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Annotated Project Manual

Collaboratively annotated project manual that provides insight into our project methods, workflows, and objectives, and the experiences and interpretations of interns and affiliated faculty.

Published onSep 20, 2020
Annotated Project Manual

About this Publication

This is a collaboratively annotated project manual for Memory and History: Transforming the Narrative of the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Dictatorship. As a project manual, this publication provides insight into our project methods, workflows, and objectives. As a collaborative text, it provides insight into the experiences and interpretations of the interns and affiliated faculty members who have shared their reflections as annotations, or discussion posts, on the right hand of the page.

Manual Introduction

This manual provides interns and affiliated faculty with guidelines for participating in Memory and History: Transforming the Narrative of the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Dictatorship. As a large-scale collaborative project, these guidelines will help us:

  1. Work together efficiently and effectively, and;

  2. Adhere to common standards to produce uniform results.

Please note that this manual is a living document. We will revise project guidelines and vocabularies as we learn from each other, critically reevaluate project methods, and discover new descriptive and interpretive possibilities.

Project Overview

Memory and History  aims to transform the narrative of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and Francoist dictatorship (1939-1975) through enhanced audiovisual testimonies and multimodal scholarship. In the eighty years since the end of the war, scholars of the period have studied the conflict from several perspectives using different methodologies. Although recent studies refer to the political repression implemented by Francoist forces, the magnitude and scope of the repression is not yet fully documented. [2]  This absence in the historical record is the result of a “pact of silence” established by Spanish policymakers in charge of the transition to democracy (1975-1982). [3]  The legal expression of this pact was the Amnesty Law of 1977, which prohibited legal proceedings against perpetrators of human rights violations in exchange for granting amnesty to political prisoners. It also blocked the formation of Truth Commissions as was common in other post-dictatorial societies, such as in Argentina, Chile, and South Africa. In addition, during the transition to democracy, Francoist officials destroyed thousands of written documents pertaining to the implementation of repression during the war and dictatorship. [4]

Since the year 2000 an increasing number of human rights organizations have attempted to reverse this process of amnesia and impunity through the exhumation of mass graves and other initiatives. [5]  One such initiative, the Spanish Civil War Memory Project (SCWMP), collected oral histories to archive the Francoist repression, the multiple political cultures that opposed the military uprising and dictatorship, and the fraught relationship between memory and history as the 2007 Law of Historical Memory was debated, ratified, and implemented in Spain. [6]  

To increase access to the SCWMP and contribute to transnational efforts to combat “educational apathy in Spain toward the Civil War and the dictatorship...due to the shortage of museums and educational projects directed at the general public,” Memory and History will situate the 109 life-histories of the SCWMP within broader scholarly and critical frameworks, by creating:

  • Time-coded and searchable transcriptions;

  • English translations;

  • Bilingual indexes that capture narrative structure and map natural language to concepts using the project’s dedicated Subject Thesaurus; and

  • Multimodal scholarly entries based on the Thesaurus’s hierarchy of terms that link out to the enhanced testimonies.[7]

Video Clip of the Memory and History OHMS Entry for Borrell Pérez, Carmen. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2009.

To create bilingual, time-coded, and searchable transcripts and indexes, we will use Trint  and the Oral History Metadata Synthesizer (OHMS). Trint is a web-based natural language processor and collaborative workspace where we will create, edit, and translate automated transcriptions. Thanks to generous grant funding from Arkansas State University, we have a twelve-month Enterprise Account from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. Following a two-step review process, transcriptions and translations will be upload into the OHMS Application, which is a free and open-source web-based tool where we will create bilingual and time-coded indexes. Finally, we will embed the OHMS Viewer in Scalar , an open-source scholarly publishing platform developed by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture at the University of Southern California, to pair the enhanced audiovisual testimonies with multimodal scholarship.

Screenshot of the Memory and History Prototype Publication,, 19 September 2020.

During the twelve-month period beginning 1 July 2020, we will prioritize transcription with the goal of completing the entire SCWMP collection: 109 testimonies constituting approximately 250 hours of video. Transcription will be our primary goal for a number of reasons. First, once the corpus of transcriptions is completed, we will be better equipped to interpret the collection using computational and qualitative methods. Second, as we work together on similar project tasks, we can develop collaborative workflows to build a vibrant and supportive community of researchers. Finally, once Trint-based work is completed, the project can move forward with or without additional grant funding.

Rights, Responsibilities, and Recognition

To protect the integrity of this large-scale collaborative project, and respect the institutional relations on which it is built, all participants must agree:

  1. Not to publish, reproduce in full, or share transcriptions, translations, and indexes prior to the final project publication, when these materials will be made publicly available at scale.

  2. Not to publish, reproduce in full, or share project spreadsheets and documentation without the written permission of the project director.

  3. To use the project’s dedicated software (Trint and OHMS) and collaborative workspaces (Trello and Google Drive) for the sole purpose of completing project-related tasks and “commit to keeping these locations filled with timely, reliable, and accurate information.” [8]

  4. To adhere to the use and constraint policies outlined by UC San Diego Special Collections & Archives for the digital objects of the SCWMP.

Since this is an unpaid internship where interns will make substantive contributions to the project:

  1. Interns will be credited as contributors on the final project publication, where they will be recognized for their transcription, translation, and/or indexing work.

  2. Interns may present on the project and cite project materials in their research so long as they adhere to the above-mentioned restrictions. [9]   For the purposes of citation, please credit both the Spanish Civil War Memory Project  and Memory and History: Transforming the Narrative of the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Dictatorship for providing access to these materials.

  3. The project director will work with interns to help them secure course credit and/or funding from their home institutions when possible.

  4. The project director and affiliated faculty will provide interns with training and mentorship so that they can leverage the experience to achieve their broader academic and professional goals.

Project Workflows

To structure and track our collaborative workflows we will use two Trello  boards: “Step 1: Transcribing and Translating” and “Step 2: Indexing.” The “Step 1” board, pictured in part below below,  includes the following columns or ‘lists:’ Project Resources, Help, To Do, Transcription In Progress, Transcription Ready for Review, Transcription To Translate, etc. 

In the Project Resources list, there are ‘cards’ with tips for using Trello, and links to project documentation, including the Manual, Thesaurus, and access to the Google Folders where the reviewed transcriptions and translations are stored. In the Help  list you can post questions and/or request assistance with your transcription and translation work. The To Do  list is where you will select an interview to work on. To select an interview, add your name to the card using the add members function, and move the card to the In Progress list.

Screenshot of Trello board “Step 1: Transcribing and Translating,” 19 September 2020.

During the initial transcription process, each interview card will contain three checklists--Transcription, Faculty Review, and Project Director--to help us keep track of our progress. The Transcription list (like the Translation list that will be added following the initial review process) breaks each interview down into its component parts, with “Part 1” indicating the first part of the interview, “Part 2” the second, etc. Interviews from the SCWMP are anywhere from 1 to 16 parts with each part constituting approximately 35 minutes of recorded testimony. After you have transcribed part of an interview in Trint, check the corresponding box in Trello to signal that it has been completed. Remember that completed in this context means completed to the best of your ability. As explained in greater detail below, you can use the highlight and comment functions in Trint, alongside the Help list in Trello, to signal where additional editorial assistance is needed.

Screenshot of the Trello card “Catalá, Neus,” 16 August 2020.

After you have completed all of an interview’s transcriptions, and checked the associated boxes in Trello, move the interview card to the Transcription Ready to Review list. At that point, a member of the project’s affiliated faculty will add their name to the interview card and begin the review process. After the Faculty Review box has been checked and the interview card has been moved to the Transcription Reviewed list, the project director will create automated translations in Trint, export the edited transcriptions and automated translations as .docx files, format the exported files for use with OHMS, add the files to our shared Google Folder, and update project spreadsheets.

Should we determine over the course of the internship that we can achieve our transcription goals and also introduce additional tasks, we will selectively integrate translation and indexing work into our project workflows. Translation workflows will mirror transcriptions workflows, and the Trello Board “Step 2: Indexing with OHMS” will mirror the “Step 1: Transcribing and Translating with Trint” Trello Board.  

Transcriptions and Translations

This section provides instruction on Trint and editorial guidelines for creating transcriptions and translations, which aid discoverability and accessibility by allowing users to follow along with the audiovisual recordings and perform text-based searches for spoken keywords.

Getting Started in Trint and Google

Step 1: Select an Interview and Download MP4s from Digital Collections

Select an interview from the To Do list in Trello, add your name to it, and click on the url.  Download all of the associated mp4 files from UC San Diego Digital Collections. Do not change the name of the downloaded file, as the string of letters and numbers represents the UC San Diego accession numbers for each item.

Step 2: Make a Folder and Upload Files into Trint

On the main page of Trint you will see a grey column on the left with information about your account. Navigate to the workspace titled “Transcriptions in Progress: Memory and History,” where you will see folders for all of the interviews that interns are currently working on. To start working on a new interview, create a folder and name it after the interviewee following the titling convention on the interview card from the To Do List on our Trello board: “last name, first name”-- for example “Adsuar Casado, Fedor.” Then open the folder, which will be empty, and click the yellow “Upload” button on the top right of the page.  Batch upload all of the associated files for the interview, and have Trint create automated transcriptions in Spanish. To avoid errors, set Spanish as the default language for transcriptions following these guidelines.  Uploading and creating automated transcriptions may take some time, so budget accordingly. Trint will email you when the automated transcriptions are completed (usually 5-10 minutes per 35 minute tape). Once notified, you may delete the mp4s from your computer, as the files are no longer needed.

Step 3: Edit Automated Transcriptions in Trint

When you get to the transcription page (pictured below), you will see the automated transcription, which will need to be edited. Trint allows you to play the video and follow along in the transcript as it changes the color of the word it transcribed. The bar on the bottom left allows you to pause the video while you make corrections, change the playback speed, and move forwards and backwards. You can also navigate the video by clicking on any word in the transcript. To keep track of your progress within a given file, you can use the check boxes to the right of the transcript. As explained in the next section on editing and collaborating in Trint, you can also use the highlight and commenting functions to identify irregularities in the recording and/or sections that require additional research or assistance.

