The Language Archive -
The Language Archive (TLA, see TLA's own website at tla.mpi.nl) is a unit of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics based on three essential pillars.
- Data archive holding resources on languages and cultures collected by a wide variety of researchers in various countries worldwide.
- Management and Access Tools developed and maintained with the help of a wide variety of projects.
- Archiving and Software Experts embedded in international collaboration projects.
Although the TLA will be primarily grounded on the research needs of the Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG), Berlin Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW) and Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (KNAW) it has an open policy. It participates in national and international projects and collaborations and contributes to the currently emerging eResearch infrastructures and is committed to advance and promote international standards that facilitate interoperability. The primary goal of TLA is to store and preserve digital language resources, to give access to researchers and other interested users and to develop and integrate new technologies advancing language research. According to a UNESCO study about 80% of our recordings about languages and cultures are endangered and urgent measures are called for to safeguard this valuable data. In addition to this, like for almost all data-oriented research disciplines, it becomes apparent that the data management and preservation problem has not been solved yet. Therefore TLA will be open to all requests for depositing language related data if it is suitable material and will be made available for research purposes. In most cases data curation is required to transform data into open standards based formats and so increase the chances of long-term interpretability. TLA will develop and maintain advanced software to allow archive managers to organize and maintain a consistent and coherent digital archive. State of the art software will also allow users to easily create, access and enrich the data stored at TLA. Also TLA will develop or integrate cutting edge technology that introduces new computational methodologies to the study of languages. Deposits and access to the data must be based on clear legal and ethical statements and the archive must be subject to regular quality assessment procedures to show its reliability such as for instance to get the Data Seal of Approval.