Access to collections

This page describes access policies for the collections in the California Language Archive. These collections are in several different repositories at UC Berkeley, and the details partly depend on the repository. Check the CLA catalog to identify the repository of an item of interest.

Cultural and linguistic heritage

The repositories contributing to the CLA recognize that language is a central aspect of cultural heritage, and that all people have rights to their cultural heritage. Material recorded in language documentation also often takes the form of culturally distinctive creations such as songs, ceremonies, narratives, law, genealogies, medicinal practice, and other expressions of traditional knowledge. In designing access policies, CLA repositories acknowledge that all who participate in language documentation, including community members and academic researchers, may have interests in and rights to any resulting material.

Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology

The CLA includes information about sound recordings in the Hearst Museum; the recordings themselves are not available online. To learn more about Hearst Museum sound recordings, or to purchase copies, you should contact Alicja Egbert, Media Collections Manager, Hearst Museum, 103 Kroeber Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-3712 (aegbert@berkeley.edu, 510-642-6842). You will need to know the identifier or "24-number" for each recording; this number has the format "24-xxxx", and can be found in the CLA.

Berkeley Language Center and Survey of California and Other Indian Languages

The CLA includes complete catalog information and selected digital content for the indigenous language archives of the Berkeley Language Center (BLC) and the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages (which manages the BLC collection). These repositories have three basic access conditions. The access conditions for a specific collection or item are determined by the depositor in consultation with the repository. (Most depositors are academic linguists or anthropologists, or their heirs; some are indigenous community members. For all depositors, it is a strongly recommended ethical practice to make access decisions in collaboration with the people whose language has been recorded or transcribed.)

For all material in our collections, please note that commercial use is prohibited without specific depositor permission.

If you will need to visit Berkeley to consult material (because it is not digitized or because it is local-access material), please email scoil-ling@berkeley.edu. Please also send us email if you would like to learn more about any restricted-access material, or if you would like to get copies of digitized material. We look forward to helping you when you visit, but due to budget constraints we do not have regular open hours and all visits are by appointment.