Indigenous Languages Research Discovery Workshop

The State Library of Queensland will be hosting an Indigenous Language Research Discovery Workshop from 26-28 November 2012.
Research materials from State Library collections (March 2012 Workshop)

March 2012 Research Discovery Workshop

 This workshop builds upon similar workshops held during 2009-2011 and is aimed at extending the work that many community language workers are already undertaking in Indigenous communities. It also allows returning workshop attendees to continue research work from previous workshops.

Extract from Harriet Barlow’s manuscript – Vocabulary of Aboriginal Dialects of Queensland.

For new participants, this will be a unique opportunity to source new language references from some unusual materials and to be working with a supportive group of other community language workers from across Queensland. Another benefit from the workshop will be the identification of materials of significance and interest to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for future digitisation by State Library and possible inclusion in online resource catalogues. Advice from workshop participants have shaped the development of the State Library’s new Indigenous Languages webpages.

Michael Aird presenting a workshop session on Tindale’s photographs.

The workshop is centred around individual research on particular language(s) or areas with support from State Library of Queensland staff; participants identify the languages and communities they are working in prior to attending the workshop which allows identification of relevant materials from the collection. There are also opportunities to showcase specific items from the collection as well as participant presentations on language revival activities in their communities.

Norman Tayley sharing a YouTube clip from Wujal Wujal

This research event is aimed at language workers and community members who are currently working/have an interest in traditional languages and supporting language revival programs in communities. 

Aims of the Research Discovery Workshop:

  1. to introduce community language workers to Queensland Memory collections;
  2. to explore materials held in SLQ collections;
  3. to undertake language/locality specific research; and
  4. to identify potential applications for using materials to support language activities in communities.

Essentially, the workshop presents an opportunity for participants to research and explore items from the collections relating to their languages and communities. In Queensland, there are over 100 languages and dialects; only 20 are spoken on a daily basis! The remaining languages are in danger of being lost, hence the importance for language revival in Queensland Indigenous communities.

A wordle showcasing many of Queensland's 100+ Indigenous languages and dialects.

For further details, including Expressions of Interest to attend the workshop, please contact Des Crump, Indigenous Languages Researcher, State Library of Queensland.