The folktales of Asbjørnsen and Moe, legends about the hulder and the hidden people and ballads like Draumkvedet are important elements in Norwegian culture. The folktales are being read, the ballads sung, and most people have a conception of what a hulder might look like. And yet, the original sources to this folk culture is not easily accessible. SAMLA will change this situation.
SAMLA will digitize and make accessible the archival material of three Norwegian tradition archives: Norsk Folkeminnesamling at the University of Oslo, Norsk etnologisk gransking at The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History and Etnofolkloristisk arkiv at the University of Bergen. These archives contain a rich source material that will be made accessible at the web page samla.no as a joint digital archive. The technical infrastructure will be created and maintained by the University Library at the University of Bergen.
The digital archive samla.no will for the most part be openly accessible. This way, SAMLA will open a big treasure chest of cultural history for the benefit of researchers, students, the cultural heritage sector, business and the general public. The material will mainly be readable as facsimiles, but by means of a pilot for machine reading of handwritten text and transcription through crowdsourcing, SAMLA will facilitate the gradual processing of the material to transcribed text.
Samla.no will make it possible to search for single phenomena and variants of single narratives, but also to search across archives, genres and categories of material. SAMLA will use an international standardized thesaurus and standarized metadata. This way, samla.no will be coordinated with similar infrastructures in other countries. Initially, the infrastructure will enable searches in legends across the Northern European countries and languages. Thereby samla.no will facilitate both local historical and cultural historical micro studies and transnational big data analyses.
SAMLA will establish a national infrastructure for Norwegian intangible heritage from three tradition archives. These archives hold records of a diversity of cultural expressions and practises of both majority, minority and indigenous cultures in Norway, in the form of folktales, ballads, beliefs, food and craft traditions, life stories as well as descriptions of children's games. The material is valuable for research on everyday life and mentalities, attitudes and world views, and allows for the exploration of continuity and changes in cultural practices. The fundamental idea of SAMLA is in accordance with the FAIR principles, to make the data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.
The three partner archives are: Norsk Folkeminnesamling, University of Oslo (NFS), Norsk etnologisk gransking, Stiftelsen Norsk Folkemuseum (NEG) and Etnofolkloristisk arkiv (EFA), University of Bergen. The partner archives will work as three physical nodes located in Oslo and Bergen.
SAMLA will establish a digital database and an infrastructure that allows for advanced searches across archive institutions and types of material. The project also aims to coordinate this national infrastructure with corresponding digital infrastructures in Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, and with the European project Intelligent Search Engine for Belief Legends, ISEBEL. The e-infrastructure will be developed by the University of Bergen Library. The database will be openly accessible as a web-archive on the webpage samla.no.