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Goshen College, Inc (Goshen, IN 46526-4794)
Jan Bender Shetler (Project Director: July 2020 to present)
Creating the Mara Cultural Heritage Digital Library for Access to Regional Tanzanian Oral Tradition, Linguistic and Cultural Materials

The digitization and transcription of recorded oral tradition and other documents from Tanzania’s ?Mara ?Region, compiled by Dr. Jan Bender ?Shetler ?between 1995 and 2010, to be included in the open-access Mara Cultural Heritage Digital Library (MCHDL).

An NEH grant would allow Goshen College to digitize and make globally available an extensive archive of recorded oral tradition and other documents from Tanzania’s ethnically diverse and neglected Mara Region, the only extant body of material from this region of its kind. Recordings, conducted by professor of history Dr. Jan Bender Shetler between 1995 and 2010 documenting over 300 in-person interviews with Mara residents, as well as other materials by local historians, contain a wealth of historical sources recounted in a variety of endangered local languages, up to this point inaccessible to students, scholars and residents themselves. Working in collaboration with experts in archival digitization at the Matrix Center at Michigan State University, linguistics consultants at The Mara Project at the University of Helsinki, along with partners in Tanzania, Goshen College will build on the foundation established to create and disseminate a curated digital library.

Project fields:
African History; Cultural Anthropology; Languages, Other

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Preservation and Access

$183,935 (approved)
$183,935 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2021 – 5/31/2024