Charles Mitchill Bogert (1908–1992) was an American herpetologist, researcher, ethnomusicologist, and curator of herpetology for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Bogert was also a folk music collector. Bogert traveled widely in search of experimental settings and samples of indigenous frog species, and often recorded the local folk music usually performed in informal groups and in church celebrations during these travels to Sri Lanka, Mexico, Central America, the American West, Florida, and the Bahamas. He felt especially at home in Mexico, where in addition to conducting faunal surveys he made recordings of indigenous folk music that were later commercially released. In 1955, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a year's research. In 1960, he became a lecturer at the University of Colorado, and began an extensive study of the Oaxaca region of Mexico. In 1966, he was given an honorary LLD from UCLA. In 1978, he became a consultant at the Los Alamos National Environmental Research Park for a year. Afterwards he continued to travel and conduct further studies, until his death in 1992 in his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The collection, consisting of 7 and 10 inch reels, is divided into two parts. The first covers the musical performances by groups and individuals Bogert recorded throughout Mexico, South America, and the American southwest between 1952 and 1965. The second part is field recordings made by Bogert of frog choruses, mating calls and warnings, bird calls, and insect communication in Mexico, United States, and Sri Lanka.
A finding aid is currently being prepared and will be posted as soon as it is available. A draft is available upon request.
See a complete list of Charles Bogert recordings available through Smithsonian Folkways