Screenshot of Transcription Work in Trint, 17 September 2020.

Step 5: Faculty and Director Review

When you have finished transcribing an interview and indicated it on Trello, an affiliated faculty member will add their name to the Trello card, and move the Trint interview folder to the Editorial Review workspace to begin the review process. Once the review is completed, the project director will create automated translations, export the reviewed translations and automated transcriptions from Trint as .docx files, format the files so that they can be uploaded into OHMS, and upload the edited files to our shared Google folder.

Step 6: Work on Translations in our Shared Google Folder

Translation work will mirror the same workflows and editorial guidelines as transcription work. Instead of using Trint, however, we will use Google’s collaborative workspace to edit and review automated transcriptions alongside the edited and reviewed transcriptions.

Screenshot of Reviewed Memory and History Transcription of Casas Godessart, Carmen. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2009

Editing and Collaborating

There are a number of ways that interns and affiliated faculty can assist each other with transcriptions and translations before the review process is initiated.

Vocab Builder

First, we can improve the automated transcriptions by adding custom terms to the Trint Vocab Builder, and checking the “Vocab Builder” option when we upload files into Trint for transcription. Custom terms can include, but need not be limited to, proper nouns, uncommon place names, and foreign words or phrases used in the Spanish dialogue. To add an entry to the Vocab Builder while editing, select the word or phrase and click “Add to Vocab” in the toolbar. By regularly adding terms to the Vocab Builder, we will improve the quality of Trint’s automated transcriptions of the SCWMP over time. To initiate the process, add the entity names from the Thesaurus to the Vocab Builder List.


Second, we can use the highlighting feature in Trint and Google to signal where and what kind of additional help is needed. To streamline the process, color code your highlights as follows:

  • Highlight a section in yellow  if language assistance is needed (i.e. you are having a hard time understanding the speaker or a particular grammatical structure).

  • Highlight a section in green  if formatting assistance is needed (i.e. you are not sure how much clarification is needed in a bracketed section or whether you have transcribed an idiosyncratic  speech pattern correctly).

  • Highlight a section in blue   if historical assistance is needed (i.e. it is clear that the speaker is discussing a historical figure or event and you need additional context and/or background knowledge to effectively transcribe the dialogue).

  • Highlight a section in  red  if you are stumped and general assistance is needed.

Note that the color highlights in Trint and Google match the color card labels in Trello so that we can communicate effectively across platforms.

Do not be shy when using the highlighting feature in Trint and Google and the Help list in Trello. The more clearly we can indicate where help is needed, the more efficiently we can provide each other with punctual assistance and facilitate the faculty review processes.


Finally, we can use the commenting function to add clarifying notes to highlighted sections, or raise additional questions and concerns.

Review and Communication

Since Trint and Google are web-based applications that support collaborative editing, team members can work on the same document at the same time. This means that we can provide each other with assistance in real time. To facilitate the peer review process, interns can communicate via the Trello Help  list. When an issue has been resolved through the peer review process, make sure to clear the associated highlights and comments from the Trint file and archive the associated help card in Trello. Please note that the peer review process ends with the initiation of the review process, when an affiliated faculty member adds their name to the interview card in the Trello Ready for Review  list.

Editorial Guidelines for Transcriptions and Translations [10]  

General Formatting

Identifying Speakers

Each time the interviewer or interviewee begins to talk, add their first surname in all caps (with no accent marks) to the “Add Speaker” field to the left of the text.


Paragraph breaks are used, primarily, to signal a change in speaker. They can also be used, sparingly, to indicate a change of topic or introduction of a subtopic.


If it is clear where sentences end and begin, indicate this with corresponding punctuation. Commas, semi-colons, etc. are not absolutely necessary, but can be included if you hear pauses or other speech indicators that would result in this kind of punctuation. It can often be difficult to determine correct punctuation when transcribing a recording; aim for readability and accessibility.


Use quotation marks to signal when material is being quoted from memory or verbatim, including conversations, song lyrics, slogans, etc. Note that punctuation goes inside the quotation marks.


Brackets [ ] are reserved for words and notes that are not present in the recording and added to the transcript for clarification.


Do not use ellipses (. . .) in transcribing oral history recordings because they may suggest to readers that material has been left out.

Em Dashes

Incomplete sentences are familiar occurrences in oral history because of its conversational nature. They are best ended with an em dash (--) followed by a period or, in the case of questions, a question mark.

Single Dashes

Use a single dash (-) followed by a comma to signal that a word was started but not completed.


Use numerals, do not spell out numbers and dates. Please note that comma and period usage for numbers is reversed in Spanish and English. For example, twenty thousand should be written out as “20.000” in the Spanish transcript, and “20,000” in the English translation.


Follow the proper forms of standard Spanish and English in the running text. Please note that English uses capitalization for the following, whereas Spanish does not:

  • Names of the days of the week and months of the year

  • Composition titles (in Spanish only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized)

  • Introductory titles (although common abbreviations of them such as Sr. for señor, Dr. for doctor, D. for don and Srta. for señorita are)

  • Names of religions and their adherents

  • Place names (although the given name of rivers, lakes, mountains and other geographic features are capitalized, the geographical identity is not, i.e. rio Ebro)

  • Nationality

  • Languages

Administrative Titles

Titles are capitalized only when they are combined with a name and refer to a specific person. They are not capitalized when referring to a general title.

  • Example: el general

  • Example: General Franco


Provide the full name of an acronym if known. Use square brackets to provide the full title of the name or organization in its original language as it appears in the entity section of the project ‘s Subject Thesaurus (which includes Francoists State Institutions, Catholic Organizations, Historical Memory Associations, Workers Unions, and Political Organizations) or the Corporate Names section of the VIAF: The Virtual International Authority File . Note that acronyms, and the corporate names they represent, are not translated.

  • Example Transcription: estabamos organizado con PSUC [Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya].

  • Example Translation: we were organized with PSUC [Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya].

If an acronym is used repeatedly, you need not provide the full title in brackets on each use. As a general rule, provide the full title the first time the acronym is introduced in a paragraph.

Speech Patterns and Language


Do not try to reproduce accents or dialects.

Crutch Words

Words such as “¿sabes?,” “pues”, and “desde entonces,” should be left in unless they become overwhelming.


Leave out filler sounds such as “eh” and “e,” unless they are being used to stall or pause the conversation.

False Starts and Incomplete Words

Include false starts because they are often indicative of thought and speech patterns. If full words are repeated use commas. If words are not completed use a single dash after the portion of the word that has been articulated followed by a comma.

  • Example: el hom-, hombre

Unfinished Thoughts

Use em dashes (--) to indicate falters or incomplete thoughts, rambling speech, or unfinished sentences. Do not use ellipses. In the case of unfinished sentences, follow with a period or, in the case of questions, a question mark.

Simultaneous Speech

Include simultaneous speech. Do not finish sentences in the transcript that were not finished during the interview. If each speaker’s statement is indecipherable, use [both speaking-unclear]/ [ambos hablando-indescifrable].

Feedback Words and Sounds

Interviewers often use feedback words and sounds to encourage the interviewee to keep talking. Only include this type of feedback if it is in definite response to a question or point being made by the interviewee.

Indecipherable Words

Use brackets and a question mark to express uncertainty in the transcript.

  • Example: Mi compañero José [Morcillo?].

When you cannot understand a word or phrase and cannot venture a guess, use [unclear]/ [indescifrable].

If you are unsure of a phrase, put the entire phrase in brackets, followed by a question mark:

  • Example: Como dije [todos estábamos organizados con el partido?]

Non-Verbal Sounds

Include and note with square brackets [ ]. Do not capitalize. If non-verbal sounds occur at the end of a sentence, place the word in brackets after the final punctuation.

  • Example: [se ríe]/ [laughing]

  • Example: [llorando]/[crying]


Interruptions that affect the recording (telephone ringing, clock chiming, etc.) should be explained using square brackets [ ]. If the recording is paused, indicate that in brackets.

  • Example: Estábamos andando --[el teléfono suena]. Déjame contestar. [grabación pausada]

Other Languages

When interviewees uses words or phrases from other languages (such as Catalan, French, or German), leave the word in its original language in the transcription and translation and add a bracket that notes the language and translation.

  • Example: cigrons [garbanzos en catalán/ garbanzos in Catalan]

  • Example: ja no sé el temps que vaig estar a París, no me'n recordo  [catalán para ya no sé el tiempo que estuve en París, no me acuerdo/ Catalan for I don’t know how long I was in Paris, I don’t remember.]


This section provides instruction on OHMS and editorial guidelines for creating indexes, which further aid accessibility and discoverability by providing users with a searchable map of a testimony’s narrative structure and themes.

Video Clip of the Memory and History OHMS Entry for Botey Vallès, Jaume. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2010.

Getting Started in OHMS [11]  

Step 1: Set up the Repository and Get to Know the Interview Manager

The project director will set up the repository, using the OHMS CSV import template to populate the Interview Manager with testimonies and item-level metadata.

Screenshot of CSV populated Metadata Editor in OHMS, 18 September 2020.

Meanwhile, interns will familiarize themselves with the OHMS Interview Manager (pictured below).

Image from the 2017 OHMS User Guide,

Step 2: Upload and Sync Transcriptions and Translations

In the OHMS Interview Manager click on the “Transcript” button and upload both the transcription and translation files for the item (i.e. part of the interview) that you are working on and select the “1 minute (default)” timecode interval. Once the upload is complete, click the “Sync” button to open the Sync module to begin syncing the associated transcription and translation with the video (see image below). To sync the transcript and translation with the video, click the word that is spoken on each 1 minute mark. As pictured below, when you select a word it will be highlighted in green and a timecode will be added to its left. To assist you with this process, a bell will sound 10 seconds before the 1 minute mark and at the 1 minute mark. Note that you can use the fast forward button to skip forward 50 seconds to speed up the synchronization process. Either way, keep in mind that the Sync Module can be difficult to edit, so it is best to sync the entire item (transcription or translation) in one sitting.

