Acronyms of Roads to Oral Archives and Sustainability, ROADS is a Project of Significant National Interest (PRIN), which aims to recover and preserve oral archives from the last seventy years, thus enabling the research activities of scholars in the fields of linguistics and oral history.

ROADS Consortium

The consortium involved in the ROADS project consists of several academic and research institutions, each with specific expertise and clearly defined roles within the project. These institutions collaborate to ensure the success of the ROADS project, bringing multidisciplinary expertise and extensive experience in the fields of language resources, oral history, and the preservation and accessibility of oral sources. 

The institutions involved are:

CNR-ILC (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale) is one of the leading research centers in the field of Computational Linguistics, for which it contributes to the scientific and technological development of strategic areas. With the ROADS project, it will consolidate its position as a center of excellence in computational linguistics at the national and international level. The CNR-ILC is part of CLARIN ERIC and hosts the ILC4CLARIN data center, which provides the Italian community with a reliable repository for linguistic resources and a set of linguistic tools and services, promoting the adoption of digital approaches in the humanities and opening new possibilities for the linguistic analysis of Intangible Cultural Heritage content. It also participates in European projects such as SSHOC and TRIPLE, related to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

In the context of the ROADS project, the CNR-ILC will be responsible for the technical management of the project, coordinating the development of the ROADS infrastructure for managing and accessing digitized oral archives, ensuring the project's adherence to FAIR principles and best practices defined in the context of EOSC. In particular, the CNR-ILC will be responsible for the integration of the project data into CLARIN, ensuring the visibility and accessibility of the data through CLARIN's central catalog, the VLO. In addition, CNR-ILC will work to ensure that the project data are FAIR-compliant, accompanying resources throughout the FAIR-ification workflow.

Members:

The CSC (Centro di Sonologia Computazionale) is a research laboratory within the Department of Information Engineering (DEI) at the University of Padua (UNIPD). The CSC has a prominent position in the international field of Sound and Music Computing, with expertise in multimodal interaction, affective processing, and preservation and restoration of musical and vocal signals.

For the ROADS project, CSC will bring all of its knowledge to bear: in fact, CSC has conducted evaluations on reliable protocols for digitization and data preservation, developed new techniques for information retrieval in large, unconventional databases, and created algorithms for restoring audio and music documents recorded with nonprofessional equipment; it has the equipment and expertise necessary for the repair and digitization of audio documents, such as tape recorders, high-quality A/D converters, and tape and cassette tape restoration systems. The CSC will focus on the development of the ROADS system for managing and accessing digitized oral archives and the digitization, cataloging and archiving of a pilot oral archive, particularly focusing on the audio recordings personally conducted by Gabriella Gribaudi and related documents, contributing scientific and technological expertise to ensure the preservation, protection and accessibility of oral sources.

Members:

The University of Naples "Federico II" (UNINA) will actively participate in the ROADS project with the experience gained in previous projects, particularly in the area of archiving, improvement and dissemination of oral sources, such as the Archives of Dialects of Campania (ADiCa).

In detail, for the ROADS project UNINA will undertake a census of oral archives produced over the past seven decades, focusing on the areas of linguistics and oral history. This work will involve universities throughout Italy, divided into three macro-areas (North, Center, South), and will be entrusted to three research units (UNIVE, UNISI, UNINA). In addition, UNINA will contribute the experience gained in the various projects developed over the years within the ADiCa archive.
Moreover, after producing modular educational materials for the institutions involved in the care of oral archives, it will be the bearer of initiatives that will aim to transfer the knowledge acquired during the project to professionals working at universities and other institutions, as well as students and young researchers.

Members:

The University of Siena (UNISI) has the responsibility of coordinating the ROADS project, providing specific knowledge and a great amount of experience in the field of oral history, archival sciences and humanities, thanks to the know-how acquired in the Gram-phonics, Vi.Vo Archives and Listen projects. UNISI guarantees links with CLARIN's Oral history and Technology research group and the CLARIN Ethical and Legal Issues committee (CLIC).

As project coordinator, UNISI will ensure the harmonization of work among partners and the timely achievement of objectives and deliverables, providing the technological infrastructure and services available at the Italian node of CLARIN-IT at ILC-CNR.

Members: Silvia Calamai (project manager, sociolinguistics, member of the CLARIN-IT consortium, chair of the degree program in Intercultural Languages and Communication), L.J. Anderson and L. Cirillo (corpus linguistics analysis, members of the Interuniversity Center for Interaction and Mediation Analysis - AIM)

Ca' Foscari, University of Venice (UNIVE), will serve a significant role within the ROADS project, carrying fundamental knowledge and accurate experience in the fields of oral history, archival science, and the humanities.

For the ROADS project, UNIVE will map oral archives produced over the past seventy years, particularly in the areas of linguistics and oral history, and focus on the preservation, archiving and digitization practices of oral archives. In addition, with the know-how of the Venice Centre in Digital and Public Humanities, UNIVE will support the accessibility and dissemination of the project.

Members: A. Casellato (Coordinator - Oral history, past president of the Italian Oral History Association), D. Raines (Archival science, past president of the University library service, vice secretary of the Executive board of the Time Machine Organisation).

The ROADS project will also involve associations such as: AISO (Associazione Italiana di Storia Orale), AISV (Associazione Italiana di Scienze della Voce), AFAS (Association française des détenteurs de documents sonores et audiovisuels) and AILC (Ass. Italiana Linguistica Computazionale).

These associations will help in sensitizing and engaging the academic and professional community, as well as the general public, about the preservation of oral sources and the importance of the Intangible Cultural Heritage transmitted through oral archives. They will also provide support to the network of institutions to train professionals and a new generation of researchers, thus contributing to the realization of the ROADS project goals.

Work Packages

The consortium will work collaboratively to ensure the achievement of the project's goals, which include the preservation and accessibility of oral sources, the training of new generations of researchers, and the dissemination of the results obtained.

In order to organize the work and cooperation as best as possible, Work Packages (WPs) have been established within the ROADS project, each of which has specific objectives and responsibilities assigned to specific research units within the consortium. The WPs are interconnected and structured to address challenges related to the preservation, accessibility and reuse of oral sources, as well as to ensure the training of new generations of researchers and the dissemination of their findings.

  • WP1 - DISCLOSURE: concerned with the census of oral archives produced by academics, with the aim of mapping oral archives produced over the past seven decades, particularly in the areas of linguistics and oral history. This work involves three research units of the consortium: UNIVE, UNISI and UNINA.

  • WP2 - ROADS INFRASTRUCTURE: focuses on the development of an infrastructure for the preservation, cataloging and accessibility of digitized or born-digital oral sources in accordance with FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles. This WP involves CNR and CSC, which will contribute to the creation of a reliable national repository and the integration of the ROADS infrastructure into the CLARIN research ecosystem and the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

  • WP3 - ROADS PILOT ARCHIVE: aims to digitize, catalog and preserve the oral archive of Gabriella Gribaudi, an oral history scholar. This WP involves UNISI, UNINA and CSC, who will be responsible for digitizing, describing the audio recordings and preserving the pilot archive.

  • WP4 - EDUCATION AND TRAINING: focuses on training professionals and a new generation of researchers in the area of preservation and accessibility of oral sources. This WP involves UNISI, which will be in charge of training and education.

  • WP5 - DISSEMINATION AND MANAGEMENT: deals with project coordination and administration, as well as dissemination of the results obtained. This WP mainly involves UNISI, CNR and CSC, which will be responsible for technical management of the project, coordination of ROADS infrastructure development and management of the project website.

Find out other details about the ROADS project!

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