moving voices from the grave

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It’s not every day one hears the voice of Tolstoy, expressing himself in French. It didn’t occur during a session of spiritism, but during an interview organized by KazTV at the ‘Institut des Archives Sonores’, Paris. Thank you Mr Edison!

This institute, created by Franklin PICARD, resulted of the merger of two large private collections of voice recordings from all over the world. Where do they come from ? From the grave, but before that – where did they come from? Onomastics, the science of proper names, is a powerful tool to search in such archives the origin of the voices. They often belong to several origin, if you think in terms of geography, or political boundaries or culture: the voice of President Kennedy is the voice of America, but it’s also the voice of the Irish Diaspora.

During soviet times, thousands of voices of poets, writers, philosophers, scientists were edited under one flag – the USSR. How can we find them today? In the collections of the IAS, long unheard voices are sleeping treasures for countries such as Kazakhstan – as they rediscover their cultural identities and long for their dead poets.

We’ve recently used NamSor software to help Lithuania attract FDIs or build expert networks in Life Sciences. But there could be hidden treasures in cultural archives (cinema, music, photography, literature, arts, ..) which data mining can help unearth, opening a whole range of new possibilities.

Watch the interview by Kazakhstan National TV (in Russian, dubbing in Kazakh)

About NamSor

NamSor™ Applied Onomastics is a European designer of name recognition software. NamSor is committed to promote diversity and equal opportunity. NamSor launched GendRE API, a free API to extract gender from personal names. We support the @GenderGapGrader initiative.


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