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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 of the PARADISEC staff.
Obituary http://tributes.smh.com.au/obituaries/smh-au/obituary.aspx?pid=167286355#fbLoggedOut

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.


A lot of work has been happening at the University of Sydney over the past six months, and at the end of last year the top floor of the Transient Building, which houses Linguistics, Paradisec and a few other offices, got renovated. Unfortunately, since the entire exterior of the building is composed of fibrous asbestos, it's unlikely that the University will outlay the mammoth insurance costs to do any exterior work. But anyone who knows the Transient building knows that the best option would be to demolish the whole thing and start again from scratch.


On Wednesday 20 June last week PARADISEC held a very successful Open Day for staff and students of the University of Sydney.


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

[An [almost] live news blog - from Peter K. Austin, Endangered Languages Academic Programme, SOAS]

This week (23rd to 27th April) is Endangered Languages Week at SOAS and interestingly one of the themes that has surfaced repeatedly over the past days has been communication with the wider world about what we do as linguists, researchers and fieldworkers. Along with the stakeholders mentioned in Jane’s and my recent post, there is the general public. Many of them, from my experience, do show a keen interest in endangered languages and language documentation, especially in the ‘human side’ of the stories we have to tell. And there are various ways we can talk to them.

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[Nick Thieberger, PARADISEC, Melbourne University branch, sent in this post after The Puliima National Indigenous Languages Information Communication Technology Forum.]

This forum was held in Newcastle, Australia, 24-26 April 2007, coordinated by the Awarbukarl Cultural Resource Association (ACRA). Subtitled 'Modern ways for ancient words', it was organised by Daryn McKenny and his team (including Dianna Newman and Faith Baisden) who put together two and a half days of presentations on the state of ICT in Indigenous language (IL) programs. The forum had a number of sponsors, testament to Daryn's ability to pull in support from various quarters, including DCITA, Telstra, Microsoft among others.

Representatives of language programs and language centres came from far and wide, including Townsville, Cairns, Port Hedland, Kalgoorlie, Bourke, Adelaide, Nambucca Heads, Sydney, Melbourne, Walgett, the Kimberley and New Zealand. We were given lots of information over the two days that I was there (I missed the last morning) and I'll try to summarise it here. Apologies to anyone I've left out.

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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


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.


As promised in my blog last week, mp3s have now been uploaded to the Sydney eScholarship Repository to accompany the papers that had already been published there from the Sustainable Data from Digital Fieldwork Conference.


Most of you who have been keeping an eye on this blog for a while will know about the conference organised by Paradisec last year on Sustainable data from digital fieldwork, but you might not know about its predecessor in 2003, Paradisec's inaugural workshop, Researchers, communities, institutions and sound recordings. The papers from this workshop, along with those from the 2006 conference, have now been made available online through the Sydney eScholarship Repository.


Regular summary of PARADISEC’s ever growing digital repository of sound and video recordings, images and text files, currently totalling 3,003 items representing 54 countries and 598 languages.


Regular summary of PARADISEC’s ever growing digital repository of sound and video recordings, images and text files, currently totalling 2,779 items representing 54 countries and 593 languages.

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Regular summary of PARADISEC’s ever growing digital repository of sound and video recordings, images and text files, currently totalling 2,732 items representing 54 countries and 593 languages.


Regular summary of PARADISEC’s ever growing digital repository of sound and video recordings, images and text files, currently totalling 2,696 items representing 54 countries and 600 languages.

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Many academic disciplines depend on analysis of primary data captured during fieldwork. Increasingly, researchers today are using digital methods for the whole life cycle of their primary data, from capture to organisation, submission to a repository or archive, and later access and dissemination in publications, teaching resources and conference presentations. This conference and workshop will showcase a number of projects that have been developing innovative and sustainable ways of managing such data.

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About the Blog

The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.


Papua New Guinea FAQs from Eva Lindstrom Papua New Guinea (New Ireland): Eva Lindstrom's tips for fieldworkers

Australian Languages Answers to some frequently asked questions about Australian languages

Papua Web Information network on Papua, Indonesia (formerly Irian Jaya)

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E-MELD The E-MELD School of Best Practices in Digital Language Documentation

Tema Modersmål Website in Swedish with links to sites on and in many languages

Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project: Language Documentation: What is it? Information on equipment, formats, and archiving, and examples of documentation

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ACLA child language acquisition in three Australian Aboriginal communities

DELAMAN The Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archives Network

PARADISEC The Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures

Murriny-Patha Song Project Documenting the language and music of public songs and dances composed and performed by Murriny Patha-speaking people

PFED The Project for Free Electronic Dictionaries

DOBES Endangered language documentation and archiving, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and sponsored by the Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen.

DELP Documenting endangered languages at the University of Sydney

Ethno EResearch Exploring methods and technology for streaming media and interlinear text