CLARIN Café: Voices from Ravensbrück on the Web - a Multilingual Challenge

, -

General Information

This edition of the CLARIN Café is organised by Silvia Calamai (Siena University), Christoph Draxler (LMU - München), Henk van den Heuvel (Radboud University Nijmegen), Arjan van Essen (University of Utrecht ) and Stefania Scagliola (independent researcher based in the NL). The CLARIN host will be Francesca Frontini.

Date: 02 December 2022

Time: 14:00 - 16:00 (CET)

Venue: CLARIN virtual Zoom meeting

A full overview of the Café sessions scheduled can be found on the CLARIN Café page.


As of 2016 the knowledge network Speech&Tech has been active in exploring how to better integrate technology in research that involves interviewdata (see During the CLARIN Café we will present our curation project “Voices from Ravensbrück” (2021-22), a multilingual collection of interviews held with survivors of female-only Nazi concentration camp Ravensbrück.  Women from all  corners of  Europe - Poland, Soviet Union, Germany, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Italy - were deported to this camp, situated North of Berlin, where they had to endure hardship.  The mix of nationalities means that Ravensbrück was a multilingual environment. Decades later research- and cultural heritage institutions in different parts of the world started to collect and preserve  their stories in many different ways and different languages. The introduction of the web and of online access to these oral history collections created the opportunity  to bring these ’scattered’ stories together and to explore their comparative potential. CLARIN  supported us in taking up this  challenge. A new type of Resource Family was introduced, the Oral History Resource Family, which meant designing  a metadata scheme that is tailored to the requirements of legacy data. They have a history of provenance before they are published on the web.

We also collected and curated the data for such a family, a selection of interviews on Ravensbrück in Italian, English, Dutch and German. These interviews were ‘discovered’ in private houses, or were ’spotted’ on the web, and have been created by curators, historians, journalists, filmers and volunteers. Though they are  all about Ravensbrück, and in theory all ‘accessible’ through the web, bringing our selection together in a structure that is manageable for a scholar was quite a challenge. During the Clarin Café we will discuss these challenges and offer some examples of comparative research.

How to Join

Please register for free using this link in order to receive the meeting room details.


14:00 - 14:10 Introduction on CLARIN Resource Families (Francesca Frontini CLARIN Board of Directors)

14.10 - 14.35 The ‘Voices from Ravensbrück’ project. Identifying  oral histories about Ravensbrück around the world – Stef Scagliola and Silvia Calamai – Siena University

14.35 - 14.50  explained: a closer look at the CLARIN metadata scheme – Henk van den Heuvel, Radboud University

14.50 - 15.00  The Transcription Chain – Christoph Draxler, LMU Munich

15.00 - 15.15   A lesson in troubleshooting: how to integrate oral history data in the CLARIN ecosystem, Speech&Tech group  

15.15 - 16.00  Envisioning next steps 

Discussion with:

  • Julia Chernishova, Siena University & Kiev University
  • Alessandra Carbone, Siena University
  • Ambra Laurenzi, President of the International Committee of Ravensbrück
  • Fabio Ardolino, post-doc researcher Siena University

All data providers have been invited to join the Café.

Blog, Slides and Recordings