By Professor Nick Evans
On 14 November, the much anticipated ARC Centre for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL) Legacy Website went live. And alongside the website there is a companion Legacy Publication, providing a gateway to the online experience, linked to pages on the site by QR codes.
The website is a vital way of maintaining an accessible and vivid record of what CoEDL has accomplished. Last year we discussed the best way of ensuring an enduring online presence, since the end of 2022 closes off the possibility of keeping our much-loved website up-to-date. (Note though, that thanks to the Zotero system in place for collecting publications, the system will continue to automatically generate updated listings until late 2023, since there are many publications, coming out of CoEDL research, which are still coming down the pipeline.)
In conceiving the Legacy website, we wanted to leave a stable online site which would capture our story in an abiding way. It is aimed at many types of people — language researchers, people in the community with an interest in language (virtually everyone!), CoEDL alumni (or their colleagues) wanting to remember how the human side of our research unfolded, and many others. And of course, lots of facts and statistics about languages, publications and so forth.
Jo Allen and Morgan Alexander, in particular, took the lead in imagining creative solutions to the problem of how to transform a titanic juggernaut of 2000 publications, a mushrooming community of over 270 members and a vast spectrum of discoveries across most aspects of the language sciences into an approachable chronicle — organised around maps and narratives. Along the way they chased up stories and checked details across many dozens of CoEDL researchers, too numerous to name here. There were no really suitable models to work off, so the solution they have come up with is highly original from a design point of view, as you will see by clicking on the site address above.
It is my pleasure to recommend to you this criss-crossing set of paths into some of the key activities that have most excited the amazingly varied and talented members of our CoEDL community. So please check out the site, read the publication and enjoy!