Friday, October 1, 2010

Archive receives NSF grant for documents collection

The Archive was recently awarded a significant grant from the National Science Foundation to support development of digital access to over 10,000 documents in the collection. This project, entitled Digital Infrastructure for Alaskan and Neighboring Languages, (NSF #1003481), will create a digital repository providing access to the unique and world-renown collection of Native American language documentation housed at the Alaska Native Language Archive (ANLA) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The comprehensive scope of the ANLA collection is unparalleled among linguistic archives across the world. Approximately three quarters of the material consists of original archival manuscripts, including field notes of prominent scholars of Alaskan languages, including Knut Bergsland, Michael Krauss, James Kari, Jeff Leer, Irene Reed, and Eliza Jones. The collection also includes copies of items found elsewhere only in private hands or in obscure archives in Russia. Much of the collection has never been cataloged. The creation of a digital repository will enhance arctic research infrastructure by providing real-time digital access to archival documents for a broad range of researchers and Native peoples across Alaska, the arctic, and beyond, thereby providing the foundation for a new era of language and culture scholarship in the arctic.

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