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School of Scottish Studies

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School of Scottish Studies Announces PEARL Server

Providing Ethnological Archives for Research and Learning

The University of Edinburgh, Scotland (23rd July 1996) - The School of Scottish Studies today announced the availability of its PEARL server. This project has been made possible through support from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council through its Use of Metropolitan Area Networks Initiative (UMI). Using RealAudio® technology from Progressive Networks, together with Netscape's Enterprise® server, PEARL provides users with the opportunity to play real -time audio streams selected from the School's extensive audio archive.

The Universal Resource Locator (URL) is:

The content of the server is based upon articles selected from the magazine Tocher, (meaning a dowry in Scots, coming from the Scottish Gaelic "tochar", now usually "tochradh") which was created in 1971 to provide an outlet for the treasure of oral tradition held in the School's archives and has now reached over 50 issues.

In addition to displaying the text of an article, users can also play, rewind, and pause a real-time audio stream of the original field recording from which the article was transcribed. Songs, tales, customs and other forms of oral tradition are represented in recordings which date from 1949 to the present day.

Capable of supporting 40 simultaneous audio streams, trials over SuperJANET and the Scottish MANs confirm that the server delivers near FM quality mono audio to the user's workstation. The School's hope is that PEARL provides a useful resource in the languages of Scotland to students and scholars of Scottish cultural traditions.

The School wishes to acknowledge the funding provided by the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council under its Use of the Metropolitan Area Networks Initiative (UMI) and the contribution of resources by the Computing Services of the University. Above all, our thanks goes to those who have over the years donated material to the School's archives and their generosity in giving permission for its use.

© School of Scottish Studies, The University of Edinburgh 1996