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For depositors: Donating material to the Berkeley language archives

The Survey of California and Other Indian Languages supports the documentation, study, and revitalization of the indigenous languages of California and the Americas. We maintain a major archive of field notes and other documentary materials, some of it digitized and available online; we also curate the collection of linguistic field recordings in the Berkeley Language Center. For more information about the scope and nature of our collections, please read our Collection and Mission webpages.

Donations of materials within the scope of our collections policy are welcome. If you have material you would like to donate to the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, or to the Berkeley Language Center, please contact the Survey Director, Andrew Garrett, by telephone, email, or letter.

In an effort to defray the costs that are involved in maintaining the collections in our archive, we kindly ask that depositors, espcially those with funding from grants agencies, consider donating to the Survey:

  • $500 per collection,
  • plus $1000 per terabyte,
  • plus paid Box account if files greater than 250MB per file.

We also strongly recommend that digital deposits be in a non-propietary, non-lossy format. For sound recordings, this include such formats as WAV, AIFF, FLAC, etc. For electronic texts, this includes PDF/A or textfile. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel to contact us.

In accordance with professional standards and the Society of American Archivists code of ethics, please be aware that our aim is to promote, rather than to restrict access to records. In special cases, we can restrict sensitive information for the lifetime of the donor or other contributor.

What we collect

The Survey collects primary sources on California and other indigenous languages. We selectively collect secondary sources, focusing on severely endangered languages, unpublished papers and talks, and material of unusually high research interest.

Primary sources include original writings and works of oral literature, field notes and audiovisual recordings that document California and other Indian languages, as well as correspondence, notes, slip files or databases that contextualize and elucidate the literature or field records. Secondary sources include scholarly papers, articles, journals and books that draw on primary research to address topics relating to California and other Indian languages.

Steps to donate material

The following steps are intended for paper and analog recordings that will need to be digitized (e.g. cassette tapes, reels, records, etc.). For digital materials, see the prearchive described below.

  1. Contact Andrew Garrett, Director of the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, to discuss whether your material is within the collecting scope of the Berkeley language archives.
  2. Complete the gift agreement.
  3. Package the material well and mail it to the Survey or bring it personally:

Survey of California and Other Indian Languages
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Berkeley
1203 Dwinelle Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-2650

Prearchiving for depositors at Berkeley

Potential depositors with digital materials may be able to use the CLA prearchive interface to deposit their materials. You can find a guide to the process of prearchiving here. To request to prearchive in the CLA, click on the following link and fill out the relevant information about your collection:

CLA Prearchive Request