News Release

Gatling receives funding for planning and training for digitization of materials

Grant and Award Announcement

George Mason University

Benjamin Gatling, Assistant Professor, English, received funding from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for: "Planning and training for the digitization of materials from the folklore archive of the Rudaki Institute of Language and Literature in Dushanbe, Tajikistan."

This project will result in a survey, inventory, and sample digitization of items from the folklore archive of the Rudaki Institute of Language and Literature in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. 

The archive’s holdings include: bound notebooks, notecards, and loose-leaf papers documenting Soviet folklore collecting expeditions in the Tajik SSR and contiguous Persian-speaking regions from the early 1920s until the end of the Soviet period. 

"The archive is the only extant repository for the expressive culture of Tajikistan, and its holdings uniquely preserve the country’s cultural patrimony. The impacts of archive digitization are potentially paradigm shifting for a number of fields because it offers a unique window into everyday life in Soviet Central Asia," Gatling said.

Gatling's immediate goals for the project relate to capacity building: conducting a survey and inventory of the materials, training in best practices, and purchasing equipment. 

His long-term goals include preservation and digitization of the complete collection.

Gatling received $15,000 from UCLA for this project. Funding began in May 2022 and will end in late Jan. 2023.


About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.