Research Articles

Living archives: A community-based language archive model

  • Mary S. Linn


Building on the models of Community-Based Language Research (Czaykowska-Higgins 2009) and Participatory Archives (Huvila 2008), I propose a Community-Based Language Archive model (CBLA), and outline its implications for archiving, documentary linguistics and language maintenance, revitalization and renewal. Implementation of a community-based language archive will vary according to the geographic location, local community, and archive, and it will change as new technologies advance. So, this paper does not pretend to present something that is radically new, but to articulate endangered language archives’ roles in language documentation and description, as well as their place in the wider archive community, and in language revitalization. Rather, I argue that community-based language archives are at the forefront of an emerging broader trend to ‘participatory delivery’ of information within which archives can be increasingly relevant.

Keywords: community-based language archive, community-based language research, participatory archives, archiving, documentary linguistics, language maintenance, language revitalization and renewal, endangered languages

How to Cite:

Linn, M., (2014) “Living archives: A community-based language archive model”, Language Documentation and Description 12, 53-67. doi:

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Published on
31 Jul 2014
Peer Reviewed