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Video: Meet Nick Thieberger

Archiving, Nick Thieberger, PARADISEC, Technology, University of Melbourne

Date: 14 November 2019

Centre Chief Investigator Nicholas Thieberger is Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. In 2003 he helped establish the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Resources in Endangered Languages (PARADISEC), and is now its Director.

Watch on YouTube.

PARADISEC also serves as the main repository for Centre data and continues to go from strength to strength. To celebrate the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the Archive ran the Mystery Language of the Week initiative and has just launched Toksave: Culture Talks, a podcast series featuring interviews with people who have found personal and cultural connections with collections in the archive.

Nick Thieberger has worked with speakers of Australian languages since the early 1980s. He established the Aboriginal language centre Wangka Maya in Port Hedland in the late 1980s, then worked at AIATSIS building the Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive in the early 1990s. He wrote a grammar of South Efate, a language from central Vanuatu that was the first to link media to the analysis, allowing verification of examples used in analytical claims.

Nick is a co-founder of the Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD; now Living Languages) and in 2008 he established a linguistic archive at the University of Hawai’i. He is interested in developments in digital humanities methods and their potential to improve research practice. Nick is now developing methods for creation of reusable data sets from fieldwork on previously unrecorded languages, including a collaboration with the National Library of Australia to encode the Daisy Bates vocabularies of Australian languages. He is also the Deputy Director of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language at The University of Melbourne and Editor of the journal Language Documentation & Conservation.


(This video was recorded at the Centre's annual member conference, CoEDLFest 2019. Did you know PARADISEC is a registered charity and tax deductible gift recipient? To find out how you could support this important work into the future visit:

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University