Lexical Database Archiving Questionnaire

Featured

It's true!

I am asking around on different mailing lists to gain some insight into the archiving habits of linguists who use lexical databases. I am specifically interested in databases created by tools like FLEx, ToolBox, Lexus, TshwaneLex, etc.

Background Story Continue reading

Client-Side Content Restrictions for Archives and Content Providers

Two times since the launch of the new SIL.org website colleagues of mine have contacted me about the new requirement on SIL.org to log-in before downloading content from the SIL Language and Culture Archive. Both know that I relate to the website implementation team. I feel as if they expect me to be able to speak into this situation (as if I even have this sort of power) - I only work with the team in a loose affiliation (from a different sub-group within SIL), I don't make design decisions, social impact decisions, or negotiate the politics of content distribution.

However, I think there are some real concerns by web-users users about being required to log-in prior to downloading, and some real considerations which are not being realized by web-users.

I want to reply to these concernes.

Continue reading

The SIL archive and its two sided markets

I have been thinking about the language data marketplace (exchange if one prefers), and the role of archives in a world where minority language speakers are also internet users and digital file consumers. In particular I have been thinking about SIL’s Language and Culture Archive and the economic model called a two sided market. So, SIL as “Partners in Language Development” seems to be well situated for analysis using the two sided market analysis (matching linguist and professionals with language development skills, and persons with language development skills with interested parties in developing their language). On the surface, it seems that the SIL archive would also benefit from being the center of exchange between these same two groups. This is the subject of one of my slides for an upcoming presentation, therefore I sketched out the interactions various SIL staff might have with the archive to see if I could diagram the social interactions around language data in SIL’s two sided market. To my surprise, the two sided nature of access to data in the archive is not supported, thereby blocking a data-centric archiving service. It makes me wonder what the perceived value of the archive really is, and if the perceived value is low, then why bother? What is the return on investment (ROI) for users on either side of the market?

I tried to summarize the relationships between the various clients of the archive in the following image.

Media and relationships among different roles in SIL projects.

Media and relationships among different roles in SIL projects.

Related Images:

AKAI GX-220D

This past weekend I walked across the street from our house with Becky and went to an estate sale. In one of the rooms there was a stack of electronics. There on a dresser was a Reel-to-Reel machine in almost perfect condition.

AKAI GX-220D

AKAI GX-220D

The week prior I had been working with some Reels of language data in the archive. We have two machines but one of them does not work completely. Some amazing stuff. So now it sits on my desk and I am using my Marantz PMD 661 to digitize all sorts of Reel to Reels. Today I was looking up this model online and found it on Ebay for $300 and in Germany on Ebay for 500€, not bad as I paid $35 for mine. I finally found the manuals online for Free! It seems that somebody is trying to sell print offs on ebay for $11 each. But here is what I found.

Specifications

Track system: 4 track, 2 channel stereo/monaural system

Maximum reel capacity: 7″ reel

Wow and flutter: 0.08% at 7.5 ips

Frequency response: 30Hz to 24kHz at 7.5ips

Distortion: less than 1.5%

Signal to noise ratio: >50dB

Heads: 3 heads

Motors: 3 motors

Dimensions: 430 x 425 x 230mm

Weight: 19kg

One of my concerns is with the 30Hz playback.

Was this standard for reel-to-reels or was there better recordings done but I will never know because of the model of playback machine I have?

Another concern I have is about the heads:

If they are magnetized will they erase my tape? How do I tell if they are magnetized?

Here is a listing of Reel-to-Reel machines by AKAI.

Here is a youtube video of the same model I have.

Selected Works™ & BePress

Bepress is an internet based service from Berkeley Electronic Press. They basically allow a user to display their work. i.e. a Professor’s CV which has a list of publications, those publications are then displayed by Selected Works™ & BePress as downloadable PDFs. These works can then also be described, downloaded, their bibliographic references can be downloaded, etc. Berkeley Electronic Press archives the Documents and presents them in an understandable, accessible, usable format. They have integrated Google search. Seems like lots of Love all around.
This kind of thing would be really good for an organization like the one I work with.


This is a picture of a page. See this page live.


This is a picture of a page. See this page live.

BePress has a lot of features, it integrates with a lot of other services too. One service which looked really cool was their service for working with the editorial process used in working papers.