Oral history, people’s narratives and testimonies

Oral history captures people’s narratives and testimonies that shape the way they make sense to their lives. This project is focused on those European historic narratives hidden or marginalized from the official historical canon and/or mainstream archives. These historic narratives may contain a considerable amount of personal and sometimes controversial information about their narrators, which can put them at enormous risk from a privacy perspective. Narratives and eye-witness testimonies of European political/social conflict and post-conflict situations, war crimes and acts of repression are an example of such sensitive information for vulnerable communities.

Community oral history archives

Community oral history archives in their different forms (e.g. large/small, professional, semi-professional or entirely voluntary, long-established or very recent, in partnership with heritage professionals or entirely independent) have been pivotal in documenting and archiving with digital technology European historical narratives and testimonies of vulnerable communities because of their circumstances. They may include refugees, irregular migrants, dissidents, people from conflict areas, victims of crime and/or violence. These archives are facing the challenge of digital reuse of their archived first-hand testimonies and narratives for research purposes without distorting their content and without affecting the narrators’ privacy concerns and access to their sensitive personal information.

Technical approach

Use of blockchain for license management

The integration of the technology of blockchain with eArchiving solutions can be helpful in protecting records with sensitive information. Blockchain technology provides an additional layer which allows registering objects for access and handling the license management.

blockchain application of record-keeping

This project aims to develop an evaluation framework of a blockchain-based record-keeping system for community oral history archives to protect digital access to sensitive information from narrators’ records of vulnerable communities. This evaluation framework integrates Blockchain technology with the eArchiving solutions to meet this need and develops a trial scenario for a blockchain application of record-keeping for digital data objects with sensitive information in a Collection Holding Institution (CHI) related to the EHRI consortium.

Events & Webinars

Thursday, December 15, 2022 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM CEST
PROHUB project: preserving testimonies of European political/social conflicts

Presentation of PROHUB for European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI).

Download presentation video (MP4, 483 MB)

Download presentation (PDF, 2.1 MB)

Watch the presentation on YouTube

Wednesday, Sepember 21, 2022 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM CEST
PROHUB as a European harmonised solution for protecting and ensuring access to oral history used for human rights work across the European Integration Project

In this online De Gasperi seminar, members of the EU-funded PROHUB project will present the academic and technical features of their activity. Leslie Hernandez Nova (HAEU) will act as discussant.

The EU-funded project PROHUB is rooted in the intersection between Oral History and Human Rights and the importance of securing digital access and long-term preservation of first-hand oral narratives and eye-witness testimonies of European political/social conflict and post-conflict situations, war crimes and acts of repression. Oral History Archives play an essential role in creating, preserving and providing access to such types of first-hand testimonies and interviews. However, they face technical and ethical challenges which prevent the digital reuse of their materials, even for research purposes.

PROHUB project aims to build an archival environment that facilitates sharing of sensitive oral interview recordings of people's first-hand testimonies and oral narratives safely and securely. The ultimate goal of PROHUB project is to protect oral history archival collections with sensitive information. Archives as guardians of oral history can add meaning and context to the European Integration project by supporting an open, democratic and inclusive society with useful resources for humanitarian relief and recovery efforts.

Details about the event

Friday, Sepember 9, 2022 from 10:45 AM to 11:45 AM and from 1:00 PM to 1:25 PM CEST
PROHUB presentation and rounttable session: Validating resource access rights in PREMIS using the European Blockchain Service Infrastructure (EBSI)

PROHUB - Protecting Oral Histories Using Blockchain: a European harmonised solution for protecting and ensuring access to oral history used for human rights work across the European Integration Projec

Download presentation: Oral History and European Integration: the experience of the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) (PDF, 1.5 MB)

Download presentation: PROHUB Protecting Oral Histories Using Blockchain presented by the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocidestudies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (PDF, 1.0 MB)

Download presentation: Blockchain backed metadata to ensure authenticity and to control access presented by AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (PDF, 376 KB)

Details about the event

Tuesday, August 2, 2022 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM CEST

The joint Electronic Records Section (ERS) and Oral History Section (OHS) meeting at the Society of American Archivists 2022 Annual Meeting. It will take place Tuesday, August 2, 2022 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM CEST.

Short info about the organiser:

The Oral History Section of the Society of American Archivists is composed of members of the Society and others who are interested in or are actively engaged in conducting oral history interviews and/or teaching oral history methodology. The Oral History Section provides a forum for news, for discussion of issues and developments, and for establishing and maintaining communication and cooperation with other professional organizations.

Details about the event

Download presentation video (WMV, 200 MB)

Download presentation (PDF, 1.2 MB)

Watch the presentation on YouTube

Project partners

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT)

Giefinggasse 4, Vienna, Austria

NIOD Instituut voor Oorlogs-, Holocaust- en Genocidestudies (NIOD)

Herengracht 380, 1016 CJ Amsterdam

Highbury Research and Development Limited (HIGHBURY)

Coliemore House, 3 Coliemore Road, Dalkey , Dublin

AIT leads the project and is setting up a data repository which uses the European Blockchain Service Infrastructure (EBSI) for the license handling. NIOD prepares the cultural heritage collection data for submission to the data repository and defines the licenses which need to be accepted to get access to protected collection items. And HIGHBURY provides technical support for understanding, using, or implementing a protected repository using blockchain technology by developing training material and showing how and why E-ARK standards and the EU Building Block services (eID, Blockchain (ESBI)) are used for the implementation)


The PROHUB project is lead by the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology.


Giefinggasse 4, 1210 Vienna, Austria

Phone Number

+43 50550-0