Screenshot of the Sync Module in OHMS, 18 September 2020.

Step 3: Begin Indexing

After the transcriptions and translations have been synced, the Indexing Module is opened by clicking an item’s “Index” button in the Interview Manager. When you open the module for the first time, it will present the player accompanied by the “Tag Now” button.

Screenshot of the Tag Data Module in OHMS, 18 September 2020.

The video must be playing in order to create an index point. While playing, an index segment is created by pressing the “Tag Now” button. When pressing “Tag Now” the indexer is presented with the Tag Data module pictured above. This includes player controls and a series of empty descriptive fields in Spanish and English. The indexer can control the player within the tagging module. The player backtracks a few seconds each time the tagging module is activated.

Step 4: Document Workflows

The OHMS Interview Manager has a workflow management component that can be used to indicate the status of an item at the level of the Metadata Module (which will be handled by the project director), the Sync Module, and the Indexing Module. Each location presents a drop-down menu that allows users to choose from four options to set the status of each component: In Process, Ready for QC (quality control, or review), Active QC, and Complete. Since syncing is a relatively straightforward process, interns should either select Complete or Ready for QC if additional assistance is needed. Indexes, however, will go through the review process, and we will use each of the above-listed status options to signal our progress.

We can also use the notes function in OHMS to flag items with video or transcription malfunctions or bring attention to elements within an item that need to be reviewed and addressed by the project director. Clicking “Notes” in the interview manager enables you to create a note, which manifests in the “Notes” link turning red in the Interview Manager. The project director will be automatically notified by email when a note is created, and she can click on the notes column to read the note and mark it “Resolved” when the issue has been addressed.

Please note that we will also document our progress outside of the OHMS Application on our Trello “Step 2” board, as explained above in the Project Workflows section.

Editorial Guidelines for Indexing [12]


The index documents and describes transitions within the testimony, providing users with a map of the interview’s content and narrative structure. Given the open-format of the interviews collected by the SCWMP, our aim here is not to impose order, but to encode the narrative structure that emerged during the course of the interview. As Doug Boyd (the developer of OHMS) et al. recommend, “it is useful to ask yourself the following questions when deciding whether to index a moment (or not):

  • Does it represent a major topic within this segment of the interview?

  • Will inclusion of this topic be useful to future researchers?

  • Does this segment contain unique, compelling, or interesting content that, even if discussed briefly, stands out in the interview?

  • Does the content correlate to major historical events such as the Great Depression or the Second World War?

  • Will the creation of an index point for this segment represent this interview effectively to a user, researcher or even a search engine?

  • Have I created index points that will help a user navigate this interview?

  • Have I represented the content effectively?” [13]  

Note that index lengths may vary widely both within and between testimonies.

Segment Title

Segment titles should clearly and effectively describe the main point of the indexed segment, providing users with an understanding of the segment’s content and significance. [14]  There is no need to use the interviewee’s name in segment titles, and only the first word and the proper nouns present in the title should be capitalized.

Screenshot of Segment Titles for Part 1 of Botey Vallès, Jaume. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2010.

Partial Transcript

The partial transcript provides users with the opening words or sentence that initiates 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.


The segment synopsis provides a brief (1-2 sentence) narrative overview that further clarifies what the segment is about. The segment synopsis is particularly useful to express concepts or topics that are too complex to be conveyed in the title or subject terms. A good synopsis, according to Boyd et al., “complements the other descriptive metadata fields.” [15]  For example, if the title of the segment is “Growing up during the postwar”, an effective synopsis might read “Reminisces about his childhood and the hardships his family experienced. He talks about his parents’ struggle to make ends meet and the ways that economic hardship affected him as a child.” To avoid repetition, we have compiled a list of verbs that can be used in the synopses.

Verbs for English Synopsis

Verbs for Spanish Synopsis









tells of/that

speaks of/that

comments on/that





gives (an analysis, account, examples, her/his perspective, opinion…)

presents (an analysis, account…)








cuenta que

habla de/sobre

comenta sobre/de/que






da (ejemplos, su perspectiva, opinión…)

presenta (un análisis, su perspectiva, opinión…)


Leave the keywords field blank. Keywords are terms that are mentioned directly in the testimony. Since this project includes indexes as well as time-coded and searchable transcriptions and translations, we will not add keyword terms to the indexes.


The subjects field is designed for the entry of controlled terms that represent the content of each segment. The goal is to provide descriptive terms for searchability that map natural language to concepts. For example, an interviewee may speak of the jefe de barrio without ever saying the words represión política. The index tells the user that the interview contains a discussion about “Represión Política /Political Persecution”, even if the words were never mentioned. All subject terms will be selected from the project’s bilingual Subject Thesaurus (see below). To help you locate terms, the thesaurus is organized hierarchically by time periods, subjects, and entities. The Thesaurus also contains Terms and Use Guidelines so that you can find out more about each term and its intended use. All subject terms will be uploaded into OHMS so that when you begin to type in the subject field auto-suggested terms will appear. In OHMS, only use terms from the thesaurus in the subject field and try to include at least one time period (so the user knows when the narrative is taking place), the most relevant themes, and any entity that is directly mentioned or referenced.

GPS Coordinates

This field enables geo-referencing content that interfaces (for the public user) with Google Maps. Coordinates are entered in the format "XX.XXX, YY.YYY", where X is latitude (north or south) and Y is longitude (east or west). Note that there must be a space following the comma. You can use Latitude and Longitude Finder on Map Get Coordinates to find coordinates when you have the name of the country, city, or town. If you are looking for coordinates of a specific historic building or address, you can use the what’s here function on Google maps following these directions.

GPS Description

This field serves as a label for the GPS coordinates you have provided. For the GPS Description use the Virtual International Authority File  “Geographic Names” search, to find the correct descriptive term for countries, cities, and towns in Spanish (indicated by the Spanish flag) and English (indicated by the American flag). In the image below, you can see that the GPS description for Guernica in English is “Guernica (Spain)” and “Gernika-Lumo” in Spanish. In situations where you have used google maps to find a historic building or address, use a custom description like “Carcel de Ventas, Madrid/ Ventas Prison, Madrid”.

Screenshot of VIAF Geographic Names Search for Guernica, 20 September 2020.

GPS Zoom

Leave the GPS Zoom at 17, which is the default.


Unless otherwise noted, do not add hyperlinks to the testimonies.

Subject Thesaurus

This bilingual subject thesaurus is organized hierarchically by time periods, themes, and entities. Note that thematic terms are intentionally broad and can be easily combined, and that entity names are never translated. To find out more about each term and its intended use, see the Subject Terms and Use Guidelines below.

Time Periods

Second Republic

Civil War



World War II

Cold War



Constitutional Monarchy


Segunda República

Guerra Civil



Segunda Guerra Mundial

Guerra Fría



Monarquía Constitucional




Cultural Identity

Culture and Art




Media and Communication




Black Market


Mutual Aid















Collective Memory


Intergenerational Memory

Public Memory Policies


Opposition and Social Movements

Anti-Francoist Movement

Armed Struggle

Everyday Resistance

Feminist Movement

Labor Movement


Neighborhood Movement

Political Ideology




Student Movement

Underground Activity




Health and Wellbeing





Social Class




Foreign Policy


Judicial System

Law Enforcement


Military Service

War and Dictatorship









Economic Repression


International Aid

Political Persecution

Religious Persecution

Restriction of Movement


Sexual and Gender-Based Violence



Identidad Cultural

Cultura y Arte




Medios y Comunicación




Mercado Negro


Apoyo Mutuo















Memoria Colectiva


Memoria Intergeneracional

Políticas de Memoria Pública


Oposición y Movimientos

Movimiento Antifranquista

Lucha Armada

Resistencia Cotidiana

Movimiento Feminista

Movimiento Obrero


Movimiento Vecinal

Ideología Política




Movimiento Estudiantil

Actividad Clandestino




Salud y Bienestar





Clase Social




Política Exterior


Sistema Judicial

Aplicación de la Ley


Servicio Militar

Guerra y Dictadura









Represión Económica


Ayuda Exterior

Represión Política

Persecución Religiosa

Restricción de Movimiento


Violencia Sexual y de Género



Francoist Institutions

Auxilio Social

División Azul

Brigada Político-Social

Fuerzas Armadas de España

Guardia Civil

Organización Sindical Española (OSE)

Ministerio de Información y Turismo

Tribunal Especial para la Represión de la Masonería y el Comunismo

Tribunal de Orden Público (TOP)

Memory Associations

Asociació  Pro-memòria als immolats per la Llibertat a Catalunya

Asociación de Descendientes del Exilio Español

Asociación de Ex-Preso y Represaliados Políticos

Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica (AHRM)

Dones del 36

Federación Estatal de Foros por la Memoria

Catholic Associations

Acción Católica

Cristianos por el Socialismo

Hermandades Obreras de Acción Católica (HOAC)

Justicia y Paz

Juventud Obrera Cristiana (JOC)

Opus Dei

Pax Cristi

Workers Unions

Comisiones Obreras (CCOO)

Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT)

Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT)

Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT)

Political Associations

Acción Española (AE)

Bandera Roja (BR)

Comunión Tradicionalista

Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas (CEDA)

Defensa Interior

Derecha Liberal Republicana (DLR)

Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC)

Euskadi ta Akatasuna (ETA)

Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (FET y de las JONS)

Falange Española de las JONS (FE de las JONS)

Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI)

Frente de Liberación Popular (FLP)

Frente Revolucionario Antifascista y Patriota (FRAP)

Front Obrera de Catalunya (FOC)

Fuerza Nueva (FN)

Grupos Revolucionarios Antifascistas Primero de Octubre (GRAPO)

Guerrilleros de Cristo Rey

Izquierda Republicana (IR)

Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas (JSU)

Liga Comunista Revolucionaria

Movimiento Comunista de España (MCE)

Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación (MIL)

Organización de la Izquierda Comunista de España (OICE)

Organización Revolucionaria de Trabajadores (ORT)

Partido Agrario Español (PAE)

Partido Comunista de España (Internacional) (PCE(i))

Partido Comunista de España (Marxista-Leninista)-Frente Revolucionario Antifascista y Patriótica (PCE (m-l))

Partido Comunista de España (PCE)

Partido del Trabajo de España (PTE)

Partido Nacionalista Vasco (PNV)

Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista (POUM)

Partido Popular (PP)

Partido Republicano Radical (PRR)

Partido Socialista Obrero Española (PSOE)

Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC)

Renovación Española (RE)

Sección Femenina (SF)

Terra Lliure

Unión de Centro Democrático (UCD)

Subject Terms and Use Guidelines


Acción Católica: Official organization of the Catholic Church to encourage Catholic influence on society. In the context of Postwar Spain, it played an important role as one of the only legal contexts in which individuals could organize independently from the regime. The AC included sections dedicated to women, workers, and youth.

