Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Alaska Library Association Conference

The 2012 meeting of the Alaska Library Association will include a panel devoted to the Alaska Native Language Archive. This panel discussion will highlight the teaching and resource materials available from ANLA. The discussion will also include the history and mission of the Alaska Native Language Center, as well as issues of access, collection development, and importance of the materials held by ANLA.

The panel is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2:30-4:00 pm at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks.

A preliminary program can be downloaded at

If you are interested in participating in this panel, please contact the Archive Director as soon as possible.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Archive statistics

Every wonder how ANLA resources are distributed across languages and contributors? If so, see our new statistics page at

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Closure Dec 26 - Jan 4

The Archive will be closed to the public during the UAF holiday closure, December 26 through January 4. Requests for information sent by email will be attended to as soon as possible.

Happy Holidays from the Alaska Native Language Archive.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Legends of the Gwich'in of the Western Arctic

Today we received a set of CD's titled Legends of the Gwich'in of the Western Arctic: Stories from the people of the Mackensie and Peel Rivers. The set includes one Gwich'in and one English CD. The legends were written into radio dramas and aired on CBC Radio in 2009 and 2010. Feel free to stop by and listen! Thanks to the Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute for providing these CD's.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bering Bridge

Sometimes we run across rather interesting items unrelated to language. The commemorative flags pictured above were found during the move of our off-site storage last week. They appear to come from the Bering Bridge Expedition of 1989, however I have been unable to locate similar photos in order to confirm this. The Bering Bridge Expedition was a joint Russian-American crossing of the Bering Strait by dogsled. It was led by Paul Schurke, who three years earlier had accompanied Will Steger on a dogsled expedition to the North Pole. The trip came just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the media attention led to greater easing of travel restrictions between Alaska and Russia. However, some two decades later regular travel between Alaska and the Russian Far East has yet to develop.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Off-site storage moved

Yesterday ANLA moved its off-site storage to a new home two floors down in the Rasmuson Library. While moving is never fun, the new location in the periodicals annex has better lighting and climate control. This area stores (among other things):
  • newly accessioned collections which have not yet been cataloged
  • materials which have already been digitized
  • cassette tapes awaiting digitization
  • large collections outside our main collection scope

Monday, November 21, 2011

New book of Upper Tanana stories

The archive just received a new book of Upper Tanana stories by Cora David, edited by Olga Lovick. It has been cataloged as item UT003L2011.

The book is published by the Alaska Native Language Center. Information on purchasing this book can be found here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Online Dictionary Resources

Looking for a dictionary of an Alaska Native languages? Many dictionaries can be access online via ANLA or other websites. See the dictionaries page in the collections section of the ANLA site.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eyak Qualifiers

A major new chapter on Eyak grammar is now available. The 92 page draft manuscript by Michael Krauss entitled Eyak Qualifiers can be downloaded as part of item CA961K2009.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Open House November 18

In celebration of Native American Heritage month the Alaska Native Language Archive and Alaska Native Language Center will host an open house, November 18, 1:00-5:00 pm, on the fourth floor of the Brooks Building, UAF campus. All are welcome to come by and share refreshments. Learn about ANLC's publication program and tour the language archive. For more information call 474-7874 or email

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sealaska Heritage Institute to collaborate on preserving recordings

The Sealaska Heritage Institute has received an IMLS grant to digitize and annotate Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian recordings. By working with Native speakers the project will not only preserve recordings but also work to identify the contents of the recordings. In many cases historic recordings are not well labeled, so it can be difficult to determine the contents of the recording from the written labels (if they exist). As part of this grant ANLA will assist with digitization, while SHI will assist with identifying contents of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian recordings at ANLA. In addition, ANLA will provide digital copies of its Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian collections to SHI.

There's a nice article about the project in the Alaska Dispatch.

Also see the SHI Special Collections Blog.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yup'ik video tapes arrive from Kuskokwim Campus

Today we received 11 boxes of video tapes from the UAF Kuskokwim Campus. The tapes have been donated by Sophie and Oscar Alexie and document many years of Yup'ik instructional activity in the Lower Kuskokwim region. We will be inventorying these tapes over the next few weeks and prioritizing digitization efforts.

Thanks to Oscar and Sophie for preserving these materials.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yukon Flats Place Names

We are pleased to announce a new addition to the Archive entitled Compilation of Yukon Flats Athabascan Place Names for Stevens Village, Beaver, Birch Creek and Fort Yukon. Compiled by Adeleine Peter Raboff and James Kari, this manuscript describes more than 800 Gwich'in and Koyukon place names from the Yukon Flats region, based on interviews in Birch Creek, Fort Yukon, Beaver and Stevens Village.

