31.05.2015 - 00:40
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Leipzig Endangered Languages Archive (LELA)

Background and Policies


The Leipzig Endangered Languages Archive (LELA) was founded in 2005 to offer digital archiving services for linguistic data collected by members of the greater Leipzig linguistics community. It is based at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI EVA) Department of Linguistics.


LELA’s primary function is the preservation of digital linguistic materials and the dissemination of those materials to members of the academic community or speaker communities with a valid interest in accessing their content. In this role, LELA allows researchers funded by MPI EVA to fulfill their obligations to leave copies of the materials they collect or work on using MPI funds with the Max Planck Society.

LELA cannot offer archiving services for physical materials (e.g., cassette tapes or field notes). However, in certain cases, it may be possible for LELA to digitize such materials for depositors, thus allowing the content of those recordings to be archived with LELA.

It is the responsibility of the depositor to work out with LELA staff appropriate means for ensuring proper metadata is associated with deposited materials.

LELA has no plans at present for creating an open web-based resource dissemination system. Requests for materials will have to be directed to appropriate members of the archive’s staff. There are plans in the near future to allow LELA’s metadata to be disseminated so outsiders can discover what materials are in the archive.

Eligible depositors:

Members of the "greater Leipzig linguistics community" are eligible to make use of LELA’s services. This includes employees and guests of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI EVA) who conduct linguistic research and linguists based at the University of Leipzig. In some cases, researchers with less tangible connections to the Leipzig linguistics community may also be eligible to use LELA’s services.

Archivable materials:

At present, LELA archives digital audio files, digital images (including scanned images), documents in plain or marked-up text, and documents in PDF format. LELA has not yet begun to archive video, though it will consider doing so if a depositor has significant video recordings relevant to the archive’s mission.

Metadata standards:

LELA uses the IMDI metadata standard to organize materials in the archive, and is collaborating with the Technical Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen to participate in a general architecture for Language Archiving Technology

Contact: For more information about LELA, please contact Sven Grawunder (grawunder@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de) or Claudia Bavero (claudia_bavero@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de).