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OLCAP: The Online Language Community Access Program in Australia

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Title: OLCAP: The Online Language Community Access Program in Australia
Authors: Lee, Jason
Issue Date: 14 Mar 2009
Description: Audiovisual archives in Australia and around the world include significant recordings of Australian indigenous languages. Newer documentation programs are digital and some have high standards of metadata and annotation. Two challenges that audiovisual archives face are documentation and repatriation. Older analogue recordings are being digitised. However, not many have content metadata or annotation such as transcriptions and translations added. Indigenous languages are nearly all highly endangered and inadequately documented. As time passes, the ease with which detailed documentation can be carried out is lessened. The number of native speakers and researchers who understand these languages may decrease. Many recordings are in danger of becoming less meaningful to future generations. In Australia many Indigenous people are assisting to document recordings through their own bodies like Regional Indigenous Language Centres. They are using them to create educational materials which will help keep their heritage alive. In some cases, materials from repositories are simply returned to communities. In the absence of proper local archiving and documentation, this can be ineffective. In other cases, local archives are set up in communities. However, the infrastructure and expertise needed to maintain such operations is sometimes beyond local capacities. An alternative is to build an online central repository which can provide materials to local and regional centres as needed. OLCAP is a pilot to trial, from AIATSIS (the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies), the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics' online system of storing digital recordings, adding annotation such as transcriptions and translations, adding metadata, and, the online delivery of such recordings to communities. That is, MPI Nijmegen's Language Archiving Tools (the software tools that support the DoBeS Documentation of Endangered Languages archive) are being used. Centres in Katherine serving the Victoria River District, Northern Territory; the Iwaidja community on Croker Island, Northern Territory; and, at Lockhart River in Cape York Peninsula, Queensland are linked in and Indigenous users are trialling the system. This paper describes OLCAP and evaluates some of the issues (such as rights management and user experiences) and the direction it is heading.
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:1st International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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