Many of the data that has been collected in research projects in the last decades, in analog or digital form, could get lost in the future due to deterioration of media carriers and outdated formats. Many of these concern unique data on languages and cultures that can no longer be reproduced some years or decades from now. Such data therefore represent valuable yet vulnerable pieces of our heritage.
We urge all researchers, institutions and individuals that are in the possession of such data: please do seriously consider the need for a long-term preservation plan in order to assure that these data will be available for future generations.
We support the long-term preservation of valuable language data, in particular to data related to the languages and cultures of small and endangered speech communities, by offering our archiving service.
That means we offer support in digitizing older analog data, even on several rare outdated media carriers. We also offer to archive valuable data at The Language Archive, and give support and training in the creation of appropriate metadata and use of our online services that give interactive access to the archive. Requests from the TLA funding bodies MPG, KNAW and BBAW have priority, but within our possibilities of time and equipment we are offering these services to any researchers, institutions and individuals worldwide, in particular in regions where there are no local institutions that can offer such support.
If you have, or know of, valuable linguistic and cultural data, please get in contact with us using the contact form.