Language Description Heritage (LDH) open access digital library

Eduardo R. Ribeiro kariri at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 17 14:15:35 UTC 2010

That's a great iniciative. Thanks!  I'd just like to mention two similar 
projects on South American languages:

the Curt Nimuendaju digital library, which offers hard-to-find, out-of-print 
books and articles:

and Etnolinguistica.Org's dissertation library, which currently lists 165 
freely-available theses and dissertations



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Cysouw" <cysouw at EVA.MPG.DE>
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 8:06 AM
Subject: Language Description Heritage (LDH) open access digital library

Dear colleagues,

it is my pleasure to announce the Language Description Heritage (LDH) open 
access digital library, available online at

The LDH is being compiled at the Max Planck Society in Germany, specifically 
at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig in cooperation with the 
Max Planck Digital Library in Munich.

The goal of the LDH is to make available existing descriptive and analytic 
work about the world’s languages. The main focus is to provide easy access 
to traditionally difficult to obtain scientific contributions. Specifically, 
there are many unpublished theses and manuscripts with valuable data on 
individual languages that are often unknown and unavailable to the wider 
linguistic community. Also many out-of-print publications with a limited 
availability in research libraries deserve a much wider audience and 

To enhance to flow of scientific discussion, we offer this platform to make 
electronic version of said contributions freely available. The Language 
Description Heritage Digital Library minimally provides photographic scans, 
downloadable in PDF format (more is planned for the future). Most 
importantly, all content in this digital library is available under a 
permissive Creative Commons (CC-by) license, so everything can be freely 
used for all scientific purposes.

When you are the author and/or rights-holder of a suitable publication, 
please and consider making your works available under a CC-license. This is 
a very simply process. Basically, you sign a permission form 
( and send this 
to us. Detailed instructions can be found at

We recommend you assign a bare CC-by (“Attribution”) license to your work, 
though you might also opt for an even freer CC-zero (“No Rights Reserved”, 
equivalent to “Public Domain”). Clear an open licensing enhances the 
exchange of scientific ideas. In choosing a license, please be aware that 
there is a difference between scientific recognition and commercial 
recognition of your work. Whatever license you choose for your work, this 
does not regulate scientific recognition!  To obtain more scientific 
recognition it is best to make your work as broadly and easily available as 
possible, so others can find and acknowledge your work without restriction. 
To enhance the exchange of scientific results, we recommend you to choose a 
highly permissive license.

Michael Cysouw


Max Planck Institut for evolutionary Anthropology – Library
Language Description Heritage (LDH) project
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig, Germany

email: ldh at

Scientific Mentoring: Prof. Dr. Bernard Comrie, Dr. Michael Cysouw
Library Assistance: Gisela Lausberg, Kirstin Baumgarten 

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