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The project "Oral-History.Digital"

The project Oral-History.Digital develops and implements a curation and research platform for scholarly collections of audio-visual narrative interviews.

Researchers, educators and the general public can browse the collection using filters and full-text searches. Registered users can view the audio or video files with subtitles and accompanying materials, and annotate them in their workbook. See the Research page for more information.

Interview projects in museums, universities or foundations can upload their audio and video interviews with accompanying materials and edit them with tools for transcription or keywording. Depending on the indexing status and rights situation, the interviews can be made accessible through a differentiated user administration. Further information can be found on the Join page.

Following the F.A.I.R. principles, Oral-History.Digital makes the interviews findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable as audiovisual research data. A sophisticated rights management system protects the privacy of the interviewees. The infrastructure includes a media server for transcoding and streaming and a repository with an indexing and a research interface. Long-term preservation with persistent identifiers via CLARIN ensures the permanent availability of the interviews, regardless the duration of the project. For more information, see the page Documents (in German).

Oral-History.Digital is being developed and tested in collaboration with the community which includes pilot users from research projects, museums, archives and foundations. Researchers from linguistics, social sciences, education and anthropology will accompany the project in a scientific advisory board.

Six partner institutions are involved in Oral-History.Digital. With the Center for Digital Systems at the University Library of Freie Universität Berlin, the Archive Deutsches Gedächtnis of the Institute for History and Biography at the FernUniversität in Hagen, and the Werkstatt der Erinnerung at the Research Centre for Contemporary History in Hamburg, the largest oral history institutions in Germany are contributing their extensive collections, many years of experience and networks to a joint research infrastructure.

The Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg is testing the research environment for a study on the oral history of migration. The Bavarian Archive for Speech Signals at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München is responsible for long-term archiving and supports interview archives with speech recognition, alignment and anonymisation. The Chair of Media Informatics at the Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg is responsible for data modelling and supports the work on authority files, search functionalities and rights management

Oral-History.Digital has been funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) since 2020 in the funding programme "e-Research Technologies". A second funding phase (2023 to 2026) has been approved by the DFG. Freie Universität Berlin will continue the infrastructure thereafter,among other things as a scientific service for other interview archives. The software is also available as Open Source.