SOAS University of London

About Us

The Endangered Language Archive (ELAR) is a digital repository specialising in preserving and publishing endangered language documentation materials from around the world. We are a small team of highly specialised archivists, data scientists, audiovisual experts, and linguists, pioneering in the areas of user interface, managed access and accessibility. For more information about our staff and their areas of expertise, visit the ELAR staff page.

Follow us also on FacebookTwitter and visit our ELAR Blog.

Our services

ELAR aims to:
  • provide a safe long-term repository for language documentation collections
  • enable access to documentation collections according to the wishes of documenters and originating speakers and communities
  • encourage co-operation between documenters and users of their collections
  • provide advice and collaboration
Our team works with depositors, communities and other shareholders to:
  • publish material through the ELAR online catalogue and preserve them for long-term access
  • implement depositors’ and communities’ access restrictions
  • provide advice on the creation of metadata and data management
  • provide assistance with data conversion
  • provide equipment advice and services

ELAR staff

ELAR's team currently consists of a team of four core staff members. Mandana Seyfeddinipur heads the archive and provides strategic leadership. Sophie Salffner and Vera Ferreira are responsible for digital archiving and provide advice and training on data management, metadata preparation and digital archiving. Jenny Martin provides administrative services for ELAR and manages contracting, reporting and accounting. ELAR is also supported by Bernard Howard, who provides technical support for recording and digitising and helps with equipment support for ELAR training events.

In addition to the core staff, ELAR occasionally employs archive assistants, usually drawn from the pool of currently enrolled linguistics post-graduate students at SOAS who have robust skills in data management, office tools, and a very keen eye for subtleties in data and attention to detail. The assistants are paid to work part-time on data curation to help improve our collections.

From time to time, we also welcome voluntary involvement from students and staff or work placements. If you are interested in volunteering your time with ELAR, we would love to hear from you.

Previous staff at ELAR included David Nathan as the director of the archive, Tom Castle as the digital technician, and Kakia Chatsiou as the digital content curator.

Find out more

To find out more about collaborators ELAR has teamed up with and about the work ELAR has done please see our projects and partners, the staff page and the annual reports of the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.