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Products for grant PW-285221-22

Creating Online Access for the Native American Languages Collection
Raina Heaton, University of Oklahoma, Norman

Grant details:

Engaging communities in digital development for the Native American Languages collection (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Engaging communities in digital development for the Native American Languages collection
Author: Kavon Hooshiar
Author: Raina Heaton
Abstract: The language materials housed in the Native American Languages Collection (NAL) at the University of Oklahoma are currently only available by visiting in person or by individual request. However, NAL has begun the process to make all our metadata and unrestricted collections materials available online. Through this new development we aim to create a welcoming platform which facilitates use and interaction with the materials particularly by Native community members, and which leverages the latest tools in user-centered database and website design. Thanks to a series of workshops held in 2020, we were able to have meaningful discussions with our community partners, archiving and IT professionals, and NAL stakeholders about what they would like to see NAL create. This paper shares the main take-aways from our discussions with an eye toward improving user- and community-centered archiving practices (cf. Linn 2014, Wasson et al. 2016). The workshops were attended by 50 individuals representing 18 Oklahoma tribes, 20 institutions, 27 languages, and 38 NAL collections. Some of the major topics for discussion and feedback were: 1. How do people navigate, search, and browse? 2. Should users be able to contribute (a) relevant metadata and/or (b) comments on the site? If so, how? 3. What arrangements are needed for continued updating of collections, co-curation, and vetting user-contributed information? Although NAL has had individual relationships with all our workshop participants, this is the first time there has been an effort to bring all these people together in conversation. Post-workshop feedback indicated that people enjoyed being included in this process and are encouraged to see OU involving Native people in the stewardship of their intellectual property and cultural heritage. We are proud to be starting this new initiative with input from community partners that have already begun shaping the collection’s future.
Date: 10/04/2022
Primary URL:
Conference Name: Language Documentation and Archiving Conference