Miles Laurence Hanley (1893–1954) served on the English faculty of the University of Wisconsin from 1927 to his untimely death. During the early 1930s, Hanley took a two-year leave from his teaching duties at the University of Wisconsin to work as the associate director of the Linguistic Atlas of New England (LANE) under the direction of Hans Kurath. As part of his duties, Hanley recorded LANE speakers, as well as facilitating the recording of LANE speakers by others. In 1984, the recordings were donated to the Library of Congress. Motivation for linguists to explore this set of recordings is two-fold. First, the Hanley recordings provide critical insight on field recordings during the earlier part of the twentieth century and can even inform our understanding of the technological milieu at that time. Second, the Hanley recordings represent the contrast between insurance recordings of dialect of older, rural speakers and more recent recordings where the focus shifts to the recordings of younger, urban speakers, as well as the shift from the lexical questionnaire as primary data tool to audio recordings. The discussion includes an evaluation of the quality of audio recordings.

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