IndieWire: Afghanistan’s Film Archives Were Saved from the Taliban Once Before. What Now?

IndieWire: Afghanistan’s Film Archives Were Saved from the Taliban Once Before. What Now?. “Efforts to protect, restore, and digitize that window into Afghanistan’s history emerged over the last 20 years, coinciding with a robust return of film and TV to the country. But now that the Taliban has returned to power, huge questions loom about the status of that archive, which dates back to 1927.”

New York Times: Marie Wilcox, Who Saved Her Native Language From Extinction, Dies at 87

New York Times: Marie Wilcox, Who Saved Her Native Language From Extinction, Dies at 87. “For many years, Marie Wilcox was the guardian of the Wukchumni language, one of several Indigenous languages that were once common in Central California but have either disappeared or nearly disappeared. She was the only person for a time who could speak it fluently. She started writing down words in Wukchumni as she remembered them in the late 1990s, scrawling on the backs of envelopes and slips of paper. Then she started typing them into an old boxy computer. Soon she was getting up early to devote her day to gathering words and working into the night.”

UCLA: UCLA Library funds 29 international cultural preservation projects

UCLA: UCLA Library funds 29 international cultural preservation projects. “The Modern Endangered Archives Program, a granting initiative launched in 2018 by the UCLA Library with support from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, has funded 29 new projects that will preserve at-risk materials as diverse as audio recordings of indigenous languages in Siberia, film periodicals from Pakistan and India, and photographs and maps from Peruvian Amazonia.”

News@Northeastern: The Race To Save Indigenous Languages, Using Automatic Speech Recognition

News@Northeastern: The Race To Save Indigenous Languages, Using Automatic Speech Recognition. “Growing up in the windy plains near the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, [Michael] Running Wolf says that although his family—which is part Cheyenne, part Lakota—didn’t have daily access to running water or electricity, sometimes, when the winds died down, the power would flicker on, and he’d plug in his Atari console and play games with his sisters. These early experiences would spur forward a lifelong interest in computers, artificial intelligence, and software engineering that Running Wolf is now harnessing to help reawaken endangered indigenous languages in North and South America, some of which are so critically at risk of extinction that their tallies of living native speakers have dwindled into the single digits.”

Washington Post: Global Hunt For Looted Treasures Leads To Offshore Trusts

Washington Post: Global Hunt For Looted Treasures Leads To Offshore Trusts. “When the United States indicted [alleged artifact trafficker Douglas] Latchford in 2019, it seemed at last that hundreds of stolen items he had traded might be identified and returned: Prosecutors demanded the forfeiture of ‘any and all property’ derived from his illicit trade over four decades. But then the 88-year-old Latchford died before trial, leaving unresolved a tantalizing question: What happened to all the money and looted treasures? The answer lies, at least in part, in previously undisclosed records describing secret offshore companies and trusts that Latchford and his family controlled.”

New York University: NYU, University of Waikato Receive Mellon Foundation Grant to Protect Indigenous Knowledge and Data

New York University: NYU, University of Waikato Receive Mellon Foundation Grant to Protect Indigenous Knowledge and Data. “Equity for Indigenous Research and Innovation Coordinating Hub (ENRICH), launched in 2019, aims to establish and solidify Indigenous cultural authority within digital infrastructures and to increase Indigenous rights within historical records and future research…. Under the Mellon grant, ENRICH will expand its training and resources developed by and for Indigenous communities in order to bolster efforts in the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia to properly connect Indigenous cultural material and data to present-day communities and to establish cultural authority as well as intellectual property legal protections over them.”

Reuters: Mexico recovers missing manuscripts from 16th century sold at auction

Reuters: Mexico recovers missing manuscripts from 16th century sold at auction. “Mexico’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it had recovered valuable manuscripts from the 16th century, including some relating to conquistador Hernan Cortes, months after a group of academics reported them missing from Mexico’s national archives. In apparently systematic fashion, 10 documents were stolen over several years from a collection dedicated to Cortes and later put up for sale in international auction houses including Swann, Bonhams and Christie’s, the academic investigators said.”

