, Dutch dialectology has hitherto paid scarcely any attention to his extraordinary project.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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