The CroMe project is financed by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Matra Programme: supporting social transition. The Matra programme supports countries in Southeast and Eastern Europe in the transition to a pluralist and democratic society, governed by the rule of law.

Matra supports activities that encourage the process of change and strengthen relations between the Netherlands and Matra countries. The programme works with civil society and central and local authorities alike. Most projects take the form of twinning, i.e. partnership between a Dutch and a local organisation.

Croatian Memories is a joint project by Documenta, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Universiteit Twente, DANS and Noterik.

Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past

Documenta is a civil society organization providing systematic support to processes of dealing with the past in Croatia through documentation of human losses and personal memories of wars, opening and deepening public dialogue on war events and various forms of political violence and systematic work on the improvement of judicial practices and standards.

The key reason for our efforts is the experience of silenced war events and other forms of political violence in the period from 1941 until the present. We believe this fact has significantly influenced recent history of these areas and it will necessarily reflect on future generations. At the same time, a tradition of democratic values, especially human rights, has still not been established in such areas. For this reason, we believe that substantial responsibility for a serious and thorough approach to their promotion and protection lies with Croatian society at this very moment in history.

Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam

Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam is an international centre for critical thinking and academic training, driven by a strong focus on current social issues. Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam has bundled its education and research in three domains in which the university has a national and international reputation: (i) Economics and Management, (ii) Medicine and Health Sciences, and (iii) Law, Culture and Society. The principal tasks of Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam are the generation and transfer of knowledge proceeding from a high degree of social engagement. To this end, the university pursues knowledge in an inquiring, critical, investigative and flexible manner, with a strong international orientation. Two units have participated in Croatian Memories: the Erasmus Studio and the Erasmus School of History, Culture & Communication.

The Erasmus Studio runs an interdisciplinary research programme with as focal theme the new scholarly practices and novel sorts of knowledge acquisition facilitated by the new media and information technology. The kind of innovative historical investigations enabled by large size personal narratives, and in particular those available in multimedia formats, are considered an important thread for the envisaged research collaborations with the Erasmus School for History, Culture and Communication. A representative of this department was involved in monitoring the quality of the interviews and of the metadata.

Within the project Croatian Memories, the Erasmus Studio was involved at two levels: it coordinated the management, financial and logistic aspects of the project, and at the conceptual level it functioned as an intermediate between the technical and content related partners. The long-term goal of the ES is to develop a multidisciplinary research agenda that connects information retrieval in spoken archives to the evolving discipline of Digital Humanities.

Universiteit Twente

Universiteit Twente is a university that combines a strong profile in research with strong focus on valorisation: the transfer of scientific innovation to societal realms. The Human Media Interaction group (HMI) is one of the leading research teams in the field of the use of Speech and Language Technology and Information Retrieval in Oral History. The combination of speech technology, language technology and information retrieval technology makes it possible to realize search technology for collections of spoken documents (meetings, interviews, spoken stories, etc.). These access tools have been successfully implemented by HMI in various projects in collaboration with cultural heritage organisations applying the methods of oral history such as the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) and the Municipal Archives of Rotterdam.

Within the project Croatian Memories, HMI was involved in the technical design of the database and the development of a workflow for creating videos with aligned multilingual transcripts and metadata.


DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services) is an institute of Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Since its establishment in 2005, DANS has been storing and making research data in the arts and humanities and social sciences permanently accessible. To this end DANS itself develops permanent archiving services, stimulates others to follow suit, works closely with data managers to ensure as much data as possible is made freely available for use in scientific research. For the project Croatian Memories, DANS has offered to provide a mirror hosting service as back-up and long-term archive for the interview collection to be maintained in Croatia. Moreover, DANS will assure that the data collected will meet the internationally recognized Data-Seal-Of-Approval Standards.

Noterik Multimedia BV

Noterik BV is an online video technology software company based in Amsterdam.