What is Paradisec?
Many students have the experience of getting involved with the organization, whilst taking specific courses, which allows them to gain further insight into the process of digitizing endangered materials. In addition many of the academics that contribute to this website work with Paradisec and utilize their services in digitizing materials acquired during fieldwork. Paradisec is an invaluable resource that has allowed for the digitization of the many of the resources found on this website.
PARADISEC (Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures) offers a facility for digital conservation and access for endangered materials from the Pacific region, defined broadly to include Oceania and East and Southeast Asia. Their research group has developed models to ensure that the archive can provide access to interested communities, and conforms with emerging international standards for digital archiving.
The group also have an established framework for accessioning, cataloguing and digitising audio, text and visual material, as well as preserving digital copies. The primary focus of this initial stage is safe preservation of material that would otherwise be lost, especially field tapes from the 1950s and 1960s.
PARADISEC adopts current best practice for preserving audio data by digitising it at the highest quality available and storing several copies in separate locations. PARADISEC makes digital copies of tapes and returns the originals to depositors or their institutions. The group provide secure interim storage while tapes are being processed but cannot offer long term storage.
PARADISEC's current metadata set is available for download from our website. By using these metadata standards we are able to share information about what is located in the collection. The goal is that any resource from the region be discoverable regardless of where it is located, and regardless of where the researcher is located. Access to the data itself requires permission which is specified for each item in the collection.
A founding principle for PARADISEC is that small and endangered cultures need support for locating and reintroducing material that was recorded in the past. Ensuring that the material is well cared for means that it can be made available into the future. Digital outputs from PARADISEC are available in various formats depending on the needs of the users. While audio files are archived at high resolution, they can be made available as MP3 or other formats for delivery on CD or over the web.
For further information on Paradisec please visit the PARADISEC website at www.paradisec.org.au. The website includes further information about the services they provide the seminars they host as well as costing information. This website is also an invaluable resource for relevant links to endangered languages resources and information about up coming events and new innovations in the area of documenting endangered languages.