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Grant number: PR-253360-17

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University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA 94704-5940)
Deborah Winthrop Anderson (Project Director: June 2016 to present)

Universal Scripts Project

The preparation of nine scripts—four modern and five historical—for inclusion in the international Unicode standard, to aid research using materials in historical scripts and promote communication in minority language communities.

Although computer and mobile users in many parts of the world can now communicate in hundreds of languages by using their own native writing system, there are still linguistic minority groups, and users of historical writing systems, who cannot. This is because the letters and symbols of these scripts are not yet part of the international character encoding standard, known as Unicode. More than one hundred and fifty eligible scripts are not yet included in Unicode, which directly affects humanities research, the creation of the global digital repository of humankind's literary and cultural heritage and, for users of modern scripts, basic communication. This project will fund proposals for four modern and five historical scripts for inclusion in the standard, and pave the way for electronic communication in (and about) scripts by scholars and the use. The project will also develop and make available fonts for the non-Latin scripts of ancient Italy, in order to aid scholars.

[Media coverage]

Project fields:
Ancient Languages; Languages, General; Linguistics

Research and Development

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$274,840 (approved)
$274,840 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2017 – 3/31/2020