Author Archive

Upcoming lecture: Payi Linda Ford – New ways for old ceremonies

Payi Linda Ford will deliver the Alfred Hook Lecture at 5pm on Wednesday 11 May 2016 at the Charles Perkins Centre Lecture Theatre, Building D17, Johns Hopkins Drive (off Missenden Road), The University of Sydney NSW 2006

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PARADISEC activity update

It’s been a busy start to 2016 for PARADISEC. Nick Thieberger published an article about the race to preserve Pacific Language Records in The Conversation. New collections archived this year in PARADISEC include Danielle Barth’s Matukar Panau documentation from Papua New Guinea, Alan Walker’s Sabu materials from Indonesia, Lila San Roque’s Mnanki, Arso and Duna collections from Papua New Guinea and a large collection (RB5) from Roger Blench, containing a Continue reading ‘PARADISEC activity update’ »

PARADISEC activity update

We are working on a collection of tapes made by Mary Ayres, Ph.D. during doctoral research conducted between 1979 and 1981 in numerous dialects from two language groups in the Morehead District, Western Province, Papua New Guinea. At ANU we have started working on Don Kulick’s recordings of Gapun (PNG). In Sydney and Melbourne we are working to digitise tapes from the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, including some of Terry Crowley’s Paama tapes and Wolfgang Sperlich’s Namakira among many others.

In Melbourne we continue to work on Alan Walker’s Timor recordings and have a volunteer, Epi Dowling, scanning field notebooks. We are also working through Darrell Tryon’s tapes and will soon start on the last set of Ian Green’s recordings from the Daly region.

In Sydney we have just digitised Melissa Crowther’s tapes from Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea of Barupu, Puare and Rawo language materials. PARADISEC is also providing expert assistance to a Linkage Project based at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, digitising important recordings associated with the Central Land Council. We have started with Petronella Vaarzon-Morel’s tapes recorded from the 1970s onwards, and are working with our Canberra partners, DAMsmart to digitize some unusual film and video formats.

PARADISEC stats for 2014

It has been quite some time since our last update on the contents of the PARADISEC archive. Since our report on this blog two years ago, we have added 88 collections bringing the total to 265 collections. There are now 9,836 items and 60,516 digitised recordings, images and videos in the archive, which is now 7.35 TB in size. The archive now includes over 4000 hours of audio.

Some of the collections that have recently been archived include Lamont Lindstrom’s Kwamera recordings from Vanuatu, Malcolm Ross’ Papua New Guinea recordings, Roger Blench’s Niger-Congo recordings, Renée Lambert-Brétière’s  Kwoma and Tok Pisin recordings (PNG) and Don Daniels’ materials from Madang Province of PNG. A collection of particular interest is Ted Schwartz’s tapes, dating from the 1950s when he did fieldwork on Manus Island with Margaret Mead.

We have also had our catalogue improved by users providing feedback, allowing us to correct names of participants, and generally enriching information about some of our older material that otherwise has little metadata.

In Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, we are working on getting a few new collections into the archive including Margaret Jolly’s Vanuatu tapes, Lynne McDonald’s Western Solomons recordings and some new manuscript pages from Arthur Capell’s Fiji collection, which are currently being imaged and will be added to PARADISEC’s already extensive collection of Capell images.

Vale Peter Newton

Readers of this blog will be saddened to hear of the passing of Peter Newton last week after a short struggle with illness. Peter was a poet, linguist, writer and editor, Associate Sydney Jazz Club and Jazz Archivist. Peter worked closely with PARADISEC to identify, sort and catalogue the extensive linguistic collection of Arthur Capell, including language recordings from all over the world, but especially from the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji. He will be fondly remembered by all at PARADISEC.

Road Testing the Nagra Ares BB+ – Ana Kondic

[from Ana Kondic at the University of Sydney]
I have just spent eight months doing field work in Mexico where I used a Nagra Aress BB+ (with a Sony ECM-MS 957 Microphone) for audio recording that I borrowed from PARADISEC at Sydney University.
I worked with a highly endangered Mayan language, South Eastern Huastec. It is spoken in the region of La Huasteca, in the municipality of Chontla, in the North of Veracruz, Mexico, where the majority of the population speaks this as their first language, alongside Spanish.
The area of la Huasteca is tropical, with high temperatures and a very high humidity. I chose the “cold” period from October to May, with pleasant months of December and January (about 20 C during the day, and gets to low 5 C or so during the night), but very warm April and May (up to 35 C). The humidity is very high all year, mostly 85-95%.

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The Growing PARADISEC Collection

Following on from Aidan’s blog last week announcing that PARADISEC‘s archive has reached 2000 hours of recordings, here is some of the detail about what’s in our digital archive. Along with Mark Durie’s collection from Aceh, described in the last post, are other collections from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, the Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Lao, Malaysia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Reunion, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam, and Wallis and Futuna.

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Paradisec’s PNG Music recordings and the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies

Several PNG newspapers have recently been reporting on the exchange of PNG music recordings between Paradisec and the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies. One article in the National Weekender is already available online, and we’ll put a copy of the other one up on our website when we get a hold of it.
“Institute of PNG Studies Gets Music Recordings.” National Weekender 27 April, 2007
“PNG Archival Music on Disc.” Gavamani Sivarai April, 2007

Paradisec News and Repository Report

The contents of the Paradisec Digital Repository have now exceeded 3 terabytes and currently consist of 3,157 items from 43 countries in 524 languages. Since our last report in February, we have completed the digitisation of Stephen Wurm’s large collection of mainly Solomon Islands material and sent over 150 CD copies of Papua New Guinean music and language recordings to the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies for inclusion in their archive.
PARADISEC repository metrics report
generated weekly by Stuart Hungerford
at 16th April, 2007
Collections : 87 collections
Items : 3,157 items
Files : 23,286 files
Size : 3.13 TB
Time : 1633:49:40.00

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PARADISEC Research Papers on Sydney eScholarship Repository

Alongside the conference papers from Paradisec’s 2006 Conference and 2003 Workshop, the Sydney eScholarship Repository also has a section devoted to general research papers by Paradisec collaborators. In this section you can find papers on everything from the The National Recording Project for Indigenous Music in Australia to the Tuscan Maggio in Italy. Research papers will regularly be uploaded to this site, so keep an eye on it.