Acción Española (AE): A Spanish organization active during the Second Republic that served as a meeting point for ultraconservative and far right intellectuals who endorsed the restoration of the monarchy.

Anger: Form of intense emotional response or antagonism towards someone or something, usually combined with an urge to harm. The term can be used when an interviewee recounts or expresses this emotion physically or verbally.

Anti-Francoist Movement:  The sociopolitical movement that opposed the Dictatorship. The term does not need to be used in conjunction with “Labor Movement,” “Student Movement,” or “Neighborhood Movement” as they are understood to be constitutive parts. Similarly, participating political associations do not need to be listed, unless they are specifically mentioned or referenced by the interviewee.

Armed Struggle : Protracted hostilities in which a group uses arms in an attempt to gain political rights or overthrow an existing government or regime. Can be used to describe the strategies and actions of the Partido Comunista de España (PCE) between 1930 and 1956, as well as the strategies and actions of extreme leftist and nationalist groups, especially during the 1970s.

Asociació Pro-memòria als immolats per la Llibertat a Catalunya : A Catalan memory association founded in 1976 to memorialize republicans executed by Francoists in Catalonia. It was the driving force behind the establishment of the Fossar de la Pedrera as a memorial space in the Montjuïc Cemetery.

Asociación de Descendientes del Exilio Español: A memory association that aims to preserve the historical memory of Spanish exiles after the Civil War, promote the recovery of Spanish nationality for their descendants, and facilitate the return to Spain for those who wish to do so.

Asociación de Ex-Preso y Represaliados Políticos:  A memory association of ex-political prisoners and those who experienced reprisal under the Francoist dictatorship. It was established in 2001 to beat witness to the struggles and repression of late Francoism.

Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica (AHRM) : A memory association that collects testimonies about the Francoist terror and excavates mass graves and identifies those bodies.

Auxilio Social:  The main welfare institution during the Dictatorship, composed of Falangists, priests, and professional social workers.


Bandera Roja (BR): A Maoist party founded in 1970 as a split of the Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC). The party first mobilized in Catalunya, and later throughout Spain, with the goal of establishing a federal democratic republic.

Black Market:  A market in which goods or services are traded illegally.

Bombardment: Attack by artillery fire or by dropping bombs from aircraft. In the context of the Civil War, rebel forces received material assistance from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to bombard civilian populations.

Brigada Político-Social:  A secret police force active during the Dictatorship that was in charge of persecuting and repressing opposition movements. Among the opposition, the Brigada Político-Social was popularly referred to as “La Social”, "La Secreta," or "La Brigada".


Camaraderie:  Mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together, as well as the sense of solidarity within a group. The term can be used when an interviewee recounts or expresses this emotion physically or verbally.

Censorship:  Practice of suppressing speech and public communication including print publications and cinema.

Civil War:  Time period between 17 July 1936 and 1 April 1939, when rebels and loyalists to the Second Republic fought a civil war in Spain.

Coercion : The practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threats or force. These actions can include, but are not limited to, extortion, blackmail, torture, threats to induce favors, and sexual and gender-based violence.

Cold War: Time period between 1947 and 1991, characterized by a state of geopolitical tension between market-based and command economies. Depending on context, this time period term can be used on its own or in conjunction with other coterminous periods, such as “Exile,” “Dictatorship,” and “Transition.”

Collective Memory:  the shared frameworks that shape and filter personal or individual memories and representations of the past, including official texts, commemorative ceremonies, and physical symbols such as monuments and memorials.

Combat:  Purposeful violent conflict, typically an armed conflict or melee.

Comisiones Obreras (CCOO): An anti-Francoist workers union organized in the 1960s that infiltrated the regime's vertical unions, Organización Sindical Española (OSE). In 1973 the regime condemned the entire leadership of CCOO to prison, including Marcelino Camacho and Nicolás Sartorius, in a trial known as Processo 1001. Despite such repression, the tactic of infiltration culminated in the union elections of 1975, when CCOO got the overwhelming majority of delegates elected in the major companies in the country. CCOO led numerous strikes and labor mobilizations during the late stages of the Dictatorship and Transition, and continues as one of the largest trade unions in Spain.

Comunión Tradicionalista: A political party of the Carlist movement that was active between 1869 and 1937. The party was characterized by an ultraconservative and anti-secular stance during the Second Republic, and was subsumed into the Falange Española Tradicionalista de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (FET de las JONS) during the Civil War.

Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas (CEDA): A conservative Catholic party led by José María Gil-Robles during the Second Republic. CEDA defined itself in terms of the 'affirmation and defense of the principles of Christian civilization,' and called for the revision of the republican constitution. Inspired by the rising tide of Fascism, and frustrated by modest electoral gains during the Second Republic, the party moved progressively towards the right, and was eventually subsumed into the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (FET y de las JONS).

Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT): A Spanish trade union federation that was formed by people who split from the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) in 1979 after the first congress of the CNT after the Transition.

Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT): Confederation of anarcho-syndicalist labour unions that was founded in 1910 and remains active to this day. Throughout its history as a legal and illegal institution, the CNT has expanded the role of anarcho-syndicalism in Spain.

Constitutional Monarchy: Time period initiated with the ratification of the 1978 constitution, when a constitutional monarchy was reestablished in Spain. Note that ratification took place during the Transition, and it will often make more sense to describe the time period between 1978 and 1982 as “Transition”. Use both terms--“Constitutional Monarchy; Transition”--when an interviewee discusses the constitutional monarchy during the Transition.

Consumption : Purchase and use of goods and services, as well as the lack thereof.

Cristianos por el Socialismo: A world-wide Catholic movement inspired by liberation theology that emerged in the 1970s to combat social inequality and economic injustice. In Spain, the movement was led by Alfonso Carlso Comín and Joan N. García-Nieto, and played an important role bridging the historic divide between christians and marxists.

Cultural Identity:  Identity or feeling of belonging to a group. Depending on context, the term can be used to describe nationalist sentiments, certain types of political affiliation, and identification with Spain during periods of exile or migration.

Culture and Art:  A set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that define a group of people, as well as their creative endeavors, disciplines, and outputs.


Defensa Interior: An armed anarchist organization, founded by the Movimiento Libertario (España), that operated between 1961 and 1965 to fight against the Dictatorship.

Denunciation: Accusation or complaint against a person or group. In the context of the Dictatorship, especially during the initial Postwar, denunciations often resulted in the loss of basic resources and opportunities, such as food and work.

Deportation: Expulsion of an individual or group of people from a place or country.

Derecha Liberal Republicana (DLR): A conservative republican party led by Niceto Alcalá Zamora that operated during the Second Republic.

Detention:  Removal of the freedom of liberty by a state. Includes, but is not limited to, time spent in jail, prison, POW camps, concentration camps, refugee camps, and concentration camps.

Dictatorship: Time period between 1939 and 1975, when Francisco Franco imposed authoritarian rule over Spain. Because the regime evolved over time, the dictatorship is often broken down into an initial Postwar period, characterized by the policy of autarky and referred to as the “years of hunger” (c. 1939-1951); the years of aperatura  or opening, characterized by economic growth, the introduction of limited freedoms, and the international acceptance of the regime (c. 1951-1970); and a final period of crisis, marked by internal conflict and extensive social mobilization (c. 1969-1975).

Disappeared:  Political opponents who are caused to disappear through imprisonment or killing without due process of law. Frequently used to describe those who were summarily executed and disposed of in unmarked mass graves during the Civil War and Postwar.

División Azul: A unit of Spanish volunteers who served under the command of the German Army on the Eastern Front during World War II.

Dones del 36: A memory association created in 1997 by a group of women survivors of the Civil War with the goal of reminding future generations that political advances for women began with the advent of the Second Republic.


Economic Repression : Actions to restrain certain economic activities or social groups involved in economic activities, such as blacklisting.

Education:  Learning in which knowledge and skills are transferred through teaching.

Elections: Process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office.

Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC): A left-republican and pro-Catalan political party founded in 1931. The party negotiated the establishment of the Catalan Generalitat in 1931, the Autonomy Statute in 1932, and led the Generalitat during the Civil War and in exile. Historic leaders of the party include Francesc Macià, Lluís Companys, and Josep Tarradellas.

Euskadi ta Akatasuna (ETA): An armed leftist Basque nationalist and separatist organization that was founded in 1959. Although it originally promoted traditional Basque culture, ETA evolved into a paramilitary group that engaged in a violent campaign of bombing, assassinations and kidnappings with the goal of gaining Basque independence.

Everyday Resistance: A form of opposition to oppression that consists of footdragging, non-compliance, pilfering, desertion, feigned ignorance, slander, arson, sabotage, flight etc.

Excitement : Emotion associated with happiness and high arousal. The term can be used when an interviewee recounts or expresses this emotion.

Execution : A putting to death, especially as a legal penalty.

Exhumation: Excavation of a buried corpse or mass grave.

Exile: Time period anytime between 1936 and 1982 when Spaniards were forced or compelled to live outside of Spain, primarily for political reasons. Do not use this term when an interviewee is discussing labor migration to France or Northern Europe (use “Dictatorship; Migration”) or extended study and/or work experiences (use “Education/Work; Travel”). Depending on context, this time period term can be used on its own, or in conjunction with other coterminous periods, such as “World War II” and “Cold War.”


