PARADISEC Activity Update – Jan 2021

Well, we made it through 2020! Archiving of new material has proceeded throughout various phases of lockdowns, workings-from-home, etc. A huge thank you to all of our staff, depositors, and broader community for their flexibility and patience.

We flew past the 100TB-archived milestone (for which our upcoming online conference is named, PARADISEC@100), and are now at over 112TB. The 595 collections in the archive contain 30,987 items, which in turn house 322,287 essence objects.

We’re also excited to be partnering with the British Library on the True Echoes research project, which “aims to reconnect a rich archive of early sound recordings of Oceanic cultures with the communities from which they originate.”

We’re looking forward to being joined by contributors and attendees from all over the world at the PARADISEC Conference, Feb 17-19 2021. Hope to see you there!

From film to file: historical manuscripts released by PARADISEC

We are pleased to announce the release of a number of historical manuscripts in and about languages of the Pacific. We worked with the National Library of Australia to digitise microfilms and have now made them available as pdf files for download from our catalog. This work was supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language

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PARADISEC Activity Update – May 2020

Well, this has been the strangest quarter on memory, I’m sure a lot of folks can relate. All PARADISEC staff and affiliates, across our three main institutional location (Universities of Sydney & Melbourne, and ANU in Canbera) have been working at home for the past 6+ weeks. This has slowed down some aspects of our operations such as processing and accessioning to archive large volumes of large files (especially video), and digitising certain tape media that require specialised equipment not easy to re-locate.

That said, we recently passed a significant milestone, adding our 300,000th file into the collection! As ever, we’re proud of the ongoing work we’re doing in keeping this amazing and valuable set of materials growing.

Connect with us on Twitter ( @PARADISEC_Aus ) , and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/paradisecpage

Current collection stats:

84.2 Tb total

572 collections
28,515 items
300,073 essence objects

94 universities

X-WAV    63,661 files   20.5 TB  12,343 hours

MXF 54.6 Tb

MP4 5,933 files 4.62 TB 1,146:30 hours

PARADISEC Activity Update – Feb 2020

We had a busy 2019, and are continuing that trend into 2020.

The archive now houses 541 collections, containing 27,126 items, and representing 1232 languages.

We have 74.4 TB of data, of which 20.4 TB is our 11,977 hours of audio files.

 

 

Honiara language workshop, August 2019

The Solomon Islands Kulu Language Institute (KLI) organised a workshop in August this year that attracted 100 participants representing 44 languages of the Solomon Islands.

The venue was the leaf house at Saint Barnabas Anglican Cathedral Grounds, Honiara. The workshop was sponsored by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, the Kulu Language Institute, the University of Melbourne, The Research Unit for Indigenous Language, and Islands Bible Ministries. Continue reading ‘Honiara language workshop, August 2019’ »

Loma Langi, Loma Larnee: imported heaven

Owners have commonly bestowed a name on their property, whether it be a residence in town, a homestead, a boat. Since at least the late 19th century in Australia, a popular source for these names has been some of the vocabulary of Australian languages and other languages of the region. The demand has been met in the last century by various popular booklets of ‘Aboriginal names’ (referenced in previous posts on Orana and on Akuna). Before those booklets began to be published, newspapers and magazines published suggestions, sometimes drawn from the Collectors of Words notably the books of Brough Smyth (1878) and Curr (1886/7).

Particularly in the southeast of Australia, an influential source was the contribution of Alexander Cameron Macdonald (1828–1917), ‘accountant, surveyor and geographer’:

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50 words of Australian languages project

The Research Unit for Indigenous Language is running a project in 2019/2020 to collect and present words in as many Australian Indigenous languages as possible. Please consider contributing to this project.

This project aims to provide resources for schools to teach at least fifty words in their local language.

We are asking for contributions of at least fifty words in as many Australian Indigenous languages as possible. The typed words need to be listed in a spreadsheet, with audio file recordings attached. Full instructions on capturing the details are on this website.

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PARADISEC Mystery Language of the Week

By Jodie Kell

Each week of this year PARADISEC is broadcasting a Mystery Language of the Week. Published on our website through a popular audio platform, as well as through social media, we are asking people for help in identifying languages in our archive by listening to short audio grabs and contributing their knowledge to the descriptive metadata.

2019 is the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL). The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said that 40% of the estimated 6700 languages spoken around the world were endangered, and most of these are Indigenous languages. This puts the associated cultures and knowledge systems at risk, since Indigenous languages “represent complex systems of knowledge and communication and should be recognised as a strategic national resource for development, peace building and reconciliation.” (https://en.iyil2019.org/about/#about-1)

One of the aims of the year is to mobilise and connect different organisations, communities and individuals for coordinated action on the “urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages around the world” (https://en.unesco.org/news/unesco-launches-website-international-year-indigenous-languages-iyil2019). The IYIL website contributes to raising awareness about issues surrounding Indigenous languages by providing information, including a calendar of events and access to resources, and enabling organisations to register and actively participate. (https://en.iyil2019.org/) PARADISEC has registered and is planning a series of activities to support the IYIL and use the coordinated approach promoted on the website to expand the reach of our archival materials and our organisation.

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Local wifi versions of paradisec?

 

Getting records back to the places they came from is a major motivation for what we do at PARADISEC. Repatriation of unique analog artefacts is an important model, and digital records should, in principle, be easier to move to any place. However, not every place has capacity for access to or storage of digital files. In the Pacific there are few reliable digital repositories and the cultural agencies I know have little capacity to store or disseminate digital files. Internet connections are usually expensive and so discourage download of large files.

Earlier I talked about using Itunes to get records back to Erakor, the village where I work in Vanuatu. The computers that held the Itunes installation eventually stopped working and were replaced, but the language files were not copied over to the new computers.

Continue reading ‘Local wifi versions of paradisec?’ »

Merging SayMore audio snippets into a single wav file

SayMore is a piece of software developed by SIL that (among other things) allows you to annotate a primary audio file with audio annotations. This means that speakers can add information by carefully re-speaking an utterance, or giving an oral translation. However, this becomes a problem because each annotation segment is saved as a separate file, which means you have to manage or archive hundreds or even thousands of 1-2 second audio files.

Continue reading ‘Merging SayMore audio snippets into a single wav file’ »