Institute plans return of language tapes PDF Print E-mail

Dr Patrick McConvell from AIATSIS
Dr Patrick McConvell from AIATSIS
AIATSIS (The Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) has commenced discussions with FATSIL over the most appropriate methods of handling archival materials held at the Institute in Canberra.

Dr Patrick McConvell from AIATSIS presented a draft report on The State of Indigenous Languages in Australia, which he produced in collaboration with Nicholas Thieberger, for Environment Australia. Dr McConvell spoke of the value of such reports in identifying the areas or individual programs which are operating most successfully, in order to reproduce the best of these programs in other regions.

AIATSIS received a grant through the Language Access Initiatives Program to facilitate much needed work on the language recorded sound collection.This will enable the production of preservation copies of original field tapes, and the documentation of audio tapes to assist people who are wanting to access language material.

FATSIL's help has been asked for to prioritise those language tapes which should receive attention during the period of the grant funding. Work has begun at the Institute to compile lists of the language tapes that have no documentation, or with no preservation copies.

During the course of the grant, AIATSIS will also be making return of copies of language tapes for indigenous individuals and communities, free of charge. More information will be made available about the transfer of these materials in future editions of the Voice of the Land.

The FATSIL committee has welcomed the opportunity to discuss the return of language materials to the communities from which they originally came.This has been an ongoing concern for language project workers and community groups for many years.

Representatives from AIATSIS and FATSIL will meet in the near future to begin discussions on the project.