Falange Española de las JONS (FE de las JONS):  A fascist political party founded in 1934 following the merger of the Falange Española and the Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista (JONS). FE de las JONS became the main fascist group during the Second Republic. During the Civil War, General Francisco Franco merged it with the Traditionalist Communion to form a single party named Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (FET y de las JONS), which became the sole legal party in Spain until its dissolution in 1977. Its members are known as falangists.

Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (FET y de las JONS):  The sole legal party during the Dictatorship. It emerged in 1937 from the merger of the Carlist Party, Traditionalist Communion, with the Falange Española de las JONS. FET y de las JONS was dissolved in 1977 by the transitional government of Adolfo Suárez.

Family: Group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. Use to describe discussions of familial relationships, experiences, and forms of subsistence, survival, and/or subversion.

Fashion:  Popular style or practice in clothing, personal adornment, or decorative arts.

Fear: Basic emotion induced by a perceived threat. The term can be used when an interviewee recounts or expresses this emotion physically or verbally.

Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI): An organization of anarcho-syndicalist militants active within affinity groups inside the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT).

Federación Estatal de Foros por la Memoria: A left-wing memory association founded in 2002 with the goals of locating and excavating mass graves, and giving tribute to those who fought against and suffered during the Civil War and Dictatorship.

Feminist Movement: A series of political campaigns for reforms on feminist issues. In the context of the Second Republic and Civil War, feminism was greatly influenced by anarchism and typically about dual-militancy. During the Transition, third-wave feminists took up a number of causes, including making contraception and abortion legal, ending adultery as a criminal offense, and legalizing divorce.

Foreign Policy:  Government's strategy in relating with other nations.

Frente de Liberación Popular (FLP): A leftwing political association influenced by the New Left and Third Worldist Movements that operated between 1958 and 1969.

Frente Revolucionario Antifascista y Patriota (FRAP): A Marxist–Leninist revolutionary organization that operated in the 1970s, and took up arms beginning in 1975.

Front Obrera de Catalunya (FOC): An underground political movement in Catalunya formed in 1961 by university students inspired by liberation theology and the Cuban revolution.

Fuerzas Armadas de España: The Spanish armed forces.

Fuerza Nueva (FN): An extreme right political party that participated in parliamentary politics and paramilitary activities between 1976 and 1982.


Gender: Range of physical, mental, and behavioral characteristics distinguishing between masculinity and femininity. Use to describe discussions of gender roles, expectations, and forms of subversion.

Government: System or group of people governing an organized community, often a state.

Gratitude : Feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. The term can be used when an interviewee recounts or expresses this emotion physically or verbally.

Grupos Revolucionarios Antifascistas Primero de Octubre (GRAPO): An armed Marxist- Leninist association that advocated for the establishment of a republican state, and mobilized against capitalism, imperialism, and Spanish membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Guardia Civil: The Spanish police force.

Guerrilleros de Cristo Rey: A far-right paramilitary organization that operated in the late 1970s, primarily in the Basque Country and Madrid. They emerged at a time of factionalism within the carlist movement.


Happiness: Mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by pleasant emotions. The term can be used when an interviewee recounts or expresses this emotion physically or verbally.

Health and Wellbeing: state of physical, mental and social well-being or deterioration.  

Hermandades Obreras de Acción Católica (HOAC): The labor movement of Acción Católica, founded in 1946. In the context of Postwar Spain, it played an important role as one of the only legal contexts in which workers could organize independently from the regime.

Hope : Optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes. The term can be used when an interviewee recounts or expresses this emotion physically or verbally.

Intergenerational Memory:  Transmission of memory and biographical knowledge through families and social groups, as well as the lack of transmission.

International Aid: Voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another at the behest of governments, international organizations, associations, or private citizens.

Izquierda Republicana (IR): A left republican party founded in 1934 under the leadership of         Manuel Azaña that participated in the 1936 Popular Front government.


Judicial System:  System of courts that interprets and applies the law. If an interviewee refers to a specific court that is included in our list of Francoist Institutions, use the entity term in addition to or instead of “Judicial System”, depending on context.

Justicia y Paz: A non-profit organization of the Catholic Church established in 1968 by the Spanish Episcopal Conference, and integrated into the international Catholic organization Justice and Peace, founded by Paul VI in 1967 as a result of the Second Vatican Council. The aim of the organization is to spread the social doctrine of the church, including human rights, social justice, and solidarity.

Juventud Obrera Cristiana (JOC): The youth organization of Acción Católica. In the context of Postwar Spain, it played an important role as one of the only legal contexts in which youth could organize independently from the regime.

Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas (JSU) : A youth organization formed in the spring of 1936 under the leadership of Santiago Carillo through the amalgamation of the youth groups of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español(PSOE) and the Partido Comunista de España (PCE).


Labor Movement:  Movement for maintaining or improving the conditions of employment. Depending on context, it can be used on its own or in conjunction with specific Workers Unions and Political Associations from the Entities list. The term does not need to be used in conjunction with “Anti-Francoist Movement”, as it is understood to be a constitutive part of the broader movement.

Language:  Particular system of communication, usually named for the region or peoples that use it. Use when interviewees discuss language use and acquisition, as well as the establishment, enforcement, or subversion of linguistic policies.

Law Enforcement:  System by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law. If an interviewee refers to a specific branch of law enforcement that is included in our list of Francoist Institutions , use the entity term in addition to or instead of
“Law Enforcement”, depending on context.

Legislation: Law enacted by a legislature or other governing body.

Leisure: Time that is freely disposed by individuals.

Liga Comunista Revolucionaria:  The Spanish section of the Fourth International (post-reunification), one of the fractions of the Trotskyist Fourth International. The LCR was a revolutionary party that rejected class collaboration and advocated for a model of territorial organization based in a confederation of republics, recognizing the right of self-determination for all the peoples of Spain.


Media and Communication:  Outlets or tools used to store and deliver information, including the components of the mass media communications industry, such as print media, publishing, the news media, photography, cinema, broadcasting (radio and television), and advertising.

Migration:  Permanent or semi-permanent change of residence within a country (internal migration) or abroad (emigration). To describe Spaniards who were forced or compelled to live outside of Spain between 1936 and 1982 for political reasons, use the time period term “Exile”, and not the subject term “Migration”.

Militancy: Political activism of a vigorous and combative nature, especially in support of a cause, such as the overthrow of the Dictatorship.

Military Service: Compulsory two-year  service for able-bodied men in the Spanish armed forces, popularly referred to as “la mili.”

Ministerio de Información y Turismo: A ministerial department created in 1951 to control information, censor the press and radio, and oversee the emerging tourist industry. The ministry was established under the leadership of Manuel Fraga and abolished during the Transition.

Movimiento Comunista de España (MCE):  A revolutionary party that identified with the ideas of Marx, Lenin, and Mao. The MCE operated primarily during the 1970s with the goal of achieving a communist society. Its territorial organizations adopted different names, including, but not limited to: Movimiento Comunista de Andalucía (MCA), Movimiento Comunista de Aragón (MCA), Movimientu Comunista d'Asturies, Moviment Comunista de Catalunya (MCC), Movimiento Comunista de Madrid (MC), and Euskadiko Mugimendu Komunista (EMK)

Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación (MIL): An anti-capitalist organization active during the early 1970s in Catalunya.

Mutual Aid : Voluntary exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit and support. Includes, but is not limited to, funds raised for the families of political prisoners, and the sharing of food and resources among impoverished, vanquished and detained populations.


Neighborhood Movement:  A Spanish movement that operated during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s that used the legal status of neighborhood associations to mobilize for a better quality life, especially in terms of urban conditions, social services, and socio-economic rights. The term does not need to be used in conjunction with “Anti-Francoist Movement”, as it is understood to be a constitutive part of the broader movement.


Opus Dei:  An organization of the Catholic Church that rejects Catholic Social Doctrine and supports neoliberal policy. Opus Dei flourished during the Dictatorship, which it officially supported, spreading first throughout Spain, and after 1945, internationally.

Organización de la Izquierda Comunista de España (OICE): A political party founded in 1974 that continued the work of the Círculos Obreros Comunistas (COC), whose roots, in turn, were in the Front Obrer de Catalunya (FOC), the Catalan version of the Frente de Liberación Popular (FLP or FELIPE).

Organización Revolucionaria de Trabajadores (ORT): A communist organization inspired by MAO founded in 1969.

Organización Sindical Española (OSE): Popularly known as the Sindicato Vertical, OSE was the sole legal trade during the Dictatorship, modeled on the corporatist understanding of labor relations developed in totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. During the Dictatorship, it was mandatory for all employed citizens to join the OSE, which was disbanded in 1977.


Partido Agrario Español (PAE): A rightwing political organization founded in 1934, which included representatives of the old political class.

Partido Comunista de España (Internacional) (PCE(i)): A communist political association founded in 1967 from a split of the Partido Comunista de España (PCE) and Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC), which accused the leadership of revisionism, renouncing the proletarian revolution, and accepting bourgeois postulates.

Partido Comunista de España (Marxista-Leninista)-Frente Revolucionario Antifascista y Patriótica (PCE (m-l)): A communist political association that emerged in 1964 from a split in the Partido Comunista de España (PCE) . Ideologically aligned with Lenin, Mao, and to a lesser extent Stalin, the PCE (m-l) mobilized against the dictatorship and what it understood to be US domination, calling for a ‘protracted people’s war’ and ‘people’s democracy.’

Partido Comunista de España (PCE): A communist political party that was first legalized after the proclamation of the Second Republic. As the official communist party of Spain, PCE was a major force during the Civil War and Dictatorship, supporting armed resistance until 1956, when it adopted the strategy of national reconciliation. Under the leadership of Santiago Carrillo, the party embraced Eurocommunism and participated in the Transition. Because of its role as the main party of opposition during the Dictatorship, the PCE was popularly referred to as “el partido.”

Partido del Trabajo de España (PTE): A political association founded in 1975, when the Partido Comunista de España (Internacional) (PCE(i)) changed its name to Partido del Trabajo de España (PTE) and adopted a federal structure.

