Archiving at ELAR

(with corrections from Ed Garrett, 2011-09-22)

In April this year I wrote a post called “Who uses digital language archives?”. This post is a short update on the current situation for the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

ELAR was established in 2005 as part of the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project (HRELP) and started providing online access to its collection of endangered language materials in June 2010. Currently it has 110 archived collections (comprising 200,000 files amounting to around 10 Terabytes of material). There are now 45 collections available for browsing online, comprising 7,400 data bundles, of which 4,200 (57%) have unrestricted access to registered users.

The number of registered users currently stands at 500 400, up 66% 33% from the figure I quoted in April. Users are very active, and the ELAR website receives around 230,000 “hits” annually. Interestingly, the user profile has been changing recently with an increasing number being community members, including Aleut (Canada), Tai-Ahom, Wadar (India), Burushaski (Pakistan), Serrano, Cahuilla, Arapaho (USA), Iraqi Jewish (Iraq), Saami (Finland), Wabena (Tanzania), Torwali (Pakistan), Hani, Bai (China), and Irish. One user recently commented: “I found your site while looking up my grandmother, and I found her on your site speaking our language. and i would love for my children her great grandchildren to hear our language coming from her”.

Registered users also include many interdisciplinary researchers, particularly archivists and anthropologists, along with linguists. If you would like to become a registered user simply complete this web form, agree to the Terms and Conditions of Use, and apply.

Note: Many thanks to David Nathan, Director of ELAR, for providing the information on which this post is based, and to Ed Garrett for correcting the data on user numbers.

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