The Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) was created in 2002 together with the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme in response to the dramatic decline of linguistic diversity with a generous donation by Arcadia, the charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. ELAR is the archive for endangered language materials for grantees of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme a grant-making programme supporting documenters and linguists all over the world in their documentation work.
Linguistic diversity is in decline because of fast-paced modernisation. The way people live is changing rapidly because of the effects of climate change, globalisation, and urbanisation. Fewer and fewer children are learning to speak the language of their heritage and as the majority of the world’s over 7000 languages are unwritten languages only existing in the minds of its speakers, humanity is losing its linguistic diversity at a rapid pace. In response to this development linguists, documenters, and speakers are creating multimedia collections of endangered languages establishing a documentary record of these languages.
At ELAR, we preserve and publish collections of audio and video recordings, transcriptions and translations, dictionaries, and primers in and of endangered languages created with and by speakers of the endangered languages. We also digitise legacy collections in analogue formats saving them from deterioration and making them accessible to the speaker and their descendants, scholars, and the public.
ELAR currently holds materials for over 550 endangered languages recorded in over 70 different countries. Visit our Blog, Vimeo, Twitter, and Facebook or subscribe to our mailing list to be up to date with our activities.
Archiving and publishing
ELAR is the home archive for projects funded through the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP). We are committed to safeguarding endangered languages materials and are happy to assist you in finding the right archive for your materials and discuss possible collaboration for archiving with ELAR. We welcome deposits from language community members, researchers, and field workers from all disciplines, as well as retired people who may have materials that they collected in the past.
Get in touch with us to discuss the safe keeping of your materials.
For comprehensive information materials for language documenters and ELAR depositors, please have a look at our Depositors’ Resource Collection.
Training and Advice
We provide training in all aspects of the creation of digital collections to archiving collections. These entail metadata creation, data management, formats, curation as well as digitisation of analogue formats.
We deliver short courses on transcription software like ELAN but also deliver one to two-week training on the theory and method behind linguistic documentation.
We also provide comprehensive materials for language documenters and ELAR depositors in our Depositors’ Resource Collection.
Networking and Service
ELAR is a founding member of the Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archives Network (DELAMAN). Established in 2003 as an international umbrella body for archives and other initiatives. DELAMAN members aim to document and preserve endangered languages and music worldwide.