Partido Nacionalista Vasco (PNV): A Basque nationalist party founded in 1895 with Christian democratic affiliations. Throughout its history the PNV has had leftwing and conservative factions. Consequently, different parts of the party fought on both sides of the Civil War. Since the Transition, the party has played a central role in Basque politics.

Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista (POUM): A communist political party influenced by the thinking of Leon Trotsky. Formed by Andreu Nin and Joaquín Maurín in 1935, POUM opposed the Stalinist form of communism promoted by the Soviet Union. During the Civil War, POUM grew larger than the official Communist Party of Spain, the Partido Comunista de España (PCE) .

Partido Popular (PP): A conservative Christian democratic political party founded in 1976 with the participation of many former Francoists.

Partido Republicano Radical (PRR): A republican political party that operated between 1908 and 1936. The PRR played a minor role in Spanish parliamentary life before becoming a leading political force during the Second Republic.

Partido Socialista Obrero Española (PSOE): A socialist political party founded in 1879 by Pablo Iglesias Posse that became a major political force during the Second Republic and Civil War. PSOE was defined as a working-class, socialist and Marxist party until the Transition, when it abandoned Marxism and became one of the two majority political parties in Spain.

Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC): A communist political party active in Catalunya between 1936 and 1997. It was the Catalan referent of the Partido Comunista de España (PCE). The party played a major role in the defense of the Second Republic during the Civil War, as an underground opposition party during the Dictatorship, and as a mass party during the Transition.

Pax Cristi: An international Catholic peace movement that focuses on human rights, disarmament, demilitarization, and nonviolence.

Political Ideology : Ideology that advocates social, political and economic organization of human life. Use when an interviewee is discussing political ideas or theories, such as anarchism or communism, as opposed to the activities of a specific political association. Depending on context, it can be used in combination with specific entites from the Workers Union  and Political Association  lists.

Political Persecution: Persecution of an individual or group within society for political reasons, for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take part in the political life of a society thereby reducing their standing among their fellow citizens.

Politicization: The process of becoming or being made politically aware, as well as the action of causing an activity or event to become political in character.

Postwar: The time period occurring directly after the Civil War in Spain (1939- early-1950s) and World War II in Europe(1945-1949), characterized by death, physical destruction, and economic hardship.

Present: The time period in which the interview is taking place. Although the narration of the past is always shaped by the present, restrict the use of the term to instances when an interviewee is explicitly referring to current events or reflecting on their current life circumstances.

Propaganda: Form of communication used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. Following the Spanish usage, the term is to be used in a value-free manner without negative connotation.

Protest : A public statement or action that expresses objection to events, policies, or conditions. Can be used to describe a range of activities including, but not limited to: demonstrations, strikes, marches, boycotts, riots, pickets, information distribution, lawsuits, and commemorative acts.

Public Memory Policies: Legal provisions governing the interpretation of a historical event that showcase legislative or judicial preference for a certain narrative about the past. For example, the Amnesty Law of 1977 and the Historical Memory Law of 2007.


Rationing: Controlled distribution of scarce resources, goods, or services.

Religion: A system of faith and worship.

Religious Persecution: Systematic mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs, affiliations, or lack thereof.

Renovación Española (RE): A monarchist political party active during the Second Republic that advocated for the restoration of Alfonso XIII.

Reparations: Compensation given for an abuse or injury, especially, in the Spanish context, for loss suffered during or as a result of the Civil War and Dictatorship.

Restriction of Movement: In the Spanish context, the policies and practices that restricted free movement, especially during the Postwar.

Revolution: Fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. In the Spanish context, the term generally refers to the social revolution that resulted in the widespread implementation of anarchist and more broadly libertarian socialist organizational principles throughout various portions of the country during the Civil War.


Sadness: Emotional pain associated with, or characterized by, feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment and sorrow. The term can be used when an interviewee recounts or expresses this emotion.

Sección Femenina (SF): The women’s branch of the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (FET y de las JONS), the sole legal party during the Dictatorship, tasked with instructing women in Francoist patriotic, religious and social morals. In 1937 Sección Femenina became an official institution when Franco entrusted it with the organization of Servicio Social de la Mujer, the compulsory equivalent of the military service for women focused on housework.

Second Republic: The time period between 1931 and 1939, when Spain was governed by a republican form of government following the deposition of Alfonso XIII. The Second Republic consisted of a reformist biennium (1931-1933) and a conservative biennium (1933-1936), presided over by Niceto Alcalá-Zamora, and a Popular Front government presided over by Juan Negrín López (1937-1939). In most cases it will make more sense to describe the time period between 1936 and 1939 as “Civil War”. Use both terms--“Second Republic; Civil War”--when an interviewee discusses the role of the republican government during the war.

Secularization: The social transformation from close identification with religious values, practices, and institutions toward nonreligious values and secular institutions.

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: An act perpetrated against a person’s will based on gender norms.The term encompasses physical, emotional, psychological or sexual violence, as well as the denial of resources or access to services.

Sexuality: The way people experience and express themselves sexually.

Shame:  A painful emotion caused by the belief that one is, or is perceived by others to be, inferior or unworthy of affection or respect because of one's actions, thoughts, circumstances, or experiences. The term can be used when an interviewee recounts or expresses this emotion.

Sociability:  The frequency and quality of social interactions, as well as the lack thereof.

Social Class: Hierarchical form of social stratification. Use when an interviewee is discussing a class-based identity or experience.

Student Movement:  Political movement composed of students. The term does not need to be used in conjunction with “Anti-Francoist Movement,” as it is understood to be a constitutive part of the broader movement.


Terra Lliure: an armed Catalan nationalist and separatist organization founded in 1978.

Torture:  Intentional infliction of physical or mental suffering upon a person, especially, in this context, as a form of repression or a means of extracting information.

Transition: Time period between 1975 and 1982, characterized by wide ranging social and political transformations as Spain transitioned from a dictatorship to a democratic Constitutional Monarchy under the reign of King Juan Carlos I. The prime ministers who governed during the Transition include Carlos Arias Navarro, Adolfo Suárez, and Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, and major legislation passed during the Transition includes, but is not limited to, the 1977 Amnesty Law, the 1977 legalization of political parties, the 1978 Moncloa Pact, and the 1978 Constitution.

Trauma: an emotional response to a terrible event like a torture, rape, or disappearance that produces a long term reaction such as unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, or physical symptoms. For the purposes of this project, the term should not be used to describe events. It Use when an interviewee recounts or expresses a long term emotional response.

Travel: Movement of people between relatively distant geographical locations. Can be used with “Leisure” to denote tourism, with “Education” to denote study abroad, etc. Not to be confused with “Migration” or “Exile”.

Tribunal de Orden Público: A court that operated during the Dictatorship between 1963 and 1977 to deal with most political crimes. Although the main goal of the court was to repress political crimes, it could not issue death penalties, as they could only be issued by military courts. Therefore, the most serious political and terrorist crimes were dealt with by the military courts, whose death sentences had to be signed by Franco personally.

Tribunal Especial para la Represión de la Masonería y el Comunismo: A court that operated during the Dictatorship between 1940 and 1963 to punish freemasons, communists, and other underground associations.


Underground Activity: Something that is done in secret because it is illegal or shocking. Can be used in conjunction with “Militancy” to describe illegal or semi-legal political activity during the Dictatorship, as well as “Propaganda” to describe the creation and distribution of illegal oppositional materials, such as newspapers and broadsides.

Unión de Centro Democrático (UCD): A right-centrist electoral coalition, and later Christian democratic party, that operated between 1977 and 1983 under the leadership of Adolfo Suárez.

Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT): a major Spanish trade union, historically affiliated with the Partido Socialista Obrero Española (PSOE).


Work: An economic activity that includes both paid and unpaid forms of labor, such as domestic work, charity, and volunteering.

World War II: Time period between 1939 and 1945, when global war raged between the Allied and Axis powers. Depending on context, this time period term can be used on its own, or in conjunction with other coterminous periods, such as “Dictatorship” and “Exile.”

Additional Resources

Oral History Tutorials and Guides

Reference Works, Databases, and Secondary Literature on the War and Dictatorship

Please join the public Zotero library The Spanish Civil War and Franco Dictatorship to find and share relevant sources.

[1]  This annotated Project Manual has been created for pre-circulation at the UC San Diego Spanish History Symposium, Winter 2021. It is not intended for broader distribution.

[2]  José María García Márquez et al., Violencia roja y azul: España, 1936-1950  (Barcelona: Crítica, 2010). Paul Preston, The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain (London: Harper Press, 2013). Antonio Cazorla Sánchez, Fear and Progress: Ordinary Lives in Franco’s Spain, 1939-1975  (Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). James Matthews, ed., Spain at War: Society, Culture and Mobilization , 1936-44 (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019).

[3]  Paloma Aguilar Fernández, Memory and Amnesia: The Role of the Spanish Civil War in the Transition to Democracy  (New York: Berghahn Books, 2008).

[4]  Marco, Jorge. “Francoist Crimes: Denial and Invisibility, 1936–2016.” Journal of Contemporary History 52, no. 1 (January 2017): 157–63. .

[5]  Carlos Jerez Farrán and Samuel Amago, Unearthing Franco’s Legacy: Mass Graves and the Recover of Historical Memory in Spain , (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2010).

[6]  To learn more about the SCWMP see, Luis Martin Cabrera and Andrea Davis, “The Spanish Civil War Memory Project: Constructing and Enhancing a Digital Archive,” Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies  43, no. 1 (2018), For a review of the Law of Historical Memory and the debates that immediately preceded its ratification see, Carolyn Boyd, “The Politics of History and Memory in Democratic Spain,” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , 1 (2008): 133–148, For a more comprehensive analysis, see Sebastiaan Faber, Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War  (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2018), especially chapters 1 and 4.

[7]  Alison Riberiro de Menezes, Antonio Cazorla-Sánchez, and Adrian Shubert, eds., Public Humanities and the Spanish Civil War: Connected and Contested Histories (New York, NY: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2018), 30.

