Europäische Zeitgeschichte Digitale Geschichte und Historiographie

Oral histoRies on the fAll of The irOn cuRtain (ORATOR)

21 Oktober 2019

Oral histoRies on the fAll of The irOn cuRtain (ORATOR)
International workshop to initiate the ORATOR project.

The year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the communist regime in Eastern European countries and the Romanian Revolution, and the 28th anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The project Oral histoRies on the fAll of The irOn cuRtain (ORATOR) seeks to contribute to the history of this period by conducting interviews with witnesses to these events that shaped the contemporary history of Europe. Its aim is twofold: first, it will provide a ‘history from below’ perspective on the end of the Cold War by means of oral history methods. And second, it will collect, aggregate and analyse these sources within an advanced technological framework.

This one-day workshop is intended to initiate the ORATOR project and provide a common ground and basis of discussion among the participants via three sessions.



Welcome, Gerben Zaagsma and Andreas Fickers (C²DH)
Short introduction. History of the fall of the Iron Curtain, Elena Danescu (C²DH)
Presentation of the project, Florentina Armaselu (C²DH)
Session 1: Voices. Creating content (1)
  Participating institutions introduce themselves and present a short overview of their prospective interview collection and methods. The session will include 10-13 minutes presentations and discussion.
Chair: Gerben Zaagsma
Rüdiger Steinmetz, Judith Kretzschmar (Leipzig University): Germany
Kerstin Brückweh (University of Tübingen): Germany
Irēna Saleniece (Daugavpils University): Latvia
Ainė Ramonaitė (Vilnius University): Lithuania
Barbara Giza (National Film Archive - Audiovisual Institute, Warsaw): Poland
Discussion (all)
Coffee break
Session 1. Voices. Creating content (2)
  Alexandru Simon (Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca Branch): Romania
Dinara Gagarina (Perm National Research University): Russia
Mykola Polovyi (Vasyl`Stus Donetsk National University, Vinnytsia): Ukraine
Jakub Mlynář, Jiří Kocián (Charles University, Prague): Czech Republic
Petra Chovancová (Comenius University, Bratislava): Slovak Republic
Discussion (all)
Session 2: Oral history and digital technology
  Exploration of technological challenges related to the design and implementation of the digital oral history collection, with a focus on audio-visual heritage preservation, Web archiving and natural language processing. The session will include 10-12 minutes presentations and discussion.
Chair: Dinara Gagarina
Lars Wieneke (C²DH): Challenges and opportunities for Oral History in the Digital Age.
Ad Pollé (Europeana Foundation, Netherlands): From the Wall to the Web. Europeana 1989 - a case study.
Alessandra Luciano (Centre national de l’audiovisuel, Luxembourg): Acquiring New Collections: where does the data and metadata land, why it matters and how to create a common framework with content producers.
Yves Maurer (Bibliothèque Nationale du Luxembourg): Archiving the evolving Web and preserving it for future generations and research.
Joshgun Sirajzade (University of Luxembourg, Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication): From interviews to an interactive portal. Natural language and speech processing.
Jakub Mlynář, Jiří Kocián (Charles University, Prague): Digital tools for processing oral history interviews available at the Malach Centre for Visual History.
Discussion (all)
Coffee break
Session 3. Perspectives
  Discussion of different perspectives, such as impact from the point of view of digital history, funding prospects, GDPR and copyright issues, as well as project planning. The session will include 8-12 minutes presentations and discussion.
Chair: Rüdiger Steinmetz
Gerben Zaagsma (C²DH): Digital history perspective.
Ghislain Sillaume, Beth Park (C²DH): Funding prospects.
Sandrine Munoz (University of Luxembourg, Data Protection Officer): GDPR - Data protection by design.
Isabelle Vaillant, Marie Josephine (University of Luxembourg, Legal Affairs): Copyright.
Florentina Armaselu (C²DH): Road map and next steps.
Discussion (all)
Closing, Florentina Armaselu, Gerben Zaagsma
Drinks reception


Monday, 21 October 2019

DHLab, 1st floor, Maison des Sciences Humaines

11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette


For more information and registration (before 1 October 2019), please contact Florentina Armaselu (