National Museum of Natural History Receives $1 Million To Increase Global Access to Endangered Languages

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History received a $1 million grant from the Arcadia Fund to launch the first two years of a long-term project to digitize endangered-language materials currently housed in the museum’s National Anthropological Archives. The materials found in this archive preserve an unparalleled collection of primary sources for investigating endangered cultures and languages, indigenous environmental knowledge and the connections between these subjects.

Through its Recovering Voices Initiative, the museum plans to digitize its entire collection of ethnographic sound recordings, estimated at 3,000 hours, and 35,000 pages of manuscript materials, using techniques that will make these electronic sources readily available to the public through the Smithsonian’s online and openly accessible catalog system.

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