Project Name: CHoral: access to oral history

Abbreviation: CHoral

Start date: October 1, 2005

End date: December 31, 2011

Project Description:

CHoral aims to advance in the state-of-the-art in Spoken Document Retrieval and will develop technology for the disclosure of oral history collections. The focus of attention will be on spoken word collections with stories and testimonies on historical events. In this audio mining project a variety of techniques will be studied and integrated, among which automatic speech recognition and information retrieval.

With speech recognition transcriptions can be generated for spoken documents (audio and video). The transcripts have timestamps associated with the words and will be used to build an index that allows searching the audio files at fragment level. The core dataset will be the archive of material broadcast by regional radio station Radio Rijnmond, maintained at the Municipal Archives of Rotterdam. In combination with recordings of non-broadcast interviews and background texts, the archive is a potentially rich source for historical research. The tools to be developed will be tested also on other oral history collections.

The speech recognition technology to be deployed will be partly based on a system for speech recognition of Dutch that has been originally developed for the broadcast news domain. The target content of CHoral will require efforts to improve robustness and to incorporate adaptive speech and language modeling, as well as metadata extraction technology. The coupling of speech data to related textual records will also be addressed.

In parallel to advancing and tuning existing speech and indexing technology for this domain, the project aims to contribute to the advent of methodological framework for handling and use of multimedia oral history content for historical research.

Project Funding: CHoral is a project of the programma CATCH funded by NWO.

Consortium: CHoral is a joint initiative of the Municipal Archives Rotterdam (Gemeentearchief) and HMI, with participation from Radio Rijnmond and Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Project website: CHoral.


The following HMI-member(s) is/are coordinator of this Project

Franciska de Jong



Here you can find the publications




The following ShowCases are associated with this Project



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