Rickard Domeij

SpeakingUp -- Making spoken cultural heritage accessible for research

Speech recordings comprise a seriously underutilized resource of the Swedish memory institutions. Inaccessible speech material conceals a wealth of information of great interest for the humanities and social sciences (HS). The amount of data is huge. Paradoxically, this contributes to the materials not being used: speech is extremely challenging to work with and is unmanageable without appropriate tools.

The overall aim of the project is to make Sweden's archival treasure of recorded speech accessible for HS research. SpeakingUp is conducted by the Institute for Language and Folklore (ISOF), KTH and Digisam.

Speech technology can be used to analyze large volumes of data automatically. Such methods have been successfully applied in HS research using speech recorded expressly for this purpose. Archival materials are recorded in different conditions for other purposes. The project will adapt and develop speech technological methods for analyzing archival material. Through close cooperation between HS researchers and language technologists, we ensure that these methods can be practically useful for research in speech material in memory institutions.

SpeakingUP will contribute to the use of new methods to access and process large amounts of recorded speech. This will open new paths of accessibility to ISOF's collections for researchers and other users. Other resource holders, not least of all Swedish memory institutions with speech archives, will benefit from the results.
Grant administrator
The Institute for Language and Folklore (SOFI)
Reference number
SEK 9,771,000.00
Collections and Research
Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)