A limited number of print copies with gray-scale maps are available from the author. Digital versions with color maps can be downloaded from the Archive.

Map 2, from the digital document

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

North Slope Iñupiaq Dictionary now available

After decades of work a near-final draft of North Slope Iñupiaq to English Dictionary (Iñupiatun Uqaluit Taniktun Sivunniuġutiŋit) is now available in the archive. The dictionary was compiled by Edna Ahgeak Maclean. Completion of the project was supported by the National Science Foundation International Polar Year Project Documenting Alaskan and Neighboring Languages, PI Michael Krauss.

ANLA Item IN(N)971M2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Andrew Balluta remembered in radio story

Andrew Balluta at the 2005 Dena'ina
Language Institute (photo: Gary Holton)
An Alaska Public Radio story last week by Lori Townsend remembers Dena'ina speaker Andrew Balluta. We have added the recording to the archive, item TI960B2011.

A complete transcript of the story is available at the Alaska News Nightly site.

You can also read a recent post about Andrew on TalkingAlaska.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Disk space quota exceeded

This morning we received notification that our server disk space quota has been exceeded. As a result we will no longer be able to upload digital files for direct access. Files already uploaded will remain in place for the time being. If you require access to other documents which are not currently online, contact the Archive so that we can arrange for alternate distribution.

Please bear with us as we work to address this situation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yukon Flats School District visits archive

Paul Williams, Jr., William Tritt, Sr., and Allan Hayton review
photographs at Rasmuson Library APR
On Sept 14 Gwich'in language teachers from the Yukon Flats School District visited ANLA to locate language resources. Thanks to the efforts of Ed Alexander and the team ANLA will now be able to make available more than 337 archival recordings and numerous documents which the district can then distribute via its new "Dropbox" system.

Some of the participants followed up the ANLA visit with a trip to the Alaska and Polar Regions collection to view historical photographs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Byron Mallot Lecture Sept 13

Byron Mallot will present a public lecture on September 13 at 4PM in the Carol Brown Ballroom at the Wood Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. A reception will follow. The lecture will also be available via live webstream at

Byron Mallott, founding President of the First Alaskans Institute, has been active for more than 40 years in the public and private sectors in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and nationally. Mr. Mallott will share his reflections on the impact of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act on Alaska since it was passed in 1971.

For more information, please visit or call 1-888-574-6528. Please feel free to share this message with your contacts.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ida Hildebrand visits archive

Ida Hildebrand of Chugach Regional Resources Commission visited the archive Sept 7-9 to look for material documenting traditional resource use in the Prince William Sound region. Ida worked with archive assistant Wendy Camber to sort through numerous boxes of materials from the collection of Irene Reed. Irene Reed worked on Chugach Alutiiq in the early 1960's and many of the materials she collected have yet to be inventoried or cataloged. This week ANLA will work on cataloging and scanning these materials so that they will be available for download.

Michael Krauss discusses Irene Reed's work with Ida Hildebrand

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

ANLA Student Positions Fall 2011

ANLA is hiring is hiring undergraduate student assistants for Fall 2011. Apply the the CLA Pool Position (PCN924707). Be sure to mention in your application that you are interested in working for the Alaska Native Language Archive. For more information contact the Archive Director or visit us at the Job and Research Fair, Sept 7-8.

Recent publication on comparative Eskimo-Aleut

Michael Krauss brought my attention to a recent paper on comparative Eskimo-Aleut by José Andrés Alonso de la Fuente of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Alaskans may not be familiar with the work of this Spanish scholar, who has been making an important contribution to Eskimo-Aleut linguistics. The paper is entitled Proto-Eskimo-Aleut */ə/ and the Origin of Aleut Pre-Aspirated Consonants. The abstract follows:
    The aim of this paper is to analyze several points of the Aleut historical phonology which up till now had not received enough attention. The programmed agenda comprises: (I) Proto-Eskimo-Aleut */ə/; (II) the pre-aspiration; (III) the Proto-Eskimo-Aleut sequences */-nə-/ and */-ŋə-/, and (IV) Aleut lexicon containing x̣- (γ.-). An ideal understanding of these processes shall help to the reconstruction of the Proto-Aleut language, an issue totally rejected in the specialized literature.
The paper is published in Revista Española de Antropología Americana (40.1, 2010) and can  be downloaded here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Archive closed August 1-5

Due to staff travel schedules the Archive public reading room will be closed August 1-5. During this closure materials can still be accessed via the online catalog, and Archive staff can be reached by email at uaf-anla-dept [at] We apologize for this inconvenience and look forward to your visit beginning Monday, August 8.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ANLA now a member of OCLC

Thanks to our continuing partnership with the Rasmuson Library, the Alaska Native Language Archive is now a member of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). This membership will provide ANLA with improved cataloging resources and will eventually provide users with access to ANLA resources via the OCLC WorldCat service.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

ANL Map featured in UAF Frontiers

The Alaska Native Language map is the subject of a story in the latest edition of UAF Frontiers magazine.

