A team from the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia (RILCA) at Mahidol University, Thailand, visited ELAR from 18-24 March for key training in digitisation, data management and archiving.
ELAR is collaborating with the RILCA team to set up a digital archive for the long-term preservation and dissemination of indigenous linguistic materials and cultural heritage in Thailand.
The RILCA team includes Principle Investigator Siripen Ungsitipoonporn and digital archivist/researcher Buachut Watyam, and archive/research assistants Kumaree Laparporn and Nattamon Rojanakul.
Initial training on archiving took place at SOAS. Led by Vera Ferreira and Gema Zamora Fernandez, the week-long training included practical sessions on digitisation with the opportunity to work on the team’s own materials and legacy materials that have been collected in Thailand over the past 20 years.
The team were also trained in using the Mukurtu platform, which has been chosen for local archiving and is tailored for researchers and communities to manage, preserve and share their own digital heritage. Sessions were based around learning how to create collections and curate and upload data. The team also had the opportunity to meet the ELAR team and learn about best practices for data management and data curation.
Vera Ferreira, ELDP Archive Support and Development Officer, explained, “This first training in London represented a very important step in the implementation of a digital archive for the preservation and promotion of language diversity in Thailand.The training covered different areas of data processing, data management and archiving – from digitisation and data conversion to file naming systems, metadata creation, data upload, access definitions and catalogue layout. It was more focused on the management of Mukurtu CMS, the archiving platform that will be used for this project. The positive results from the training and the motivation of our Thai colleagues, together with the richness of the data available, show that the future archive in Thailand has the necessary requirements to become a success.”
Siripen Ungsitipoonporn added, “I think [this training] is really useful…you can call this intensive training because this knowledge is really new. We have never done this before but it is interesting. We can practice and become familiar with [Mukurtu].
“The next steps – we continue our work with our data first. We will have training in Thailand and then we will have time to go to the community to collect more data for other endangered ethnic groups.”
Thank you to the RILCA team for visiting ELAR and we’re looking forward to the next stage of training in Thailand, where ELAR will provide local training on data collection and archiving to support self-determined data gathering.