Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

The Pure Arctic—Vostok-77 expedition discovered 12 texts in the Sami language

The documents were transported to the Moscow Arctic Library.

12 September 2023

Three search teams from the Pure Arctic—Vostok-77 expedition discovered 12 Sami language texts in the Murmansk Region. Respecting the copyrights of authors, compilers and artists, these were submitted to the Moscow Arctic Library, as reported by TASS, citing the scientific expedition's press service.

'We received books in the Sami language on a digital medium. Our library's Science Reading Room will be open for all interested educators and scholars to examine the materials. This is crucial, as the process of approving an alphabet for the Kola Sami language is currently underway. We aim to organise a conference involving scientists and educators from Murmansk and Moscow to provide them with an opportunity to advocate for one of the alphabet options,' stated Olesya Polunina, the library's head, as quoted in the report.

Scientists point out that the Sami have approximately 180 words to depict snow conditions and several hundred expressions to describe reindeer. One of the librarians' tasks is to preserve northern languages, including those on the brink of extinction. They are working with scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences to document and digitise the content found during the expedition.

Ten literary scholars from the Arctic Library are searching for rare literary texts, artefacts, as well as audio and video materials. As part of an expedition team travelling from the western Russian Arctic to the Far East, they gather all ethnographic materials for the library's collection. During a year-long expedition, scientists are studying the languages, dialects and scripts of the indigenous peoples of the North, including Nenets and its closest relative—Selkup, as well as Santy, Svenki and Sepss. The unique archive will eventually be accessible to researchers, educators, linguists and historians, both online and in the library's Science Reading Room.


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