Kell, J & Booker, L 2018, 'Working with ‘Women Only’: Gendered protocols in the digitization and archiving process', Language Documentation & Conservation, vol. 12, pp. 461-480.
Gender is a significant social category that needs to be taken into consideration when working with Australian Aboriginal communities. Whilst archives hold knowledge systems that encode cultural practices of huge importance to current Australian Indigenous language revitalization projects, women have often been marginalized and excluded due to culturally inappropriate practices of collection, storage, and access. As women working in an archive, the authors provide a gendered perspective on the development of workflow processes that have the potential to re-orientate the relationship with endangered language communities and contribute to the negotiation of agency for Aboriginal women in the archival space.
This paper draws on the experience of an Australian archiving service involved in a partnership with an Aboriginal organization to digitize resources and facilitate their return to the originating communities. As part of the partnership, tapes of women’s songs from central Australia were digitized using the skills of a female audio engineer. The paper argues that utilizing a female chain of linguist, anthropologist, musicologist, data administrator, and audio engineer in a participatory loop empowered the women in community to make choices knowing that their cultural property was being handled with respect and in a culturally appropriate manner.
Nicholls, S, Booker, L, Thorpe, K, Jackson, M, Girault, C, Briggs, R & Jones, C 2016, 'From principle to practice: Community consultation regarding access to indigenous language material in archival records at the state library of New South Wales', Archives and Manuscripts, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 110-123.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2016 Australian Society of Archivists. In the context of Indigenous languages, archival science in Australia continues to move from a theoretical framework of considering record subjects as third parties to a ‘participants model’. In a participants model framework record subjects are considered co-creators and custodians of the intellectual property of the record. However, the shift from theory to practice is still an under-described challenge currently facing archival professionals. This article reports on an experience of applying guidelines developed by First Languages Australia (FLA) and National and State Libraries of Australasia (NSLA) aimed at enhancing the rights of Indigenous Australians over records that contain Indigenous language material. A team of researchers from the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) Indigenous Services branch and Western Sydney University engaged with four Indigenous language groups to evaluate records containing Indigenous language material held at the SLNSW. On viewing the archival records of Indigenous language material members of community groups expressed a diversity of opinions and suggestions. This feedback was grouped by the authors into the following themes: painful remembrance of the provenance of the archival record, evaluations of the value of the documents, custodianship and use of the language material, and access to the SLNSW records. The authors found that participants in the study substantially shaped the process of implementing the protocols.