These are useful resources about language archiving, fieldwork, cultural documentation and methodology
By Ray Edmondson
Given its pivotal importance in the history of humankind, one might expect that the task of preserving the world’s audiovisual memory would have a commensurately large profile and resource base. Not so. The number of people engaged in the task worldwide barely reaches five figures. This small community, committed and tenacious, yet largely unknown and unsung, carries an immense responsibility. As a profession, though they may little reflect on it, the audiovisual archivists of the world also possess great power. How they use it will determine much of what posterity knows of this age
Oral history is in a profound transition, from an extensive period when sophisticated technology meant utilizing tape cassettes, to a time when the field has moved into the digital, networked, multi-media rich age. Thus, there is a pressing need to build a sustainable, authoritative and collaborative framework that will put museums, libraries, and oral historians in a position to address collectively issues of video, digitization, preservation, and intellectual property and to provide both a scholarly framework and regularly updated best practices for moving forward. This site is dedicated to taking on this challenge.
SHN an answer to the pressing need for comprehensive workshops, online tutorials, and web resources dedicated to the lifecycle of digital stewardship. The SHN is a collaborative project that complements the work of indigenous peoples globally to preserve, share, and manage cultural heritage and knowledge. The SHN, along with our Partners, organize and offer face-to-face workshops, produce educational resources, and link people and resources through our digital workbenches. The SHN is part of a network of individuals, communities, and institutions who work together to provide each other with digital tools and preservation assistance. We call this: Collaborative Stewardship.
Copyright and Related Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Unpublished Pre-1972 Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives
This report addresses the question of what libraries and archives are legally empowered to do to preserve and make accessible for research their holdings of unpublished pre-1972 sound recordings. The report’s author, June M. Besek, is executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School.
The Repository and Workspace for Austroasiatic Intangible Heritage (RWAAI) is a digital multimedia resource dedicated to the maintenance of research materials documenting the intangible heritage of the Austroasiatic communities of Mainland Southeast Asia and India. It is the first resource dedicated to a specific language family in this diverse and dynamic region.
HRELP’s Endangered Languages Archive is currently being established as a part of an international network of digital language archives. ELAR will provide a digital archive for the documentations and research results of endangered languages carried out by ELDP grantees and others.
The National Library of Australia has been involved in archiving Australian online publications since 1996. Since that time it has gained an international reputation for the archive it has established, as well as for its contribution to the development of principles and practice in the areas of selecting, harvesting, cataloguing, storing, persistently identifying, preserving and providing access to online publications.
The Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, known as Pambu, copies archives, manuscripts and rare printed material relating to the Pacific Islands. The aim of the Bureau is to help with long- term preservation of the documentary heritage of the Pacific Islands and to make it accessible. Pambu microfilms comprise the most extensive collection of non-government primary documentation on the Pacific Islands available to researchers.
The intangible cultural heritage, as defined in the Convention that was adopted by the 32nd Session of the General Conference of UNESCO, means in the first place the practices, representations, and expressions, as well as the associated knowledge and the necessary skills, that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.
The association aims to provide a regional forum for addressing common issues and concerns related to the collection and preservation of, and provision of access to, the audiovisual heritage of member countries.
The EVIA Digital Archive project is a joint effort of Indiana University and the University of Michigan to establish a digital archive of ethnomusicological video for use by scholars and instructors.
The NECEP sub-project (WP2) of the ECHO project is about the constitution of a database on non-european societies which shall contribute to the understanding of non-european objects held by museums. It is principally an ethnological and an information-technological project.
The NGSW is creating an online fully-searchable digital library of spoken word collections spanning the 20th century at HistoricalVoice.org. NGSW provides storage for these digital holdings and public exhibit “space” for the most evocative collections.
This catalogue contains descriptions of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and three-dimensional objects held in the Pictures Collection of the National Library of Australia. The emphasis is on Australian material, with some material relating to New Zealand, Antarctica, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific. The main time period covered is late eighteenth century to the present day. The Collection includes thousands of portraits of significant Australians.
AILLA is a digital archive of recordings and texts in and about the indigenous languages of Latin America. Access to archive resources is free of charge. Most of the resources in the AILLA database are available to the public, but some have special access restrictions.
