This audio feature serves as an introduction to the collection of 1,843 audio recordings made for the Dictionary of American Regional English between 1965 and 1970. Most recordings include two segments: a reading of “The Story of Arthur the Rat” by the DARE Informant; and a conversation between the Informant and the Fieldworker. The digitized DARE recordings of “Arthur” are hosted at the website American Languages: Our Nation’s Many Voices ( Having access to examples of the same passage read by people from all sections of the country allows linguists to compare systematically the pronunciation of vowels and consonants in the same phonetic context. Segments of conversational portions from some of the DARE interviews are hosted at the related website American Languages: Our Nation’s Many Voices Online ( A project to delete personal names and sensitive information from the interviews is under way. When it is completed, the full recordings will be made available through the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center, making this remarkable oral history of mid-twentieth-century America available for many kinds of research.

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