Online conference June 25: Unlocking the potential of digital language archives (Wikimedia’s Arctic Knot conference)

On the 25 June 2021, ELAR, together with ELPD grantee Joshua Wilbur, will host a workshop at Wikimedia’s Arctic Knot conference, titled ‘Unlocking the potential of digital language archives‘. During the workshop, participants will get hands-on experience navigating ELAR, and explore ways of making language archives more accessible and user friendly for communities. Participants will discuss how existing digital infrastructures like Wikipedia could be used for making archival materials discoverable, and what their ideal community archive would look like.

This specific talk will discuss the Pite Saami collection at ELAR.

The workshop will explore possible ways of community language documentation and archiving. The aim is to create a space for dialogue between speakers of Sámi languages or Sámi community members, and linguists and archivists. The workshop will be divided into three parts: The first part will consist in a short introduction to some basic archiving terminology, community language archives, and the differences between an archive and a website. In the second part, participants will be introduced to the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), and the Pite Sámi collection compiled by Joshua Wilbur. Participants will be asked to browse the collection and familiarise themselves with the archive’s interface. For the third part, participants will work in smaller groups on questions pertaining to designing a community archive for their variety of Sámi, discussing what types of materials should be included, which metadata categories would be useful to them and how these should be presented, and what the interface for their community archive would ideally look like. Together with the participants we will assess how existing digital infrastructures such as Wikipedia might be used for making archival materials accessible to community members. Furthermore we will determine how institutions like ELAR can best support Sámi communities in documenting their languages and preserving the materials, while also making them accessible to the communities in the best possible way.

There are several more talks relevant to language and language technology on the agenda here: