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Orono, Maine
Digitizing the Work of a Lifetime: The Penobscot Dictionary
Indian Island, Maine, which is home to the Penobscot Nation. Image courtesy of DigitalCommons@Umaine.

When Frank T. Siebert visited visited Old Town, Maine in the 1930s, the Penobscot language was already endangered. He would spend the rest of his life documenting the language in partnership with its few remaining fluent speakers. With NEH support, two of Siebert’s former assistants are preparing his work—including a dictionary drafted in the 1980s—for digital and print publication. An advisory committee, composed of representatives from the Penobscot Nation’s Recovering Our Voices Language Immersion Project, is assisting with the dictionary, helping to add thousands of words and examples to the final product and create teaching materials for young learners of the language.

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