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Donating Materials to the Survey

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, sound recordings, and other documentary materials, some of it digitized and available online. Donations of materials within the scope of our collections policy are welcome. If you have material you would like to donate, please contact the 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, especially those with funding from grants, consider donating to the Survey $500 per collection, in addition to, for born-digital materials, $1000 per terabyte and a paid Box account for prearchiving (see below) if any file is greater than 250MB.

We also strongly recommend that digital deposits be in a non-propietary, non-lossy format. For sound recordings, this includes such formats as WAV, AIFF, FLAC, etc. For electronic texts, this includes PDF/A or a text file. 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 up to 35 years from the present.

What we collect

The Survey collects primary and secondary sources on all Indigenous languages of the Americas, as well as those documented by Berkeley linguists. Primary sources include original writings and works of oral literature, field notes, and audiovisual recordings that document these languages, as well as correspondence, notes, file slips, 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.

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). For digital materials, see the prearchive described below.

    1. Contact Director Andrew Garrett to discuss whether your material is within the scope of our collections.
    2. Complete the gift agreement.
    3. Package the material well and mail it or bring it personally to our office (address at the bottom of this page):

Prearchiving for depositors with born-digital materials

Potential depositors with born-digital materials are able to use our prearchive interface to deposit their materials, with easy online metadata creation and file upload with Box. We have a prearchive 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 your collection.