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Samaritan script carved into wood.
Samaritan script carved into wood.

Using art to preserve rare alphabets

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What started as a way to make unique Christmas gifts for family and friends has grown into a passion to admire and preserve some of the rarest writing systems in the world.

For the last few years, Burlington writer Tim Brookes has created handmade wood carvings in an attempt to help save alphabets at risk of vanishing. Brookes is an accomplished author who directs the writing program at Champlain College. While there are thousands of spoken languages worldwide, Brookes says there are fewer than a hundred alphabets, and many of them are threatened with extinction.

Tim Brookes will take some of the carvings in his "Endangered Alphabets" art and literacy project on the road again this summer. He spoke with Todd Moe about the reasons why written letters and symbols are disappearing, and his memorial to them.

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Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

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More images and engravings of endangered alphabets by Tim Brookes.

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