Please note that the PARADISEC website has been redesigned.
The new website can be found at http://www.paradisec.org.au/
Australia lies within a region of great linguistic and cultural diversity. Over 2000 of the world's 6000 different languages are spoken in Australia, the South Pacific Islands (including around 900 languages in New Guinea alone) and Southeast Asia. Within the next century this number is likely to drop to a few hundred. The majority of these 2000 languages and their associated cultural expressions (such as music and dance) are very poorly documented. Even in those languages that have begun to be documented many of the most developed cultural expressions (such as languages of song and ritual) have never been studied.
Australian researchers have been making unique and irreplaceable audiovisual recordings in the region since portable field recorders became available in the mid-twentieth century, yet until the establishment of PARADISEC there was no Australian repository for these invaluable research recordings.
Nick Thieberger handing back digitised tapes to Leonard Drilë Sam in New Caledonia