PARADISEC (the Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures) offers a facility for digital conservation and access to endangered materials from all over the world. Our research group has developed models to ensure that the archive can provide access to interested communities, and conforms with emerging international standards for digital archiving. We have established a framework for accessioning, cataloguing and digitising audio, text and visual material, and preserving digital copies. The primary focus of this initial stage is safe preservation of material that would otherwise be lost, especially field tapes from the 1950s and 1960s.
A primary motivation for this project is making field recordings available to those recorded and their descendants. We have sent copies of recordings to the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, the University of New Caledonia, the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies and to Rapa Nui.
PARADISEC is a consortium of three universities: the Universities of Sydne and Melbourne, and the Australian National University. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, operational functions are distributed across the participating campuses. PARADISEC is directed by a Steering Committee of representatives from these four universities. The director is Dr Linda Barwick, University of Sydney and the Project Manager is Dr Nick Thieberger, University of Melbourne.
At the University of Sydney we are hosted by the Faculty of Arts. Our University of Melbourne base is in the Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. At the Australian National University we are hosted by the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies. Our distributed project operations have been made possible by the high bandwidth dedicated research and education network Grangenet and the data storage facility of the National Computational Infrastructure Facility. We archive our audio data to international standards and formats for digital preservation using the Quadriga Audio Archiving system.