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CLARIN Café - How Not to Spill Coffee on Your Tapes. Best Practices for Preserving Oral Archives

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General Information

This edition of the CLARIN Café was organized by Silvia Calamai, who is Associate Professor of general linguistics specialising in glottology at the Department of Education, Human Sciences and Intercultural Communication at the University of Siena and a representative of CLARIN-IT, and by Véronique Ginouvès, who is a representative of CLARIN-FR at the Mediterranean House of Human Sciences Phonothèque. It took place via Zoom on 24 February (14:00 - 16:00 CET). 

The Café is supported by the SSHOC project, and will be introduced by Monica Monachini, who is actively involved in SSHOC and is a member of the Institute of Computational Linguistics “A. Zampolli” as well as the CLARIN-IT national coordinator.
A full overview of the Café sessions scheduled can be found on the CLARIN Café page.


Oral sources are rather fragile objects within oral history, mainly if compared to other kinds of historical sources such as artifacts and written documents, and thus rely on a specialised infrastructure for their preservation. This CLARIN Café discusses the best practices for preserving such oral sources. It is a thematic continuation of previous events on the processing of spoken data organised as a collaboration between SSHOC and CLARIN, such as the SSHOC Webinar: CLARIN Hands-on Tutorial on Transcribing Interview Data<, which focused on the role of automatic speech recognition of spoken interview data from the domain of oral history.


More specifically, the following documents will be presented and discussed:


  • The last two 2020 issues  (i.e., the 48th regular issue and a special issue) of Sonorités, an open access journal of the French Association of Sound, Oral and Audiovisual archives (AFAS), where the 48th issue focused on the ethnomusicological collections of two museums in France and the special issue presented the catalogue of the sound archives of the sociologist Michel Seurat, recorded in Lebanon and Syria in the 1980s.
  • The Italian Vademecum, which is a two-year collaborative enterprise that aims to offer both the Italian scientific communities and non-academic stakeholders a so-called “vademecum”. Its goal is to inform and sensitize researchers on the importance of properly preserving and archiving their oral sources, as a prerequisite for the possibility of enhancing them and making them available to both the subjects who participated in the research and other future scholars.

This CLARIN Café therefore addresses the data-creation phase of the data lifecycle within the Social Sciences and Humanities, which is one of the major goals of the SSHOC project and specifically of Work Package 4 (WP4).


Recordings, slides & blog

How to Join


Registration is closed. 




14:00-14:05 Welcome
14:05-14:10 Intro - CLARIN


Francesca Frontini (ILC-CNR & CLARIN ERIC)

14:10-14:15 Intro - the SSHOC project


Monica Monachini (ILC-CNR)

14:15-14:35 The experience of the Italian "Vademecum"


Silvia Calamai (University of Siena)

14:35-14:50 Sonorités and the Michel Seurat sound archives


Véronique Ginouvès (Phonothèque MMSH)with Claire Cialone-Gregoire

14:50-15:20 Discussion
15:20-15:30 Closing remarks