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Grant number: PD-50012-10

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PD-50012-10

University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)
John Lucy (Project Director: 01/05/2010 to present)

Chicago Historical Archive of Mesoamerican Linguistics

Digitization of an archive of linguistic materials that document indigenous languages mainly of Mesoamerica collected between 1930 and 1995. An on-line interface will be developed to provide free access to the materials and associated multimedia resources.

This project proposes to enhance the accessibility of the Microfilm Collection of Manuscripts on Cultural Anthropology (MCMCA) at the University of Chicago. The collection contains an unparalleled corpus of field-based material developed by pre-eminent linguists and linguistic anthropologists from 1930 to 1995. The MCMCA includes approximately 115,000 pages of transcriptions and translations, dictionaries, grammars, concordances, field notes, and other ethnographically rich manuscripts that document approximately 100 indigenous languages belonging to the Mayan, Oto-Manguean, Uto-Aztecan, Mixe-Zoque, Tarascan, Totonacan, Na-Dene, Hokan, Creole, and Carib language families. Some of these languages are extinct; many are endangered; and most are rapidly declining as the number of monolingual speakers diminishes. MCMCA materials would be made more widely accessible by digitizing the microfilm and converting the text with optical character recognition software to enable full-text searches. The metadata for each record in the collection would be enhanced to improve their discoverability by researchers and to link the textual materials to related multimedia resources. The results of this project would support further linguistic analysis.

Project fields:
Linguistics

Program:
Documenting Endangered Languages - Preservation

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$171,400 (approved)
$171,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2010 – 7/31/2012