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Reclaiming Indigenous Languages: our transcribe-a-thon for NAIDOC Week

The Library has over 200 language lists of Indigenous Australian languages in our collections. The language lists were collected by early nineteenth century Europeans who were in conversation with Indigenous people. These language lists have been digitised on our website, Rediscovering Indigenous Languages.  

For NAIDOC Week we held a transcribe-a-thon with staff in public libraries across New South Wales, from Wiradjuri country to Dharug. Together we transcribed a series of handwritten language lists into typed transcripts so they can be easily read and searched for words. 

a screen with the face of some women

The public libraries joined us and other staff from the State Library via video conference at 11am on Wednesday 5 July and we began transcribing. We had lots of fun deciphering the handwriting of nineteenth century surveyors and even had to decode some words for body parts! Our transcripts are now available online and can be viewed by people from across the globe. Thanks to all the public library staff and volunteers who joined us! 

Transcribing is part of the Library’s crowdsourcing initiatives. We are always looking for volunteers to get involved, contact us to know more! If you want to know more about Indigenous Languages sign up for the transcription tool. Help us to share Indigenous languages with the world!