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LINGUIST List 20.2660

Sun Aug 02 2009

FYI: Digital Preservation in Anthropology

Editor for this issue: Danielle St. Jean <daniellelinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Jeff Good, Digital Preservation in Anthropology

Message 1: Digital Preservation in Anthropology
Date: 31-Jul-2009
From: Jeff Good <jcgoodbuffalo.edu>
Subject: Digital Preservation in Anthropology
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On May 18-20, 2009, a workshop was held in Arlington, Virginia to evaluate
and potentially decide on the basics of a strategic integrated four-field
plan for digital preservation and access (DPA) to anthropological research
materials (AnthroDataDPA for short). The workshop was funded by the
National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

The principal investigators, Carol R. Ember, Eric Delson, Jeff Good, and
Dean Snow, each represented one of the four traditional subfields of
anthropology - cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, linguistics,
and archaeology. Three groups of people were invited to participate: 1)
individuals who are actively involved in and/or planning the creation of
digital object repositories; 2) individuals from institutions involved in
the creation of international standards and metadata to enhance
interoperability and long-term preservation; and 3) representatives of
organizations that represent the various fields of anthropology in the
United States. There were also observers from political science, NSF, NEH,
and Wenner-Gren.

Breakout groups discussed data preservation, data access, methods and
standards regarding metadata, digitization methods and standards, long-term
preservation, methods and standards, decisions regarding depositors,
privacy and ethical concerns, copyright and intellectual property, and
funding/support and field-wide coordination. Reports of each group are
currently being prepared and will be posted online, first for the workshop
group to review, and then by the spring of 2010, on a wiki so that the
broader anthropological community can comment and make suggestions for
revision. Look for further announcements when the wiki will be available.

The proposed plan will also be discussed via appointed representatives with
major anthropological organizations as well as additional organizations
engaged in or planning DPA activities.

Future steps, not part of the existing grant, are to seek funding to set up
the computer infrastructure to coordinate activities across anthropological
institutions and other distributed libraries using existing data and to
begin to integrate new and existing collections of anthropological research
data into the coordinated system.

Linguists interested in further information about this project are welcome
to contact its primary linguistics representative, Jeff Good
(jcgoodbuffalo.edu), or its principal investigator, Carol Ember
(carol.emberyale.edu).

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; General Linguistics; Language Documentation

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