Collaborative Digital Language Archiving Curriculum

Course Description

This is an accelerated course for community language documenters, language revivalists, digital archivists, and linguists interested in the documentation and description of language. It is designed for non-academic documenters and/or for documentation at a distance and considers the technology needs for these groups. The course will also be of use to linguistics students working on language documentation and description projects.

In the following nine modules, we provide tutorials on how to take a digital object from creation to archiving. We focus on data management as a means to create a lasting record of community memory, ensure long-term access, and create resources for improved language description.


The Collaborative Language Archiving Curriculum was developed by the Computational Resource for South Asian Languages (CoRSAL) archive. Individuals who authored content are acknowledged in the individual modules to which they contributed. The course is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The Collaborative Language Archiving Curriculum can be cited as follows:
Computational Resource for South Asian Languages. (YYYY). Collaborative Language Archiving Curriculum. Retrieved [DD Month YYYY] from

Course Summary

Module Topic Objectives
Module 1 Creating a language collection To create optimal audio and video recordings
To understand what to collect and why
To digitize materials
Module 2 Facilitating the creation of a regional or community repository To explore repositories for archiving, find the right fit for you collection 
To understand legal and ethical considerations for collection of and access to indigenous materials
To understand the difference between archiving repositories and websites
Module 3 Managing and describing data To find a useful convention for file naming
To optimize your foldering for project management
To understand item level metadata, especially as relevant to CoRSAL
Module 4 Using tools of language documentation I To learn the basics of the SayMore and ELAN software for transcription and translation
To learn important considerations for transcription and translation
To explore issues of orthographic choice and variation
Module 5 Using tools of language documentation II To use tools of linguistic description to improve language documentation
To learn annotation using FLEx
Module 6 Preparing files for archiving and dissemination
To understand how to prepare digital data files for archiving
To understand how to create collection landing page
To understand how to create a collection guide
To explore ways archivists can promote their language collections digitally
Module 7 Documenting language endangerment To explore possible socio-political issues that impact language endangerment
To understand ethical methods of eliciting and archiving traumatic accounts
Module 8 Documenting health and wellness To understand health and wellness as linguistic concepts and the value of documenting these aspects 
To analyze and apply the use of open-ended qualitative interviews and storytelling
To appraise the key ethical concerns that may arise during conversations about health and wellness topics
Module 9 Incorporating ethnography To explore the kinds of ethnographic information that should be collected during language documentation

Course Modules

Module 1: Creating a Language Collection

Module 2: Archiving Language Materials

Module 3: Managing and Describing Language Materials

Module 4: Using Tools of Language Documentation I

Module 5: Using Tools of Language Documentation II

Module 6: Preparing Files for Archiving

Module 7: Documenting Language Endangerment

Module 8: Documenting Health and Wellness

Module 9: Incorporating Ethnography