Workshop ‘Transcribing and analysing oral history in digital research environments’ – Rotterdam, 25 October 2019

Invitation to the workshop Transcribing and analysing oral history in digital research environments

When? ​Friday October 25, 2019 (9:00 – 17:30 hrs.)

Where? ​Erasmus University Rotterdam, Woudestein Campus, Polak-building, room ​3-22 Registration​ is free of charge. Please contact Norah Karrouche: ​ Please take note of the fact that the number of participants is limited.

Digital archiving practices in the Netherlands in the past two decades have provided better access to oral history collections (Heeren et al. 2009, Kemman et al., 2013, Ordelman & de Jong 2011, de Jong et al. 2014), yet oral historians may not yet be fully aware of the other possibilities that digital research infrastructures have to offer. Digital research infrastructures should not only be regarded as convenient ways of gaining and providing access to data (as it mostly is now), but also as means of data preparation and analysis.

This workshop shows you how to use digital tools to transcribe and analyse oral history interviews. ​We aim to do so by demonstrating parts of the CLARIN and CLARIAH research infrastructures, i.e. the ​CLARIN Oral History Portal ​and the ​CLARIAH Media Suite​, which were both developed in the past few years (2015-2018).

What’s in it for you?
As a participant, you will learn how to explore, prepare and annotate data in the aforementioned environments with the help of easy to follow step-by-step instructions and personal assistance from the organizers. The workshop is tailored to oral history principles and methods, and you will be able to work with your own collections, as well as with a very interesting collection of our choice. There will be some preparatory work for participants that has to be done prior to the workshop that will consist of describing the individual oral historian’s workflow, and reviewing some documentation that we will send you in advance.

9.00 – 9.30 Welcome with tea and coffee
9.30 – 9.45 Welcome and introduction to the day’s programme by Norah Karrouche
9.45 – 10.00 Transcribing in the Oral History Portal: demo by Arjan van Hessen
10.00 – 11.30 Oral History Portal hands-on work* by participants in three groups, supported by AvH, LM and NK (incl. short coffee break)
11.30 – 12.00 Oral History Portal evaluation
12.00 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 14.00 Annotation in the Media Suite: demo by Liliana Melgar
14.00 – 16.00 Media Suite hands-on work** by participants in three groups, supported by AvH, LM and NK (incl. short coffee break)
16.00 – 16.30 Media Suite evaluation
16.30 – 17.30 Drinks

*Scholars will be offered to work with their own data for the first part of the workshop. They may want to bring along and work with (snippets of) their own interviews.

**During the second part, scholars will be working with the DANS oral history collection in the Media Suite, in particular the Verhalenhuis Rotterdam ‘De ziel van de wederopbouw’ collection.



CLARIN-OH​ is interested in how it can better support oral historians, and how it can lower barriers to the use and take up of its resource and technologies. ​CLARIAH​ has developed the Media Suite, a research environment where audiovisual media and oral history collections content can be explored, enriched with automatic speech recognition (ASR), analysed, stored in personal collections, and annotated manually.

Norah Karrouche ​(Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) works as a CLARIAH researcher at the Erasmus Studio, Erasmus University Rotterdam. She works closely with information scientists in order to develop infrastructures for oral historians. She is interested in the uses of oral history in migration research, both as fieldwork method and as research ethic.

Liliana Melgar​ (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid) conducts user studies for CLARIAH. As part of the project, she works with oral historians in order to understand and gather their requirements for the infrastructure.

Arjan van Hessen​ (Universiteit Twente, Universiteit Utrecht) has been working as a researcher in the field of Language and Speech Technology (HLT) for the past 2 decades. He seeks to improve the recognition results of interviews. In order to do so, he closely cooperates with humanities scholars and social scientists.