How to Use the California Language Archive

This page describes how to:

Find materials

The California Language Archive (CLA) catalogs linguistic material from three repositories at the University of California, Berkeley: the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, the Berkeley Language Center (BLC), and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. While the full holdings of the Survey and the BLC are cataloged in the CLA, the CLA catalogs only the sound recordings of the Hearst Museum, not its full holdings.

You can find materials in the CLA by two main methods from the home page: 1) the search bar, and 2) the map.

Use the search bar

In the search bar on the home page, you can type in and search for exactly what you're looking for. For example, if you are interested in Coyote stories, you can type in "Coyote", and the search will return all items that mention Coyote in the title or description. Note that titles and descriptions are sometimes incomplete, and the search only shows what is named in the catalog.

The search bar will automatically complete (autocomplete) names for languages, people, and places that the CLA recognizes. After you type in the first four letters of the language, person, or place that you are looking for, the search bar will present you with autocomplete options. You can then click on an autocomplete option, and the search will show you the results for that search.

For example, if you type in "Choc", then you will see four autocomplete options:

Clicking on the first option will enter "Chochenyo" into the search bar. Using the buttons below the search bar, you can choose to see only material that is available for viewing online ("Digital only") or only sound recordings ("Audio only"), which includes audio that is available online and audio that is not. To execute the search, click on the "Go" button, and you will be taken to a page with a list of results for your search.

In the search results, beside each item number you'll see "description" which links to a page that will show you more complete information about that item. Next to "descripton" you may also see "# images" or "# audio segments" where "#" is some number. If you see "# images", it indicates that there are scanned images available to view, and if you see "# audio segments", it indicates that there are audio segments that you can listen to online. For more information, see below about how to view scanned print materials and listen to audio online.

Explore collections on the map

On the CLA home page, you can click on the map on the right labeled "Explore collections". This will take you to the explorer map.

The map will show colored beacons with a number in the middle that indicates the number of items in the area that the beacon covers.

As you zoom in on the map (either by double clicking or by using the "+" button on the upper left), these beacons will change and the numbers in them will change. If you click on a beacon, the map will zoom in to the area covered by that beacon, and you'll see orange pins placed on the map.

Each pin represents a location that at least one item references. Sometimes more than one item is associated with a single location. For example, the pin for "Berkeley" has multiple items. When you click on a pin, you'll be taken to a page that lists the items associated with that location.

Beside each item number you'll see "description" which links to a page that will show you more complete information about that item. Next to "descripton" you may also see "# images" or "# audio segments" where "#" is some number. If you see "# images", it indicates that there are scanned images available to view, and if you see "# audio segments", it indicates that there are audio segments that you can listen to online. For more information, see below about how to view scanned print materials and listen to audio online.

Access materials

Some materials are available to view or listen to online via the CLA, but to view or listen to materials, you'll need to accept the terms of use. You may be prompted periodically to reacknowledge the terms of use.

View scanned print materials

Some non-audio items in the CLA are able to be viewed online. When you search for items and come upon one that has "# images" next to it in the search results, that item can be viewed online. For example, if you search from the home page for "Harrington, John Peabody", and click the "Digital only" button below, three search results will be returned, and you can view all of them online.

Let's use Harrington.010.001 as an example. From the search results, you will see:

If you click on the link that says "324 images", you'll be taken to a page that lists all the images that are available to view. Click on the first image, with the filename Harrington.010.001.0001.

You need to accept our terms of use, and if you have not accepted, you'll see a page that is mostly blank with the words "You must agree to our terms of use to view images" near the top of the page. If you click on the "terms of use" link and then agree to the terms of use, the image you were trying to view will show up.

When you're done viewing an image, you can advance to the next one or go back to the previous one using the links at the top right of the image marked "< Prev" and "Next >". If you need to return to the full list of images, you can on the link marked "list all" on the top left of the image.

Listen to audio

Some audio is available to be listened to online on the CLA. When you search for items and come upon one that has "# audio segments" next to it in the search results, then you can listen to that item online. For example, if you search from the home page for "Yurok", and click the "Audio only" button below, six search results will be returned, and you can listen to most of them online.

When you click the "Show more" link below a search result, you may see "Access restrictions: local access at UC Berkeley only" or "Access restrictions: restricted access (consult repository)". For information on these access restrictions and gaining access to resources, see the Access page.

Returning to the search results for Yurok, the first result contains audio that can be listened to online. Click on the link that says "3 audio segments", and you will be taken to a list of all the audio segments associated with that item.

You need to agree to our terms of use to listen to audio, and if you have not agreed, you'll see a notice that says "audio recordings are only available if you have agreed to our terms of use" near the top of the page. If you click on the "terms of use" link and then accept our terms of use, you'll be returned to the list of audio segments.

When you have accepted our terms of use, you can listen to the audio online by clicking the "Play MP3" link. You can also download an MP3 version of the audio segment by clicking on the link after the words "Download MP3". If you click on this link and the MP3 plays in your browser instead of downloading, then instead, right click (or control click on a Mac) and click the option that says "Save Link As...". You can then play the MP3, put it on a CD, or load it onto an MP3 player to listen to offline.

Obtaining materials that are not available online

Materials may not be available online for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is that the item has not been scanned or otherwise digitized. In these cases, it is often possible to get a physical copy. If the item has access restrictions, see the Access page for more information.

To obtain copies of an item that is not available online, first determine which repository the item is in. You can see this by clicking on the "Show more" link on any search result. If the repository is the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, see the Access page for information on how to contact that museum and see if it is possible to get access to an item.

If the material is a sound recording in the Berkeley Language Center or the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages and access is unrestricted, you will be able to listen to the audio online and download MP3s of the audio segments. If there are access restrictions, it may be possible to provide you with a physical copy. In that case, please contact us via email at scoil-ling@berkeley.edu. In your email, please let us know the identifiers for the audio collections (the "LA" numbers, like "LA 13.1") you'd like to request, and if you would like the recordings on DVDs (which can only be used on a computer) or CDs (which can be played in any kind of CD player). Note that we must charge for labor, materials, and shipping in providing physical copies of audio collections. When you let us know what you would like, we will provide you with an estimate of the cost, and then you can tell us what you would like and provide your mailing address. When we send the materials, we will include an invoice and information about making a payment by check (we cannot accept other methods of payment).

If the material is a manuscript in the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, we can usually provide print copies. For print copies, we cannot provide exact price estimates, but assume approximately 15 cents per page. When you request materials (via email: scoil-ling@berkeley.edu), please include the identifier (for example, "Harrington.010.001") and a mailing address for the materials. Note that we must charge for paper copies of any materials. When we send the materials, we will include an invoice and information about making a payment by check (we cannot accept other methods of payment).

Contact us

If you have questions or comments regarding the California Language Archive, please email scoil-ling@berkeley.edu. You may also call the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages at 510-642-8891. Due to budget constraints, we have no permanent staffing, but we check our email and phone messages weekly and will try to respond quickly.