Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA) Launches Revitalized Platform

Handrawn map with locations of indigenous language hotspots with translucent overlay of key data, framed by pair of hands laying down overlay.

AUSTIN, Texas—The Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA) has launched its redesigned repository and website marking a significant milestone in its mission to preserve and promote indigenous languages and cultures. AILLA has long served as a vital resource for both speakers and researchers, providing a platform for the documentation and dissemination of linguistic and cultural heritage. With this technical overhaul, AILLA has enhanced its interface, accessibility and overall user experience, providing a significantly improved platform for linguistic diversity and scholarly collaboration.
Since its foundation in 2000, AILLA has been dedicated to the preservation and study of endangered and dormant (i.e. documented, but no longer spoken) indigenous languages across Latin America, while working with indigenous communities to maintain records of their languages. Through its extensive collection of audio, video and text materials, the archive supports language revitalization and maintenance efforts and facilitates scholarly research in linguistics, anthropology, and beyond. By bridging the gap between academia and indigenous communities, AILLA empowers speakers to reclaim and celebrate their linguistic heritage while fostering cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.

The website refresh project sought to enhance both the front-end user experience and the back-end management capabilities. Key objectives for the project included modernizing the user interface for improved visual appeal and usability, offering seamless navigation and metadata translation in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and enhancing search functionality to streamline access to AILLA’s vast collections. The project focused on making the site more accessible and easier to navigate for users and depositors. A technical overhaul was conducted, as well, migrating AILLA into a modern, secure and customizable tech stack that better meets its evolving needs.
The legacy AILLA website – which had user interfaces in English and Spanish – faced several technical challenges, including issues with language features, search functionality and media access. For example, users encountered difficulties with dual language features, ineffective search results and unclear access to media files. Additionally, access to restricted media through a password system proved cumbersome for users, depositors and site administrators alike.
In response, the revamped website now boasts a sleek interface built on Next.js, offering seamless navigation and improved search functionality. The site features multilingual metadata in English, Spanish and Portuguese, along with a robust search engine, allowing users to easily discover and access relevant content. Moreover, modern audiovisual viewers and interactive graphical user interfaces enhance the overall user experience, while custom permissions and sharing functionalities streamline depositors' management of collections.
“A significant outcome of this rebuild is the addition of a Portuguese user interface,” explains AILLA archivist and coordinator Susan Kung. “AILLA has had both English and Spanish interfaces since its initial launch in 2001, but until now the lack of a Portuguese interface has made it inaccessible to an entire country in its target demographic.”
"We're elated with the outcome of so much effort and attention to enhance this tool for the benefit of students, researchers and the curious-minded," says Kung. “By making these resources more accessible and easier to use, we hope to expand advocacy for the important work of preserving at-risk languages for future generations.”
The launch of the updated AILLA repository and website represents a significant step forward in the archive's ongoing mission to safeguard indigenous languages and promote cultural heritage. By embracing modern technology and user-centric design principles, AILLA continues its work to be an axis of linguistic diversity and scholarly collaboration in Latin America and beyond.
To explore the revitalized AILLA website and its rich collection of indigenous language materials, visit: