The OpenLIVES Project

open lives
OpenLIVES (Learning Insights from the Voices of Emigrés from Spain) is an open, accessible, digitized collection of important life history interviews of Spanish Civil War survivors who have emigrated to the UK.  In addition to interviews, the collection contains digitized images that are to be shared, repurposed, or remixed for teaching. Teachers and students from the Universities of Leeds, Southampton and Portsmouth (UK) have transcribed, translated, summarized and even illustrated the interviews in order that they can be used by a wide variety of users.

If you teach the Spanish language, if you study the Spanish Civil War, or the topics of Historical Memory, Refugees, Immigration… I encourage you to explore this collection.

As explained in this brief video, teachers have taken this incredibly rich repository of human stories and storytelling and included  their students as creators/producers of content and in turn developed skills in interviewing, ethnographic research, writing, and documentary film making.

The video is narrated by Kate Borthwick, from the Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area StudiesUniversity of Southampton   (one of the leads in the OpenLIVES project) and features teachers who have worked closely with the collection over the past year.


In the US, we seem to be stumbling a bit over what to call practices such as these ,  or worrying about how we can effectively include students and peer institutions into a creative, collaborative process using open resources.  The OpenLIVES project gives a great example of the latter…and the former doesn’t really seem to be an issue. 🙂

For more information, check out these links…

~An explanation of the goals and intended outcomes of the project can be found here.

~The blog for the project, that contains news as well as links to presentations made by team members can be seen here.

~To view an example of learning resources created by a class at the University of Leeds using the OpenLIVES materials, click here.



Series Navigation<< SpinTX: Open and Authentic Spanish language videos for teaching and learningAn Open Assignment Bank… for Languages >>

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: