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Donating materials to the CLA

The California Language Archive (Survey of California and Other Indian Languages) supports the documentation, documentation, analysis, maintenance, reclamation, and revitalization of the Indigenous languages of the Americas. We hold sound recordings, field notes, photographs, and other documentary materials, some of it digitized and available online. Donations of materials within the scope of our collections are welcome. If you have materials you would like to donate, please contact Dr. Zachary O’Hagan (Manager) by email at, by phone at 510-642-8891, or by sending a letter to 1203 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720.

In order to defray the costs involved in processing and preserving collections, we request a one-time processing fee of $500 in addition to, for born-digital materials, $500 per 500GB. Depositors using our pre-archive system and uploading files larger than 250MB will need a “Personal Pro” Box account. We recommend that digital files be in standard archival formats such as PDF/A, TXT, WAV, MP4, MOV, MTS, etc.

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 up to 35 years from the present, making them available on request (to interested users at our discretion) or by consultation with the depositor.

What we collect

The CLA collects materials related to all Indigenous languages of the Americas, as well as those documented by Berkeley linguists. Materials may include but are not limited to primary field notes, audiovisual recordings (with or without annotations), and photographs, as well as correspondence, file slips, databases, and other notes and manuscripts.

Steps to donate analog materials

  1. Contact Dr. Zachary O’Hagan (Manager) to discuss whether your materials are within the scope of our collections.
  2. Complete the gift agreement.
  3. Package the material well and ship it or have us ship it to 1203 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA; or bring it personally to 1311 Dwinelle Hall.

Pre-archiving for born-digital materials

Potential depositors with born-digital materials are able to use our pre-archive interface to deposit their materials, with easy online metadata creation and file upload with Box. We have a pre-archive quick-guide, and a separate form for you to fill out. The latter constitutes your request for the creation of a collection, and allows us to create records for the people, places, and languages that will be part of the controlled vocabulary in the metadata of the collection.