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ATALM Presentation; What we Learned

June 24, 2013 in General

The Alaska Native Language Archive staff participated in the annual meeting of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums at Tamaya (Santa Ana Pueblo). This year there was a strong emphasis on digital preservation and access–an issue which resonates strongly with ANLA. We presented a workshop entitled No longer gather dust: The role of digital repatriation in supporting traditional language and culture. The goal of the presentation was to show some of the ways that Alaskan organizations are transforming ANLA materials to create online and mobile materials for language learning. You can download a pdf version of the presentation here.

We discovered throughout the presentation that many of the people in the audience saw our work to allow access as something groundbreaking; our archive is significantly more open than many other tribal archives. With efforts to revitalize Native languages, develop culture camps, and support a growing interest in non-linguistic research, ANLA has become keenly aware of how important it is to make our materials accessible to the communities we serve.

In an effort to share our materials, ANLA developed its first electronic catalog in 1999 and since that time has worked closely with the digital archiving community to develop standards for digital language archiving, serving as a founding member of institutions such as OLAC and DELAMAN. We have over 17,000 digital items available for free download on our database. We function under a Creative Commons license in an effort to maximize our ability to share our materials. We feel that our policy to not charge for access to digital materials helps increase archive usage, support learning and creative projects, and encourages perspective depositors to consider our archive when they are looking to donate materials. We received valuable input from our colleagues at ATALM, and look forward to attending next year’s conference in Palm Springs, California. We hope that we can start a conversation about information sharing and free use.

For more information about the Alaska Native Language Archive, please contact:

Gary Holton, Director,

Stacey Baldridge, Collection Manager,

Wendy Camber, Assistant Archivist,