UNESCO World Register adds collections from The Language Archive

October 12, 2015

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added to its World Documentary Heritage 64 collections from The Language Archive at the Max Planck Institute for Psychilinguistics. These materials contain documentation from 102 different languages spoken around the world.

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A speaker of the Kilivila Language spoken on the Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea, which is part of the added collections. 
A speaker of the Kilivila Language spoken on the Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea, which is part of the added collections. 

The Language Archive (TLA) at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics preserves language materials for the future, and makes them available for scientific research and use by the wider public, among other things. The complete archive holds more than 20.000 hours of audio-visual materials from over 200 different languages. The collections added to the Memory of the World register contain unique recordings and texts of minority languages, many of which are in danger of becoming extinct. The majority of these collections were created within the DOBES (Documentation of Endangered Languages) programme funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

Unesco’s 'Memory of the World' register is a worldwide digital network featuring a selection of exceptional documents: valuable collections of books, manuscripts, musical scores, unique documents, pictures, sound recordings and films. The register contains 348 documents from around the world, including Solidarność’s ‘21 Demands’, Anne Frank’s diaries, the original “Wizard of Oz” film negatives, the colonial archives of Benin, Senegal and Tanzania, the Aztec Codices in Mexico, the archive of the Warsaw Ghetto, and – as first testaments to book printing – the Gutenberg Bible from Göttingen and the Korean Jikji, an anthology of Zen teachings. TLA’s additions to the register are the first to contain materials that were originally created in digital form, such as digital photographs and videos.

The collections can be found via this link (user registration or an explicit access request is required for some materials).

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