ATG Quirkies: Saving Forgotten Languages Through the Magic of IRENE

glassrecordIn this post, the Northeast Documents Conservations Center reports how they were able to help preserve a lost Native Alaskan dialect using an advanced technology system.  It all started when “the Alaska and Polar Regions Archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) received a large collection of the works and papers of anthropologist Dorothy Jean Ray (1919-2007), who was best known for her ethnographic studies of native Alaskan peoples.”  Aside from the usual letters and manuscripts, there were four 78 rpm glass-base recording of native songs and speech which were impossible to play with out fear of being destroyed.  This post relates how the NEDCC’s IRENE system came to the rescue using some pretty incredible technology. (Oh! Don’t forget to check out the fascinating audio clips.) 

(Thanks to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies)

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