Memory and History: Transforming the Narrative of the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Repression

Indexing Guidelines

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To enhance the collected testimonies, we are adding metadata to provide users with time-correlated information, including: keywords, geotags, and hyperlinks. The objective of this initiative is twofold. First, by digitally indexing the testimonies, we aim to make the archive a more user-friendly and media-rich experience. Second, by training a new generation of researchers to participate in the process, we hope to further the educational mission of the project.

To index the testimonies we are using the open-source web-based application OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer), developed by the  Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky. The embedded tutorial explains how to use the application to create a detailed index of an oral history interview.

Step 1 - Indexing 

With OHMS , the first step is to index the testimony using the "tag now" button to divide the interview into segments. Following the broader methodology of the project, the aim here is not to impose order onto the testimony, but to encode the narrative structure that emerged during the course of the interview.  

Step 2 - Adding Metadata 

The second step is to add metadata (i.e. information about content) to each of the time-coded segments. Below is a list of OHMS's metadata fields along with project-specific guidelines for inputting information into each field. Because the Spanish Civil War Memory Project is geared towards Spanish and English speaking users, all metadata will be added in both languages.

Partial Transcript: The partial transcript provides users with the opening words or sentence initiating the segment.  These words can be spoken by the interviewer or interviewee. What is important here is not who is speaking or even what is being said. Rather, the purpose of the partial segment is to orient users so that they know exactly where the segment begins.   

Segment Synopsis: The segment synopsis provides a brief (1-2 sentence) narrative overview of the segment.  For specific guidelines on how to phrase and format synopses for this project, go here.

Keywords: Keywords are important words that the interviewee or interviewer directly mention in the testimony. They may include the names of people, places, events, organizations and/or themes. 

Subjects: Subject tags are selected from a project-specific controlled vocabulary. The purpose of these tags is to help users trace topics and themes within and between testimonies. To see our bilingual subject thesaurus, go here.

Geotag: The geotag function can be used to assign a geographical location to a particular segment of the testimony. This function should be used when an interviewee discusses an important place, such as a country where they took refuge, a concentration camp where they were interned, or a prison where they were incarcerated.  

Hyperlink: Hyperlinks can be added to provide users with relevant research materials housed elsewhere on the web. Relevant research materials may include documentary evidence, cultural expressions, and scholarly works. Before adding a hyperlink, assess the credibility and stability of the source. Although we generally recommend hyperlinking to websites that are housed by universities, libraries, or government agencies, we understand that other websites may be relevant. 


Andrea Davis, Arkansas State University

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