How to Use the Archive
Registration creates a user account that shows you have agreed to abide by the Terms and Conditions that govern the use of the archive. You must agree to these terms in order to download or open any file in the archive. You may browse the catalog without registering. AILLA will not give or sell your registration information to anyone. It is strictly for our own administrative use.
Search.The available search criteria are language, country, and genre. The advantage of this method is that you can combine these elements. For example, you could search for all narratives from Mexico.
Browse by collection. Collections are whole sets of resources created by a particular researcher or project. The collection page contains a summary of the contents of the collection, including what percentage of resources are restricted. Some collections also have overview materials, such as project summaries and bibliographies, on this page.
Browse by language. This will produce a list of all the languages currently listed in AILLA. The list will include some languages that appear in files, like German, but that do not have resources as such. The names used in this list are those used by the depositors: the creators of the resources. If you don't see the name of the language you are interested in, you might try an alternative name or spelling. Many alternative names can be found in the Ethnologue. It is also possible that the archive simply does not have any resources for that language. There are hundreds of languages in Latin America, not all of which have been documented, and not all documentation has been archived.
Browse by language code. If you know the 3-letter ISO code for your language, you may find this page faster to use. Note that AILLA uses some 4-letter codes for language families (read more.) These codes are used for resources that are about a whole family of languages, like an article about Arawakan languages.
Browse by country. This will retrieve a list of all the countries in which AILLA's resources were produced. Note that a resource about a language of Peru may have been produced in the United Kingdom. That resource will then appear under that country.
Browse by depositor. The names of individual depositors are followed by the names of organizations. Depositors are usually also creators of the resources they deposit.
All the search and browse methods return a list of resources:
If you click on the Details button at the right of each resource, you will see the complete metadata record for that resource.
There are several options at the top of the page for outputting the metadata for this set of resources. These options are explained here. We hope that the citation format will be especially useful for compiling your own research bibliography.
Sometimes (rarely) it is useful to sort resources by their original identifiers; that is, the identifiers used by their creator. This option is mainly provided for the convenience of the depositor.
The metadata record includes a list of all the items (files) that are part of the resource bundle. File identifiers are designed to keep the items in a bundle together and to facilitate archive administration. The format of each file is indicated by the file extension. Identifiers are numbered in order; for example, a multi-part recording will begin in CUK001R002I001.mp3 and end in CUK001R002I005.mp3. Item numbers for accompanying texts may be grouped to reflect subgroups of materials. For example, CUK001R002I001.pdf is the earliest transcription and translation, 89 pages. CUK001R002I200.pdf is a later transcription (112 pages); etc.
AILLA allows finely-grained control over access to the materials in its collection. Depositors and/or speech communities can restrict access to all or some of the files in a collection. Please review AILLA's Terms and Conditions of Use, which define general restrictions on use of any materials found in the archive.
There are 4 levels of graded access. Level 1 is public access, while Levels 2, 3 and 4 are restricted.
Where to find the access level: The access level appears to the right of the filename for every file in a resource, as seen in the example below. In this example, only one of the files is restricted (Level 2) and the rest are public access (Level 1).
You must be logged in to access any file in the archive. If you have logged in and you still can't access a Level 1 file, you probably need to adjust your browser settings to accept cookies.
Most of the resources in the archive can be accessed by the general public without restriction, but some have been restricted by the depositor. These restrictions are there to protect the speakers from harm or embarrassment. If you are asked to enter a password, then that file is restricted. If you do not know the password, you do not have access to that file. Sometimes you will see a date, such as 2025-01-01. This means that the file is restricted until that date, at which time it will become publicly available. Sometimes you will be asked to contact the depositor directly to ask for permission to access the file. This enables the depositors to know who is using their resources.
Some files may be too large to download unless you have a very high speed Internet connection. You can look at the media details for any file to see how big it is before you start the download process.
Some uncompressed archival files (wav, mpg, and tif) are not available online because these files are too large to save on the server. If you try to download one of these files types, you will get the following message: "Archival objects (wav, mpg, and tif files) are not available online due to storage considerations. We apologize for any inconvenience. If possible, please download the compressed equivalent file (mp3, mp4, jpg, or pdf) instead. If you must have the uncompressed file, please contact us for assistance."
Most computers are already equipped with programs to view or play the common media formats found in AILLA.
We believe that the resources at AILLA will be useful in a multitude of ways: for developing teaching materials for all ages and in many kinds of classrooms; for research; in language reclamation programs; and in artistic creations. We encourage you to explore the archive and make full use of the resources, but we ask that you be at all times respectful of the individuals who created them, the peoples whose languages are spoken in these materials, and the scholars who produce and deposit many of our resources. Ask for permission before making any kind of derivative work (transcription, translation, incorporation into a textbook or analysis, creative production, etc.). And always cite any resource that you use in the classroom or in publications following the AILLA Citation Guidelines.