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California Language Archive

Your gift to the California Language Archive (CLA) supports the continued acquisition, preservation, and digitization of invaluable sound recordings, film, paper documents, and photographs related to the Indigenous languages of the Americas.

The CLA, founded in 1953, currently houses sound recordings, paper documents, and other materials related to nearly 500 languages. In the context of the United Nations' International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–32), we support the documentation, analysis, maintenance, reclamation, and revitalization of Indigenous languages, the majority of which are endangered. Among other activities, we directly support the biennial Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous California Languages on the Berkeley campus.

There are often few permanent records of Indigenous languages and they can be in fragile condition or stored on obsolete media. Language archives can be responsible for preserving the only physical documentation of the language(s) of some communities, providing valuable historical and cultural continuity. We proactively collect, catalog, digitize, and make accessible legacy and newly created materials to ensure their preservation and availability to current and future generations of Indigenous people, Berkeley students, and researchers from around the world.

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