Last Wednesday, at the eResearch Australasia 2008 conference, PARADISEC was announced as the winner of the Victorian eResearch Strategic Initiative (VeRSI) eResearch Prize (Humanities and Social Sciences category) for 2008.
In the words of the judges: “PARADISEC is an outstanding application of ICT tools in the humanities and social sciences domain that harnesses the work of scholars to store and preserve endangered language and music materials from the Asia-Pacific region and creates an online resource to make these available."
As blog readers will know, PARADISEC primarily aims to preserve records of small indigenous languages, and has used current best methods to convert analog materials, describe them and make this description available on the web. As of October 2008 PARADISEC contains 5,432 items made up of 29,064 files totalling 3.7 TB, with just over 2,060 hours of audio data. Many of the collections are digitised from field-recordings made since the 1950s. The provision of this service requires ongoing support and negotiation with depositors. It also highlights the importance of training new fieldworkers in the use of appropriate tools and methods.
AND.... PARADISEC has been cited as an exemplary system for audiovisual archiving using digital mass storage systems by the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives and has also been included as an exemplary case study in the Australian Governmet's NCRIS Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure .
The prize is a Dell PowerEdgeTM 2950 rack mountable server, (RRP $26,207.50). So, now to translate glory and respect and high-end machines into recurrent funding!