New Digitization Project

From the RNLD site:

RNLD is very pleased to announce that we have been awarded an ILS Strategic Initiatives grant to digitise Gavan Breen’s and Tamsin Donaldson’s extensive collections of field notes for approximately fifty Australian Aboriginal languages. All materials from this project will be deposited with AIATSIS and PARADISEC and provided to regional language centres. This will ensure that these important materials will be more widely accessible to community members and linguists around Australia for language reclamation and revitalisation activities, and further linguistic research.

Tamsin Donaldson documented the Ngiyampaa language of western New South Wales in the 1970s, and over the past several decades she has published extensively on her research. Tamsin’s work continues to provide an invaluable resource for community members involved in the reclamation and teaching of Ngiyampaa. Linguist Lesley Woods, a Ngiyampaa woman, is currently in Canberra digitising and building metadata for 39 field notebooks with support from Tamsin and her family members.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Gavan Breen built an extraordinary database of materials from some 49 languages across western Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Gavan still continues his research and publication work from his office at the IAD in Alice Springs. He is actively supporting community language revitalisation activities in a number of locations, including Woorabinda, central Queensland. Gavan’s extensive collection of written materials about these languages is now being digitised in Alice Springs by RNLD Consultant Shamini Joseph. Shamini is completing the third and final phase of this project, building on two earlier phases that were undertaken by volunteer Clare Manning and RNLD’s Outreach Officer Felicity Houwen.

For more information on the project, including a list of the languages, visit the RNLD website: http://www.rnld.org/BreenDonaldson

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