Research, Communities and Collections
The Recovering Voices Program recognizes that language communities and scholars have a mutual interest in documenting, revitalizing and sustaining languages and the knowledge embedded in them. Through Recovering Voices, the Smithsonian Institution strives to collaborate with communities and other institutions to address issues of indigenous language and knowledge diversity and sustainability at the national and global level.
In collaboration with communities and partner organizations, Recovering Voices seeks to improve access to the Smithsonian’s diverse collections – archival, biological and cultural – and to support interdisciplinary research, documentation and revitalization. In doing so we seek to understand the dynamics of intergenerational knowledge transfer, and to support existing community initiatives focusing on language and knowledge sustainability.
The Smithsonian is well-positioned to help lead the global effort to document and sustain the world’s endangered languages and knowledge. No other institution combines an international reputation for excellence in scholarship, education, and outreach with the scientific expertise in linguistics, cultural, and natural science collections required to fulfill this role. We are creating a global network of communities, museums, universities, and other organizations dedicated to this endeavor, based on decades of collaboration.