In 1991 the University of Hawaii Library received a federal grant for a pilot project to create a digitized database using the Trust Territory Archives Photo Collection. This page provides background information on the University of Hawaii Pacific Collection, the history of the Trust Territory Archives, and the digitizing project. Illustrations provide samples of photographs from the Trust Territory Archives (select thumbnail to view enlarged image). It is hoped that this publication will disseminate information on a valuable scholarly resource.
This document, which sets out IASA policy, is intended to provide guidance to audiovisual archivists on professional conduct in the area of intellectual property legislation. It also provides a basis for professional representation to government and other bodies who may draft or revise legislation in this area.
Stating the Obvious: Lessons Learned Attempting Access to Archival Audio Collections
The International Music Collection is one of the world’s largest collections of recordings variously described as traditional, folk or ‘world’ music. It encompasses most musical traditions of the world with recorded performances dating from the infancy of sound recording to the present day.
AIATSIS is an independent Commonwealth Government statutory authority devoted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. It is Australia’s premier institution for information about the cultures and lifestyles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
FirstVoices is a group of web-based tools and services designed to support Aboriginal people engaged in language archiving, language teaching and culture revitalization.
The Storyscape Indigenous Languages Restoration Project is engaged in the repatriation of 67 aging reel-to-reel language, story, and song recordings representing 22 Native American languages.
With every language which becomes extinct priceless intellectual values will be lost forever. The project DOBES will contribute to the conservation of this cultural heritage. The MPI for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen (NL) will house the data archive which will cover sound material, video recordings, photos, and various textual annotations.
The MusicAustralia vision is to develop a web-based music service that will provide integrated access to Australian music resources and information to all Australians and other interested users.
The National Networked Facility for Research in Australian Music aims to make more accessible the scattered and often hidden materials and resources related to Australian music. What you see is a beginning. Use the site and add to it to assist the research effort in Australian music!
The Archive of Maori and Pacific Sound houses the world’s largest ethnographic sound collection relating to the Pacific. Established in 1970 to promote research into the music of the indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maori, and those of the people of the Pacific Islands, its holdings today include material from most tribal groups of New Zealand and most Pacific Islands areas, and both commercial and field recordings of vocal and instrumental music.
A number of initiatives have been established recently with the goal of documenting and archiving endangered languages and cultures worldwide. DELAMAN has been set up to form an international network of archives that will stimulate intensive interaction about practical matters that result from the experiences of fieldworkers and archivists, and to act as an information clearinghouse. DELAMAN is intended as an open organisation where any initiative actively contributing to documentation and archiving of endangered languages and musics can participate. We welcome collaboration with other initiatives as appropriate.
Each of the following mini-albums on the islands offer a look backward at Micronesia as it was yesterday. It is a walk through the past, as seen in images rather than written text. The albums are changed periodically and feature photos from the Micronesian Seminar library collection and the resources of other institutions in the area.
The Pacific Collection at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Hamilton Library offers materials relating to the island regions of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Internationally recognized for the excellence of its holdings, the Pacific Collection contained over 75,000 volumes in 1994. Approximately 3,000 volumes are added to the collection each year.
The Association for Recorded Sound Collections is pleased to present a new resource, “Education and Training in Audiovisual Archiving and Preservation.” The page, available on the ARSC website, lists classes, training programs and courses on audiovisual archiving and preservation. In addition, it features links to discussion lists, organizations and websites of relevance to audiovisual archivists, engineers, librarians or anyone with an interest in or connection to audiovisual archiving and preservation.
Informed consent is an ethical requirement of the research process. It must be thought through at the planning and writing stage of a research proposal and be tailored towards the specific research questions and the sample. Failure to realise the need to gain informed consent means that the opportunities for archiving and secondary analysis may be jeopardised from the start. This article from the UK Data Archive looks at the role of informed consent in the research process and its importance in ensuring that data from fieldwork can be shared with other researchers. Areas covered include: fieldwork agreements; management of data; confidentiality for data sharing; and special consent. Exemplars of specific types of informed consent are presented together with a commentary.
The Council for the Preservation of Anthropological Records is dedicated to helping anthropologists, librarians, archivists, information specialists and others preserve and provide access to the record of human diversity and the history of the discipline.