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Soul of the Reconstruction

The interviews were conducted in connection with Rotterdam viert de Stad in 2016, a cultural event around the commemoration of reconstruction, and the term ‘reconstruction’ should be interpreted broadly in this collection. For example, in addition to architects and municipal workers from the post-war period, Rotterdammers with a migration background and younger Rotterdammers were interviewed about their views on life in the Maasstad.


Initially, the aim of the Soul of Reconstruction project was not to conduct specific historical research, but to compile an audio book of the same name for a broad audience. This book consists of four CDs with excerpts from the interviews, accompanied by a short description of the persons interviewed. These descriptions have been included in DANS. 


The interviews have been deposited with DANS. The Rotterdam Municipal Archives holds the collection. The process of making the collection available online was carried out by the Erasmus Studio at Erasmus University Rotterdam. They took care of the metadata of the collection, tested automatic speech recognition and created a standard workflow for this process, so that institutions in the future will know which steps to take when they want to make interviews available for research in the Media Suite.

The interviews are almost entirely in Dutch and consist of an audio recording with an accompanying transcript. These transcripts vary greatly in quality: many of them are incomplete and some only have time indications for subjects.


Of the total of 86 interviews, not all will be uploaded at once due to privacy statements not being complete yet. This is why, for the time being, not all interviews from number 1 to 86 are online.