The new map, Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska, is now available from the ANLC Press.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Native Language Preservation guide

The Administration for Native Americans has produced an excellent guidebook for establishing local language archives. It's called Native Language Preservation: A Reference Guide for Establishing Archives and Repositories. It provides comprehensive information on how to start a language archive, including information about costs. It also has two chapters devoted to locating resources in existing repositories. The book can be downloaded in pdf format from the ANA website.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Archive usage

Peter Austin has a nice post at the Endangered Languages and Cultures blog about who uses digital language archives. He concludes by noting that "Unfortunately, no information is available from any of the archives about how downloaded or copied resources get used in secondary publications." We'd welcome any feedback regarding how people are using ANLA resources.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Off-site storage area shaping up

Leon Unruh provided this photo of the new shelving being installed in our off-site storage area, located adjacent to the Brooks Building on the 3rd floor of the Rasmuson Library. Once complete, this facility will shorten access times to materials in long-term storage.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Public closure April 25-29

Due to staff travel the Archive will be closed to the public during the week of April 25-29. Online resources will still be available, and staff will be available for consultation via email at fyanla [@]

The Archive will be open as usual during regular university hours beginning Monday, May 2. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this closure.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vit'eegwijyąhchy'aa Vagwandak Nizįį

Michael Krauss, Richard and Susan Mueller
Today Dick Mueller donated a copy of the new Gwich'in translation of the New Testament. This book is described in some detail in this blog entry.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New storage array

As the Archive's audio and document digitization efforts move forward, our digital holdings continue to increase. The Archive has just acquired an additional 14 TB of RAID level 5 storage. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

First proposal to create a program in Alaska Native languages at UAF

Here's a blast from the past. This document is the first proposal to the University of Alaska calling for the establishment of a program in Alaska Native Languages. It is dated Dec 1960. It would be twelve more years before the Alaska Native Language Center would be created by state legislation. Written by ANLC founder Michael Krauss, the memo recognizes the already extremely endangered status of Alaska's Native languages some 50 years ago, noting that "if the University does not initiate a linguistic research program soon, much of the data will be lost forever." The memo also recognizes the role of the University of Alaska in providing leadership and training in the field of Alaska Native languages.

See item G961K1960

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Important new collection of comparative Athabaskan materials

Leer materials being processed

The Archive has just received an important new collection of Jeff Leer's notes on comparative Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit. These materials documents Leer's extensive work on reconstructing the history of the Athabaskan, Eyak, and Tlingit languages. Materials are scheduled to be scanned in April 2011. I'll post another announcement once the scanned materials are available.
"Tlingit onset deaspiration hypothesis"

Monday, March 21, 2011

ANLA in Goldmine

Lisa Smith providing on-site training in the
use of SirsiDynix WorkFlows
ANLA has joined the ranks of the libraries accessible through the UAF Goldmine catalog. If you search for books using Goldmine, you will see that one of the choices under "library" is UAF - Alaska Native Language Archive. Don't get too excited: there aren't any books listed there yet. ANLA staff are currently receiving training in cataloging and the use of the Goldmine system. Once this training is complete you will be able to search for certain ANLA materials using Goldmine. In the near term this service will be restricted to published materials such as books; manuscripts and recordings will remain searchable through our regular catalog interface.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New book: "We are our language"

We just acquired a copy of Barbra Meek's new book We Are Our Language: An Ethnography of Language Revitalization in a Northern Athabascan Community. It's a study of the sociolinguistics of language revitalization in Kaska, a Canadian Athabaskan language. Cataloged as CN001M2010.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Open Language Archive Community

After a several year hiatus, the Archive catalog is once again registered with the Open Language Archives Community (OLAC). This allows the catalog to be searched remotely via any service provider compliant with the OLAC protocol. In particular, users may search for Alaska Native language resources across a federation of dedicated language archives.

Friday, February 25, 2011

New books

We just received several new books, including three dictionaries published by Sealaska Heritage Institute.
  • Dictionary of Tlingit, by Keri Edwards
  • Dictionary of Alaskan Haida, by Jordan Lachler
  • Dictionary of Shm'algyack, by Donna May Roberts
We also now have a copy of Bill Bright's Native American Placenames of the United States. This volume contains information on many Alaskan names of Native origin. ANLC faculty Lawrence Kaplan and James Kari are consulting editors.