Archival description for language documentation collections

Date
2020-09
Authors
Sullivant, Ryan
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University of Hawaii Press
Volume
14
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520
Ending Page
578
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Abstract
Users of digital language archives face a number of barriers when trying to discover and reuse the materials preserved in the digital collections created by current language documentation projects. These barriers include sparse descriptive metadata throughout many collections and the prevalence of audio-video materials that are impervious to text-based search. Users could more easily evaluate, navigate, and use such a collection if it contained a guide that contextualized it, summarized its contents, and helped users identify and locate items within it. This article will discuss the importance of thorough collection descriptions and finding aids by synthesizing guidelines and best practices for archival description created for traditional archives and adapting these to the structure and makeup of today’s digital language documentation collections. To facilitate the iterative description of growing collections, the checklist of information to include is presented in three groups of descending priority.
Description
Keywords
archival descriptions, language documentation, archives, metadata
Citation
Sullivant, Ryan. 2020. Archival description for language documentation collections. Language Documentation & Conservation 14: 520-578.
Extent
59 pages
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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States
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