[8]  “The Socio-Technical Sustainability Roadmap – The Visual Media Workshop, University of Pittsburgh,” accessed June 3, 2020,

[9]  These rights are adapted from Haley Di Pressi et al., “A Student Collaborators’ Bill of Rights,” Center for Digital Humanities - UCLA, June 8, 2015,

[10]  This section is adapted from the Baylor University Institute for Oral History, “Style Guide: A Quick Reference for Editing Oral History Transcripts,” (2018).; the Smithsonian Institute’’s “TC Sound- Transcribing Audio Collections Instructions,” ; and the Guilford College Hege Library guide to “Oral History: Best Practices and Procedures: Resources and tips for conducting and recording interviews for oral history and course community projects,”

[11]  This section is adapted from the 2017 “OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer) USER GUIDE”  and more recent updates announced in OHMS News | OHMS.

[12]  This section is adapted from Doug Boyd et al., “Indexing Interviews in OHMS,” Oral History in the Digital Age , accessed May 14, 2020,

[13]  Ibid.

[14]  “The titles in the OHMS Viewer function as a table of contents, offering the user a quick glimpse of the contents of the interview. When creating a title for a segment in OHMS, it is helpful to do so in a way that assumes that if a user/researcher never opens the title tab to explore content further, they would still understand the essence of the content of a segment and of the overall interview. The titles within an OHMS index are the primary access point for browsing the contents of an interview.”Doug Boyd et al., “Indexing Interviews in OHMS,” Oral History in the Digital Age , accessed May 14, 2020,

[15]  Ibid.

Andrew H Lee:

project’s (extra space and the apostrophe is misoriented)

Andrew H Lee:


Andrew H Lee:


Wendy Kurtz:

When we began the 12-month grant period, we initially had project interns transcribe and translate the same testimony before moving onto the next. An affiliate faculty member was then to review both the transcription and translation. As Andrea explains here, we soon shifted to prioritize the transcription of all the videos. The focus on completing discreet steps in the project workflow (first transcription, then translation) not only immediately adds a crucial level of accessibility by providing manual captioning to the testimony but having access to the transcripts adds an entirely new level of scholarship potential. By applying computational text analysis methodologies to the transcripts, we can begin to draw connections to the testimonies in the archive but potentially make connections across multiple collections. Computational text analysis is already being done on other archival testimonies (see the Shoah Foundation archive and the work of Todd Presner). Opening the SCWMP archive to the potential of computational text analysis will not only enrich our understanding of the archive but allow for dialogue with other archives of testimonial narratives.

Andrea Davis:

Building a custom subject thesaurus was a particularly challenging task. Initially, Andrew H. Lee and I explored the possibility of using a translated version of the Catalan-language thesaurus developed by Memorial Democràtic ( While we adopted some of Memorial Democràtic’s terms and hierarchies, we ultimately decided that their thesaurus did not match our project needs. As we clarified those needs, we built this thesaurus with the following principles in mind:

  • To use language that separates a person's identity from his/her circumstance—i.e. Detention rather than Prisoner.  

  • To use authority records whenever possible, especially for entities, such as political parties and associations.

  • To use broad themes—such as Education, Religion, and, Political Persecution—to best accommodate public and scholarly audiences.

Gant Roberson:

In addition to the academic applications, the potential importance of this archive for current political activists is a less evident but perhaps equally important function of this project. One of the primary roles of an activist is the creation of organizational strategies based on an informed understanding of the prevailing societal conditions. This understanding can be enriched by a comparative study of other societies, particularly those in the past where outcomes can be analyzed. The period of Spanish history under the purview of this project can be quite emblematic of universal political issues - of course within the specific context of 20th century Spanish society - such as political polarization, the role of trade unions, religious and state institutions, the social basis of political organization, and the birth and decline of democratic institutions, among many others. 

Activists can benefit greatly from an understanding of the development and evolution of political culture, particularly in its origins and in the social nature of shared politics. The sharing of lived experiences and storytelling, the development of diverse community spaces, intergenerational communication, and political education that is independent of state institutions are all deeply embeded in many of these narratives, and listening to the perspectives of individuals who were directly engaged in these sorts of developments can help activists to better understand their place within the particular society that they inhabit, and help to facilitate more informed attempts at social change.

Broadly speaking, effective activism is driven by a recognition of the immediate implications of political and social action coupled with a broader understanding of the historical and material caracter of the society itself - rooted in the perspective of an individual in a particular moment in time, but also informed by the past and present experiences of others in diverse political and social contexts. In this archive, modern activists can derive information from a rich diversity of such contexts, spanning from the Second Republic to the Francoist Dictatorship and later transition to democracy. Seeing how individual actors responded to the dramatic social and political changes in 20th century Spain can speak very strongly to the development of flexible tactics and attitudes, and inform a more effective base for activism.

Gant Roberson:

The theme of intergenerational memory is complex and multifaceted, and intimately related to the subject matter of this project. Of particular evidence throughout this series of interviews is the enormous gap between experiences before and after 1939. The Second Spanish Republic, despite its flaws, opened the floodgates for diverse political organization and expression. Tragically, the contradictions in Spanish society resulted in a violent civil war, and the vibrant intergenerational political exchange and education through family ties and cultural spaces such as the ateneos gave way to a fierce imposition of silence that would dampen the collective memory for nearly 40 years of dictatorship.

In large part, those interviewed in this project were in their adolescence during the war and its aftermath, and their early familial and cultural experiences are intimately related to the construction of their narratives. While the dramatic changes in Spanish society in the early 20th century certainly created barriers to intergenerational communication as they continue to do in many ways today, there was none that prevented the collective acknowledgement of past events and the capacity to storytell lived experiences in such a way that compared to the imposition of silence thrust upon Spain by Franco's authoritarian regime after the Nationalist victory in the Civil War.

This silence was pervasive even within individual families. Parents were afraid to mention to their children what had happened to Republican family members after the war, and particularly for those who were directly engaged in subversive activities, there was a simple acknowledgement that this part of their life could never be discussed, even amongst those closest to them. In the interview of Augustí Barrera who was born after the war, he recalled never having had a political discussion with his father. This was despite the fact that both men had been involved in revolutionary organizing in their youth and shared many ideological affinities - a fact that he tragically only discovered after his father’s death.

There is a distinct difference in tone between the narratives of those who came of age before and after 1939. Many of those who were born before the war were the ones who were forced to flee, and could only return to their country of birth decades later. Those born after were often the children of those who chose to stay and maintain a strict silence. These would be the ones to carry the torch of the struggle during the Franco regime. 

With half a million dead, another half million fleeing to France before scattering across the globe, and the imposition of state terror that included executions, forced dissapearances, and torture, the amount of stories cut short and untold are incalculable. The ultimate, and tragic, result of this series of events is the disconnect between the Spanish people and its history - a collective loss of memory that stunted the free development of political thought and cultural dialogue for half a century. A common thread in many of these interviews is a lament of the state of contemporary Spanish society and the political awareness of the younger generations. You can't quite blame them, however, as political development in a social context is something that can only be built upon over time through the work of subsequent generations, an experience that Spain did not have the privilege of having in the 20th century. 

In a way this project is seeking to rectify this tragedy of lost memory. Keeping these stories alive through documentation and digital archiving will ensure that they will have a chance at making an impact on future generations.

Ascenett Martinez-Lopez:

The theme of youth and adulthood in this project brings about many questions about categorization. Many of the interviews in this project touch on the subject of growing up, specifically the participation of older teens in political organizations before, during, and after the war. Throughout the interviews, the interviewees talk about the beginnings of their involvement in the war or resistance to the Francoist regime happening in their late teen years. This brought me to question whether there should be a further distinction in the subject theme of “family" by allotting “youth" its category in the “society" subject category. After bringing up my query during one of the team’s biweekly meetings, it became clear how complex the concept of “youth” is concerning this project.

Separating “youth” as its theme could be considered problematic as many of the accounts about the interviewees’ participation in youth political organizations is integrally connected to political youth groups led by older aged individuals. It is also problematic because there is no clear moment that defines the end of youth and the start of adulthood. Many of the interviewees continued to participate in youth organizations well after their teen years. Which brings the question of when does someone stop being part of the “youth” category? Is it broken down by age or by participation and maturity, which its definition is problematic onto itself? However, one must also keep in mind that “youth” as a theme, aside from family interactions, also encompasses, among others, school experiences, friendships, neighborhood relations, and personal reflections of the occurring events. The complexity of the term “youth” in this project is one that could be further discussed in order to clarify experiences.

Catherine Ramey:

During this project, the transcriptions and group discussions have encouraged me to reflect on the importance of oral histories in the recording of history. Written sources present numerous events at a general understanding; however, personal stories uncover the intricacies of each event. For example, in my transcription of the interview with Pere Basté, he talks about his experiences working with the Red Cross in Barcelona during the Civil War. He recounts a particular experience in which his team was sent to dig through the ruins of a bombing. During the search, he heard a child crying for help, the team dug out the child, and the child was quickly sent to the hospital in an ambulance. However, ten minutes later, the ambulance returned; the child had died on the way.

Basté’s story has stuck in my mind because it is a story that will not receive attention in the histories of the Spanish Civil War. A child dying minutes after being discovered at an explosion site is unlikely to make its way into the written sources. Perhaps this devastating story lives on solely in the memories of Pere Basté. For this reason, oral histories are essential to understanding lived experiences that are not necessarily represented in the written sources. Most importantly, the methods of oral history uncover stories that otherwise would have continued in silence.

As an MA student in history who specializes in the history of education in Angola, I have realized how necessary it will be for me to conduct interviews for my research. Angola was colonized by the Portuguese and the majority of the written records come from Portuguese colonists and Canadian/American missionaries. These colonial records will not accurately represent the Angolans about whom they are writing, nor will they include seemingly “insignificant” moments (such as Pere Basté’s personal story). Oral histories present opportunities to share the unwritten experiences and personal histories of oppression. Although I knew that oral histories were important before this project, I did not consider the detailed retellings and new information that they provide. People can be silenced in the moment and in the written records, but memories live on, are passed down, and are retold to challenge the silences in the historical records.

