Institute of Historical and Cultural Anthropology

Arno Ruoff Archive

The Arno Ruoff Archive is an archive for spoken language and dialect. It is part of the Archive of Everyday Culture of the Ludwig Uhland Institute for Empirical Studies and comprises more than 2000 historical recordings, transcripts, and transcriptions. The recordings date from the 1950s and preserve the voices of speakers from over 500 places in Baden-Württemberg, Bavarian Swabia, Vorarlberg, and Lichtenstein.

The material collected with great effort by Arno Ruoff and Hermann Bausinger in the 1950s is nowhere else in the German-speaking world available to such an extent and quality. It can be used to investigate systematically and comprehensively spoken language in dependence on its manifold conditions. The dialect researcher and namesake of the archives, Arno Ruoff (1930-2010), founded the Tübingen Office for Language in Southwest Germany, which is the home of the archive and responsible for its management and indexing.

South German Everyday History(s)

A large part of Southern German cultural history can be found in the recorded narratives: the speakers - many of whom were born in the 19th century and thus bear witness to everyday life in a distant time - tell of their childhood, of war experiences, of working and celebrating in an agricultural society, of the arrival of modernity, of their lives. They remember and narrate associatively, sometimes in fragments, and they make use of their everyday language. These memories span more than 100 years. The photographs are highly interesting not only from a linguistic point of view, but also from a cultural-scientific point of view, and contain a number of treasures still to be discovered.

The Arno Ruoff Archive is currently being digitized in order to make the material accessible for linguistic and cultural research questions.

Arno Ruoff

Arno Ruoff (1930 - 2010), the patron of the archive and founder of the Tübingen Language Centre in Southwest Germany, collected and researched the dialects of Southwest Germany. In the 1950s he began recording dialects. In 1973 he founded the series "Idiomatica", in which he published the results of his research.

Arno Ruoff and the "Tübinger Schule" are still of great importance for dialect research. His methods and work were and are exemplary and groundbreaking for dialect researchers.