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PNW Linguistic Field Recordings

Pacific Northwest Collection Audio Preservation Project for Storing Field Recordings of Native American Languages in ResearchWorks/DSpace

Application Profile

UW Libraries Special Collections holds field research materials (notebooks, audio materials, motion pictures, etc.) created by linguists beginning in the 1950’s. Most of these materials fall within two collections: The Jacobs Research Fund Collection and The Northwest Linguistics Collections.

This project is concerned with the preservation of audio materials relating to Northwest indigenous languages. Access to the bulk of the field recordings is currently restricted, but future donations may be open to public listening, and it is likely that linguists will retroactively grant permission for public access (this is a separate project).

MARC records exist for these collections at the accession level and include a note as to the languages covered in the accession. The records do not contain item level detail and accession can contain up to over 300 audio items covering a diversity of languages created by numerous linguists.

This project covers: preservation assessment of audio materials, the creation of a digital files, and metadata at the item level.

Master WAV files will be uploaded to DSpace for preservation purposes (24 bit/48khz). If access has been granted a use copy will be created (44.1/16) which will be accessible on compact disc in Special Collections.

Files will go in DSpace collection:

University Libraries Administrative Documents [no public access]> Special Collections > PNW Field Recordings

Element and description


Dublin Core Qualified Field


Type of recording (songs, interview, intonations or generically described as a field recording) followed by the informant’s name, the indigenous language spoken, the date recorded. Also list the track number of the recording.

Field recording of Minnie Scovall in Sahaptin on May 15, 1965. Track 1.

Story, “Coyote and People” recited by Louey Fuller in Tillamook, April 1941. Track 1.


Collection Title

Name of individual or collection followed by “papers” or “collection”

Tracks to MARC 245a (Title) field

Laurence C. Thompson papers

Northwest Linguistics Collection—Laurence C. Thompson subgroup, Thompson


Accession Number

“Accession Number” followed by a colon. Then number assigned to collection and accession.

Tracks to MARC 541Ac field, and to MARC 245n field.

Accession Number: 1835-001

Accession Number: 2696-77-001


Item Id Number

A counter number to identify the physical audio object.

Five digit number. Numbering to begin with 00001.

The first item digitized, a 5 inch reel, will be item 00001. Item will be marked by preservation pen.

Item Id: 00001

Item Id: 00002


Track Information

Information about total number of tracks on audio object.

2 tracks


Name of Linguist

Format of personal name: Lastname, Firstname

Use LC Authority File for form of name when available.

Name of linguist who interviewed subject. Not necessarily the same name as MARC 100 (Author) field.

Name of linguist should correspond with a named individual listed in MARC 700 (Added Author) field.

Repeat field as needed. Only one linguist per entry.

Amoss, Pamela [linguist]

Unknown [linguist]


Informant’s Name/Names

Name of person recorded on tape speaking or singing or making other intonations on tape, other than the linguist

Format of personal name: Lastname, Firstname

Use LC Authority File for form of name when available.

Repeat field as needed. Only one informant per entry.

Scovell, Minnie [informant]


Unknown [informant]








Language Code

Three alpha code.

Use ISO 639-3 Code when available. Use family language code if applicable. Otherwise, leave blank.

Repeat field as needed.

Leave blank if language is not identified.




Language or Dialect

Name of language or dialect as identified by linguist.

This field provides the most granular level of name for language possible. It includes references to dialects and other specific names for languages when applicable, as identified by the linguist.

Local list of languages will be kept for consistency.

Repeat field as needed.

Leave blank if language is not identified.

Kittitas Sahaptin

Cowichan Halkomelem


Date/s Recorded

The date the original recording or broadcast was made.

Format the date in standardized,

W3C-DTF format YYYY, or YYYY-MM, or YYYY-MM-DD as needed.

Use n.d. when no date is known.




Location Recorded

Place where recording was made

City, State (or Province) 2 alpha abbreviation postal code, Country

Use USA or write out fill country name.

May include notable location information if present.

Heritage College, Yakima, Washington, USA

Regina, SK, Canada


Audio Object

Type of audio format the recording was made from.

5” reel-to-reel




Related Field Materials

Collection name, accession number, name of field notebook as identified by linguist, and page numbers.

Laurence C. Thompson papers, 1835-027, Nb. Ti-2, pgs. 125-151



A unique number comprised of the following:

Accession number(hyphen)Language code(hyphen)Audio type code (hyphen)Audio sequence identifier




Duration of Audio File

12 minutes, 58 seconds



Notes about the audio object or its content that does not fit into another field.

Interview questions are asked in English.

Original audio has first 15 minutes missing because of reproduction error in 1982.

Duplicates of this recording are also found in the Laurence C. Thompson papers, accession 1835-027.

First words of the track are: “I, Ice, Iceskating.”



Corresponds to field in Broadcast WAV file header.

See example.

Digital, stereo. Converted from analog recording to 24 bit/48kHz Broadcast WAV format files by University of Washington Libraries in 2010.



Disclaimer. See example.

Copyright restrictions apply. Consult Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries.