The Alaska Native Language Archive is hosting a talk by archivist Brian Carpenter of the American Philosophical Society on “Letting Knowledge Find Who It Needs: Future Directions for Archives of Indigenous Languages.” The talk is free and open to the public.
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 7:00pm in Schaible Auditorium, UAF main campus
Archives of Indigenous languages are recognizing more and more that Native communities are the primary constituency of users for the recordings, manuscripts, and other resources in their collections. Language heritage communities not only make up the biggest audience of researchers, they also hold the greatest expertise about the archival collections’ significance, their context, and their contemporary use in working to strengthen new generations of language speakers.
Archivists seeking to make Indigenous language collections more accessible are faced with an array of tasks that are more formidable and complex than it may appear. They face not only the enormous task of digitization and ensuring that digital resources themselves will last into the long-term archival future, but also more fundamental challenges, such as making archives as institutions more approachable, describing the collections in ways that are more meaningful to Native communities (to make the materials easier to find), and providing the archival information in ways that make it more immediately usable.
This talk will take an in-depth look at ongoing initiatives on these fronts at UAF's own Alaska Native Language Archive and at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, which is the oldest archive of Indigenous languages in the Americas.
About the presenter:
Brian Carpenter is Curator of Native American Materials at the American Philosophical Society Library's Center for Native American and Indigenous Research. He began working at the APS Library in 2008 on a 6-year project to digitize and catalog all of the library's audio recordings of indigenous languages of the Americas. He has worked with over 50 Native communities throughout North America to enhance their access to archival materials at the APS and receive their guidance on ways to improve the representation and uses of the collections. Carpenter’s talk at UAF is supported by NSF RAPID Grant #1735002.