SignDNA: a Deaf/NZSL archive By Deafradio

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About SignDNA: a Deaf/NZSL archive

Project 2012-11-15 03:16:02 +1300


The Deaf community's visual history is literally dissolving before our eyes.

Hundreds of vintage films and videos, documenting the history of New Zealand Sign Language and the Deaf community are in urgent need of collection and preservation.

We need your help. 

The SignDNA project has received dozens of donated films and videos (8mm, 16mm) covering the visual history of the New Zealand Deaf Community – from the early 1950s to the late 1990s. From this collection, we have identified 50 old film reels desperately at risk from irreparable decay, and we need you to help save them!


Films collected so far cover an amazing spectrum of categories, listed below.

Sports – NZ Deaf Games, Open Championships, NZ Deaf Rugby, World Deaf Games, prizegiving events, meetings, speeches, Trans-Tasman games.

Education – Jubilee, events, trips, functions, schools, students, meetings, interviews, stories.

Community Events – balls, speeches, socialising, parties, modelling, picnics, events, workshops, awards, conferences.

Storytelling/Performance – sign-singing, stories, jokes, drama/theatre.

Documentary/TV – footage from TV that includes Deaf people/NZSL, interviews, documentaries, film, news, advertisements.

Deaf Organisations/Deaf Clubs – AGM, discussions, history, interviews, meetings, social events, picnics, conferences, openings, launches.

Deaf Youth – camps, leadership training, workshops, socialising, stories.

Maori Deaf – events, early footage of Maori Deaf leaders.

Interpreting – graduations, speeches, presentations, panels.

Sign Language – parties, speeches, NZSL, TC, stories, workshops.

Interviews – life stories, misc.

Other – Deaf women, religious events.


SignDNA - Sign Language Deaf National Archive


SignDNA is a project aimed at preserving the visual history of the NZ Deaf Community. Deaf New Zealanders are amazingly visual people, who use a visual language based on linguistic gestures and movement - New Zealand Sign Language, which is an official language (NZSL Act 2006).

NZSL has no written form. Therefore, while other aspects of Deaf history are available in other formats, such as photos and books for example, film and video are the only methods to capture Sign Language and the rich culture it contains and expresses. 

As the footage ages it is at high risk of substrate decay, called "vinegar syndrome" for its strong smell! This condition is permanent and renders the film unreadable, its contents lost forever. Sadly we have already many donated films as suffering from this blight.

$10,000 is needed urgently to digitise the 50 most at risk films before their contents are lost forever. This equates to $200 per film for professional digitisation, analysis and categorisation, and processing into the archive.



SignDNA's vision

Our vision is to conserve our visual history for all New Zealanders to access, by locating old films and videos from the Deaf community; digitise them into a digital format, and host them in an online archive for all to access for free.

The SignDNA website – www.signDNA.org.nz, to be officially released in 2013, can be openly used for research, personal interest, educational purposes among others. This project will be carried out in collaboration with other digital partners, to help find NZ digital material related to the New Zealand Deaf community that is hidden or buried on the internet or in other archives. This will be a globally unique archive and we hope that others countries will be inspired to follow suit.

Thank you for your consideration, and please feel free to get in touch for more information via email: archives@signdna.org.nz

NB. Screenshots of videos above generously donated by Auckland Deaf Society's Senior Citizens group, Sue Penman, Pam Croskery, and Dulcie McKie. Edited video shown here donated by Auckland Deaf Society's Senior Citizens group. 



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The People Behind SignDNA: a Deaf/NZSL archive

Profile 07bd9c3f 5b26 4ae1 9cba 3a294236a8d4 Deafradio Project admin

The people behind SignDNA: Sign Language Deaf National Archive


Deafradio – a group of passionate NZSL'ers, who thinks about NZSL all day long. SignDNA, a non profit project, is a passion of ours, keeping us awake at night times! We want to see the beautiful visual history of the NZ Deaf community's history archived in such a manner that anyone can access, and for it to be preserved for all time – www.deafradio.co.nz


Diversityworks Trust – a Charitable Trust overseeing the project and providing administrative expertise – www.diversityworks.org.nz


Deaf National Advisory Group Deaf people with an interest in Deaf history from across NZ, providing stewardship for the project, and the NZ Deaf community.


NZ Deaf-related organisations – thank you for your support, and throwing your weight behind SignDNA by endorsing and supporting the project.


And last but not least, the New Zealand Deaf Community – you are the heart and soul of this project, which has been dedicated to you. This project is yours. 

Updates

    Thank YOU!

    04:06AM Sun 27/01/13 on SignDNA: a Deaf/NZSL archive

    Cutting it extremely, extremely close but SignDNA has achieved $10,415 in pledges! THANKS! We're beyond delighted and grateful to all those who pledged a donation or helped spread the word. Special thanks to Otago Deaf Society and Otago-Southland Deaf Sports Combined for their massive last minute donation of $2K. Ball officially rolling on this project! We'll be in touch tomorrow with our amazing pledgers! xx

    Comment on this update:

    No credit card? Worry not!

    11:30PM Sun 16/12/12 on SignDNA: a Deaf/NZSL archive

    FYI: PledgeMe is only able to accept credit card payments. For people wanting to make a bank transfer instead, please get in touch with us via archives@signdna.org.nz for our bank details. We will then put up a donation on your behalf online!


    Mucho gracias x

    Comment on this update:

    One-quarter there!

    09:21PM Thu 13/12/12 on SignDNA: a Deaf/NZSL archive

    To everyone who has contributed to the project, thank YOUUU! We'd bake you all a Christmas cake if we could!


    We are now just over one-quarter towards our goal, and we'll get there with YOUR help! Please bear with us while we hammer your phones and inboxes. Perhaps you could contribute as a Christmas present for someone you know? ;)

    In the meantime, here at SignDNA, we've been getting down and dirty - going through hundreds of VHS and DVD contributions in recent days with our volunteers. Believe us when we say our history, the history of the NZ Deaf community, is nothing short of awe-amazing!

    Hats off to our volunteers, you rock!

    Comment on this update:

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      Followers of SignDNA: a Deaf/NZSL archive

      This project was successful and got its funding on 27/01/2013 at 4:59 PM.

      Rewards