RVL-SLLL American Sign Language Database
Why We Created The Database
Welcome to the Sign Language Database of the Robot Vision and the Sign Language Linguistics Labs at Purdue University.
Development of automatic recognition systems for American Sign Language (ASL) needs a
comprehensive database that provides a range of signed material under controlled and less-
controlled lighting conditions. The database we created contains (a) handshapes in isolation and in
single signs, (b) the American fingerspelling alphabet, (c) numbers, (d) movement in single signs,
and (e) examples of short discourse narratives for testing sign recognition in connected linguistic
All of these are produced by 14 fluent Deaf ASL signers under controlled lighting
conditions in a professional studio. All except the short narratives are also produced in less than
superior lighting conditions.
These data can provide the recognition algorithm developer with the opportunity to move
from simple recognition situations in the best of circumstances to more complex recognition
situations with challenging lighting situations.
The database was collected with support from the National Science Foundation Linguistics
Program under Grant No. 99-05848 and 0414953.
How to Use The Database
How to use this very large database of images and videos and navigate through it is described in the report Purdue RVL-SLLL American Sign Language Database by Wilbur and Kak.
The report Technical Overview of the ASL Database by Josiah Yoder and Ruth Devlaeminck contains a more technical description of the database. It is also available in PDF format.
Conditions on Using The Database
Use of this database is subject to the requirement that you'll
cite the above-mentioned report by Wilbur and Kak in any publication that uses data from this
database. Please use the following citation syntax:
R. B. Wilbur and A. C. Kak,
"Purdue RVL-SLLL American Sign Language Database," School of Electrical
and Computer Engineering Technical Report, TR-06-12, 2006, Purdue
University, W. Lafayette, IN 47906.
How to Obtain Access to The Database
To obtain a username and password for the database,
download the license
agreement and send a signed copy of the agreement to Professor Ronnie
Wilbur. Feel free to send a signed copy of the agreement to Prof.
Wilbur by scanning it and sending it to
Once you have obtained a username and password, click here
to go to the search page of the ASL database.
If you have any difficulties with accessing the database, please contact the database webmaster, Guiqin Li.