Ljóð sum arvalutur

Translated title of the contribution: Sound as heritage

Tóta Árnadóttir, Iben Nyholm Debess

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In this article we discuss the concept of ‘sound as heritage’, using the sound archive at the Department of Faroese Language and Literature at the University of the Faroe Islands as a reference point. Both authors have engaged with the archive in various ways and approach the questions of historic value and future utilization from different, but complementary angles. The article is to be seen as a case study presenting the background, content and current state of the sound archive, and an attempt to visualize future paths in the development and use of the archive.
Starting with the historical background of the scholarly traditions and
circumstances which the collection was based on originally, we discuss the societal impact of the sound archive and reflect on practical and ethical issues regarding the collection process and structure of the material. Recognising that the concept of “folk culture” is intertwined with outdated research practices and potentially problematic connotations, we acknowledge that the contents of the archives still hold societal value for various reasons and to various parties, as it has entered the sphere of “cultural heritage”. With this in mind we discuss future options for those in charge of the collection today; we take a more applied approach and present technical and structural details about the sound archive, and then go on to reflect and discuss future development possibilities and how the material can increase in value once used and applied in fields that were not originally intended as the purpose of the collection. Specifically, we outline how the purpose of the archive can be expanded to serve as data foundation for e.g. quantitative research in spoken language as well as being applicable as a language resource in Faroese language technology development.
Translated title of the contributionSound as heritage
Original languageFaroese
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
EventFrændafundur - Háskóli Íslands, Reykjavík, Iceland
Duration: 16 Aug 202218 Aug 2022
Conference number: 11




  • sound archives
  • cultural heritage
  • Folklore
  • spoken language
  • language technology


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