Associated Press: Missouri cave with ancient Native American drawings sold

Associated Press: Missouri cave with ancient Native American drawings sold. “Bryan Laughlin, director of Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers, the St. Louis-based firm handling the auction, said the winning bidder declined to be named. A St. Louis family that’s owned the land since 1953 has mainly used it for hunting. The cave was the site of sacred rituals and burying of the dead. It also has more than 290 prehistoric glyphs, or hieroglyphic symbols used to represent sounds or meanings, ‘making it the largest collection of indigenous people’s polychrome paintings in Missouri,’ according to the auction website.”

Saving history: 3D laser scans preserve world heritage sites (Big Think)

Big Think: Saving history: 3D laser scans preserve world heritage sites. “Throughout history, countless artifacts have been caught in the crossfires of war, deliberately targeted by iconoclasts or swallowed up by the indifferent forces of nature and time. As a result, numerous non-profit groups and agencies — most notably, UNESCO — have sprung up to prevent the present from erasing the past. But while even the most well protected monument remains at risk of being physically destroyed, we now have a way to preserve them digitally.”

Joplin Globe: Joplin couple buys Supertam, the Route 66 attraction in Carterville

Joplin Globe: Joplin couple buys Supertam, the Route 66 attraction in Carterville. “One of Missouri’s popular Route 66 attractions — a small museum dedicated to Superman but that also sells red, yellow and blue ice cream — will soon be reopened under new ownership. Chris and Andrea Briley, of Joplin, recently purchased Supertam on 66 from Larry and Barbara Tamminen, after the latter couple closed the business on May 8.”

New Yorker: The Queer Past Gets Deleted on eBay

New Yorker: The Queer Past Gets Deleted on eBay. “In researching his book ‘Bound Together: Leather, Sex, Archives, and Contemporary Art,’ Andy Campbell, an associate professor of critical studies at the Roski School of Art and Design, used both eBay and the Johnson/Carter Library, in addition to other archives around the country. ‘Bound Together’ argues that queer archives are particularly precarious, as they often lack institutional support structures and their content is at odds with community guidelines.”

The Hindu: India has the world’s lowest survival rate of cinema. And this heritage needs attention

The Hindu: India has the world’s lowest survival rate of cinema. And this heritage needs attention. “In his book, The Death of Cinema, Paolo Cherchi-Usai refers to an article published in 1897 in which the life of a cinematograph frame is arithmetically worked out as ‘one-and-one-third seconds’. So, Usai says, it is the most ephemeral of things, whose life is even shorter than that of a firework, and he wonders whether film eventually exists only in the minds of its viewers. If so, physical preservation of film becomes secondary. Indian culture, with its penchant for concepts like maya and transience, seems to follow a similar attitude to cinema.”

Ayala: Mexican American Civil Rights Institute deserves continued local government support (San Antonio Express-News)

San Antonio Express-News: Ayala: Mexican American Civil Rights Institute deserves continued local government support. “The Mexican American Civil Rights Institute has driven home one idea in its short history: San Antonio is to Mexican American civil rights history what Atlanta is to Black civil rights history. While the latter is roundly recognized, San Antonio’s role as an activism mecca has not.”

Rest of World: Forget emoji, the real Unicode drama is over an endangered Indian script

Rest of World: Forget emoji, the real Unicode drama is over an endangered Indian script. “The effort to digitize the Tulu script is a small slice of a much larger worldwide problem. Like many languages around the world, Tulu might soon disappear: UNESCO identifies it as one of 192 languages from India that are ‘in danger.’ Globally, 40% of the over 7,000 languages spoken by humanity are at risk. In the last century, hundreds have gone extinct, taking with them stories, cultural traditions, ethnic identities, and a bounty of other information from the past. One way to preserve a language is to ensure it’s digitized, so that its speakers can continue expressing themselves as technology evolves.”