Getting Started

  • A Gentle Introduction to Metadata

    OLAC Document Format

    OLAC documents are authored in XML, and are validated against a DTD and rendered into HTML using an XSL stylesheet:

    Founding Documents

    These documents were presented at the international workshop in December 2000 where OLAC was established. One hundred participants, representing language resource projects in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, reviewed these documents and reached general consensus supporting the foundation of OLAC.


    The overview presents the background and vision of OLAC, as presented at the inaugural meeting which took place in Philadelphia in December 2000. It describes the language resources community, the Dublin Core metadata set and the Open Archives Initiative.

  • OLAC Overview
  • Philadelphia Meeting


  • A Metadata Search Engine for Digital Language Archives
  • Metadata Quality Evaluation: Experience from the Open Language Archives Community
  • The Open Language Archives Community: An infrastructure for distributed archiving of language resources
  • Building an Open Language Archives Community on the DC Foundation
  • Building an Open Language Archives Community on the OAI Foundation
  • Seven Dimensions of Portability for Language Documentation and Description
  • Extending Dublin Core Metadata to support the description and discovery of language resources
  • The Open Language Archives Community: An Infrastructure for Distributed Archiving of Language Resources
  • The Open Language Archives Community and Asian Language Resources
  • The OLAC Metadata Set and Controlled Vocabularies

    Historical Documents

  • ELSNews article on OLAC
  • OLAC presented at the OAI launch
  • A Survey of Open Language Archives (Results)
  • Supporting Archive Communities in the Framework of the Open Archives Initiative


    From mid Dec 2000 Alpha testers mapped catalog data to Dublin Core using the XML format required by the OAI, and registered with the OAI as a data provider.
    From March 2001 Alpha testers mapped catalog data to the beta version of the OLAC metadata set, and participated in discussions of the metadata, leading to a release version. All alpha testers modified their data providers to support this version.
    January 2002 OLAC was launched to the wider community, and the OLAC standards were frozen at version 0.3 for 12 months to encourage widespread implementation (the pilot phase)
    Early 2003 The OLAC standards were refined once more, based on experience during the pilot phase. The OLAC operational phase began when the standards were released at version 1.0.
  • Events

    EMELD 2006: Tools and Standards: the State of the Art
    (Lansing, USA, 7/06)

    OLAC Tutorial at the LSA Annual Meeting
    (Albuquerque, USA, 1/06)

    EMELD 2005: Linguistic Ontologies and Data Categories for Linguistic Resources
    (Cambridge, USA, 7/05)

    LSA Tutorial on Archiving and Linguistic Resources
    (Oakland, USA, 1/05)

    EMELD 2004: The use of databases and best practices in language digitization
    (Lansing, USA, 7/04)

    EMELD 2003: Digitizing & Annotating Texts & Field Recordings
    (Lansing, USA, 7/03)

    IRCS Workshop on Open Language Archives
    (Philadelphia, USA, 12/02)

    European Launch
    (Las Palmas, Spain, 5/02)

    US Launch
    (San Francisco, USA, 1/02)

    EMELD 2001: Workshop on the Digitization of Language Data: The Need for Standards
    (Santa Barbara, USA, 6/01)

    Workshop on Web-Based Language Documentation and Description
    (Philadelphia, USA, 12/00)


    OLAC at Third OAI Workshop
    (Geneva, Switzerland, 3/04)
    [ pdf ]

    OLAC at ENABLER Workshop
    (Paris, France, 8/03)
    [ ppt ]

    OLAC overview at ELSNET Summer School
    (Prague, Czech Republic, 7/01)
    [ pdf | ps.gz | sdd | ppt ]

    OLAC at ACL workshop
    (Toulouse, France, 7/01)
    [ pdf | ps.gz | sdd | ppt ]

    OLAC metadata at LINGUIST workshop
    (Santa Barbara, USA, 6/01)
    [ pdf | ps.gz | ppt ]

    OLAC overview at LINGUIST workshop
    (Santa Barbara, USA, 6/01)
    [ pdf | ps.gz | ppt ]

    OLAC at the OAI launch
    (Washington DC, USA, 1/01)
    [ pdf | ps.gz | ppt ]

    OLAC Mockup
    (Philadelphia, USA, 12/00)
    [ html ]

    OLAC White Paper
    (Philadelphia, USA, 12/00)
    [ pdf | ps.gz | ppt ]

    OLAC Vision
    (Philadelphia, USA, 12/00) [ pdf | ps.gz | ppt ]

    If you wish to use these materials in a presentation about OLAC, you are invited to communicate your intentions to so that you may be advised about what information may need to be updated.
    Last modified: Thu Apr 6 14:45:32 EST 2006