Vicent Moreno:

In the last twenty-five years, however, the Spanish field of cultural production (i.e. novels, films, etc.) has seen a big output of fictional works dealing with the Civil War and its aftermath, to the point of creating a sort of informal subgenre, “guerracivilista”. This fictional interest in the Civil War has had its translation in academia, where departments of Spanish across the US have produced a myriad of articles, courses, and thesis about the Civil War. For those of us in the field of Spanish teaching undergraduate students in American universities, a project such as this opens new possibilities and creates interesting challenges. The access to “real” materials such as these testimonies offer a novel, direct, and unadulterated vision of the Spanish conflict that complements the fictionalized versions found in novels or films that tend to have a clear narrative and a superimposed, sometimes superficial meaning. In other words, the “messiness”, so to speak, of oral testimonies are a great way to encourage critical thinking and engage students by having them problematize the fictional accounts with what they gather from these annotated testimonies. Going forward, an interesting addition to the project would be to link to each testimony cultural products that relate to what's being told in the testimony.

Macarena Tejada Lopez:

Non-verbal sounds (NVS) or body language during the interview has been frequently discussed during our group meetings to address the difficulty of indexing emotions. There are two types of NVS in my perspective. On one hand, the speaker may gesture to reinforce the verbal message, for example to speak about money, nodding repeatedly, or moving the hand up and down to express vertical direction. On the other, a facial gesture such as an involuntary bitting of the lower lip, clenching a fist, or giggling that pauses or interrupts the narration of a sad experience may convey even more information than verbal speech, mainly about the stage the stage the interviewee is in the process of trauma. While transcribing, we observe that the speaker’s struggle to put into words a moment in their life that continues to be painful despite de pass of time.

Indexing these non-verbal cues poses some challenges to the transcription and the translation. Firstly, the transcriber has to make a correct reading of the NVS to reflect it in the body of text accurately. Several variables come into play here: (1) the nature of the NVS, as it is not always so easy as [laughing] or [crying], (2) the level of empathy on the side of the transcriber, and (3) finding the right word of phrase that describes the emotion. Secondly, and connected to the latter, there is a question of vocabulary, as I find it more difficult to find the right word in Spanish than in English. Also, we need to ask ourselves whether this NVS can be described in one word or it needs a longer phrase, and how it impacts the space it may take in the transcription and translation. As a result, there is a probability for the Spanish and English version of the same interview to show differences on the account of emotions.

Alexia Orengo Green:

We decided to not reproduce dialects and accents on the transcriptions and translations to guarantee clarity and correct interpretation and representation of the interviewees and their stories, while simultaneously avoiding racial, cultural, class, and geographical stereotypes.[1]Moreover, this ensures that transcribers and translators are being objective when writing the interviews as they will be writing what the interviewee and interviewer are saying without adding their own interpretation.

 As the transcribers and translators are writing solely what they hear the interviewee and interviewer say, the transcription and translation automatically becomes clearer as it is a direct reflection of the interview. This captures the message and story that the interviewee wants to communicate ensuring proper interpretation and representation of both the interviewee and their narrative. By not replicating the dialects and accents of the interviewees, transcribers and translators refrain from “othering” the interviewee. This is important as the dialect or accent the interviewee may have could be used to silence them, marginalize them, or to homogenize their story.[2] Through the transcription and translation of interviews, this project wants to ensure that all narratives are represented in an honest, respectful, and correct way.

Furthermore, the inclusion of dialects and accents on the transcriptions and translations can perpetuate racial, cultural, class, and geographical stereotypes, which will negatively impact the interview, interviewee, and the story that the interviewee is narrating. Stereotypes can influence how the audience interprets the narrative and views the interviewee, thus not only negatively impacting the study of the interview, but also reinforce harmful stereotypes.  In our project we want to demonstrate the importance of the individual narratives and range of experiences all subjects had. Not including dialects and accents, will ultimately allow for the proper, accurate, and respectful study and analysis of the interviewees and their narratives.


[1]  Lauren Tilton, “Race and Place: Dialect and the Construction of Southern Identity in the Ex-Slave Narratives,” Current Research in Digital History 2 (2019):

[2] Ibid.

Eloisa Cervantes:

On a contemplative note, the translation itself proved to be less uniform and less easily guided by instruction or guidelines than transcription was. We addressed this in our group meetings and compiled a list of literature regarding translation theory and practice to guide our approaches to translation and to prompt reflection about the translation process itself.

One of the main features of translation is that the role of the translator is an important variable. This may seem obvious in hindsight, but the translator depends on their knowledge of the languages involved. This is of course different for each team member as we have different experiences with when and how we have used Spanish and English in our lives, including which linguistic varieties we know and how well. We also differ by how we cognitively map these from one language to another in addition to the personal or academic values that shape how we interpret the message from the source language and represent it in the translation.

Another factor that may create variability in how we approach translation are the academic disciplines we come from and our experiences with certain text types and styles, such as with spoken versus written language and standard versus non-standard speech [1].

Clearly, these factors are not easy to manipulate, but it is useful to reflect upon them during the translation process in order to assess strengths and weaknesses that need particular attention at the individual or collective level to produce better translations together. Another element to be constantly conscious of is with respect to the purpose of translation—why are you translating, and for whom are you translating? Remembering this may make the translation process clearer and easier to navigate. This is all with the goal of producing edited translations that go beyond the semantics of a text and convey discursive and pragmatic meanings that make up much of human communication.

[1] For example, I noticed that my Linguistics background influenced my translation style because I favoured translations that retained many linguistic features of the original language. This resulted in marked or excessively formal readings in English when the original Spanish reading was informal or not out of the ordinary. While the lexical and semantic meanings may have been accurately translated, the pragmatic or discursive meanings were not. The sentence structures should have been edited to structures that are unmarked or informal in English in order to preserve as much original meaning as possible.

Saribel Morales-Rivera:

Eloisa’s comment about the role of the translator is important and applies to the subjectivity of the transcriber as well. Our different disciplines and our knowledge of the languages involved shape how it is that we transcribe and what we can decipher from challenging sentence construction, dialects, and accents. Our workflows and reviews mitigate some of these particularities, however, interviews are not reviewed by the entirety of the team.

Eloisa Cervantes:

Translation is a core component of our project in making these interviews accessible to English-speaking researchers and viewers. Our approach to translation was subject to a change in our workflow as we realized that transcription and translation require considerably different foci and cognitive resources.

We began with a workflow where transcription and translation were done in alternation; that is, we would work on the transcription and then translation of an interview before considering it “ready for review”, before moving on to work on the next interview. Upon reviewing the first few completed transcriptions and translations, our project leaders noticed that the team produced consistently strong transcriptions, but a varying quality of translations. This led to the decision to only transcribe interviews before marking them “ready for review” with translation taking place as a separate task. Exporting Trint’s translation to Google Drive allows us to see the original transcript in Spanish in Trint with the audio and video, while working on the English translation with Drive in another window. Using Trint for both tasks proved to be difficult as translations in Trint are attached to the original transcription and cannot be easily separated into new windows unless you log-in twice. Google Drive also allows us to track changes.

We also discussed how a transcription error or amendment, if reviewed after both the transcription and translation were completed, would carry over to the translation and hence need to be corrected in both documents. Our adapted workflow helps prevent this by catching inconsistencies and transcription errors early and addressing areas that are difficult to transcribe.

Saribel Morales-Rivera:

One of the themes within the Subject Thesaurus is “Emotions/Emociones.” We have chosen 10 emotions to catalogue in the OHMS Interview Manager system.[1] The Spanish Civil War Memory Project: An Audiovisual Archive of Francoist Repression is an apt source to discuss different kinds of expression of emotions. What we categorize as “fear” or “gratitude” is based not only on our interpretations of the interviewee’s language but of the interviewee’s facial expressions, body language, and pauses. In this way, this project is able to demonstrate the embodiment of emotions. As oral historian Julie Livingston highlights her “own interviews seemed [distorted] when they were stripped of their performative and emotional qualities and reduced to texts… It mattered whether someone had laughed or cried or grown suddenly silent as they recalled or debated particular events.”[2] This project aims to connect the testimonies of the interviewees with their emotional expressions because the bodies that encompass the testimonies need to be accounted for with “close attention to the emotions it generated and expressed.”[3]


Questions remain in this project about the subjectivity of our categorizations of emotions. As a team we have not defined the term “emotion,” or have given definitions for how we read particular language or certain bodily expressions for any of the emotions we have included in the subject thesaurus. Although we are categorizing expressed emotions, we cannot comment on its authenticity, on its different manifestation as a memory rather than an immediate response to an event that is transpiring, or on the role that the people in the interview room play in manifestations of the emotion we categorize. However, we hope that by cataloguing these emotions it makes the interviews accessible to the public and to scholars of emotion, oral history, and contemporary Spain. Because we are including emotions in our keywords and tags, the general public and scholars can find not only the interviewee’s narratives but emotions that could be attached to such narratives. Similarly, scholars of these fields can object to our categorization of emotions, which is not intrinsically negative. Our interpretation of emotional expressions can also be an analytical component of using these interviews as a source material. 

[1]Although we have chosen 10 emotions to catalogue, we are not arguing for or against the existence of ‘basic’ emotions (or Basic Emotion Theory). For information on the historiographical debates surrounding ‘basic’ emotions, intentionality of emotions, and cognition see Ruth Leys, The Ascent of Affect: Genealogy and Critique (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017). Although Leys argues against Basic Emotion Theory, her monograph provides extensive information on these debates. 

[2] “AHR Conversation: The Historical Study of Emotions with Nicole Eustace, Eugenia Lean, Julie Livingston, Jan Plamper, William M. Reddy, Barbara H. Rosenwein,” The American Historical Review vo. 117, issue 5, December 2020: 1489.


Macarena Tejada Lopez:

I am wondering if the ten emotions to catalogue could be expanded? During my transcription of Cedenilla’s interview, I noticed that remembering his father’s assassination was still so painful still that he had to pause. To me, it was a display of rage mixed with powerlessness (impotencia), but none of these are included in the catalogue. However, we find the term “trauma”, but this one seems abstract because how does one display trauma? It seems to be a broader category that includes many of the emotions listed above.