Public participation to recover and communicate the memory of the Spanish republican exile through Digital Public History and Open Data: the e-xiliad@s project
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AuthorBocanegra Barbecho, Lidia
Digital Public HistoryOpen Datae-xiliad@s ProjectHistoria PúblicaDigital HumanitiesHumanidades Digitales
The Spanish republican exile was the result of the Republican defeat in 1939 by the Francoist army, led by the general Francisco Franco. Nearly half a million-people had to go into mass exile during the months of January and February, through the French border crossings. Many other exiles did so, months later, from Alicante to the North African coasts. These places of destination were, in most cases, places of passage to successive destination countries in Europe and, especially, in Latin America. The international nature of this historical event means that there is currently a large number of personal files scattered in different places around the world. In order to recover these stories, the e-xiliad@ project was conceived in 2009, with a Digital Humanities and Public History perspective: www.exiliadosrepublicanos.info. It is an e-project that, through a multilanguage digital platform, retrieves unpublished documents about the anonymous exiled. From the research point of view, the privileged target audience is composed by relatives and friends of the exiles and those interested in the subject. This initiative funded twice (2009 and 2011) by the General Directorate of Migrations of the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security, uses a methodology of obtaining data based on public participation from citizen science. That is, the content is generated on-line by the public at an international level, coordinated by a scientific specialist. For almost a decade, the project has been developing an online public engagement strategy for public participation based on open data, supported by a custom digital platform and its digital social networks, with more than a thousand followers. At this stage, the project recovered about five hundred unpublished archives among photographs, memories, official documents, letters and interviews, that comes associated with about two hundred completed exile records. The vast majority of these data are public, thanks to the informed consent of the author. E-xiliad@s, being an initiative that recovers the memory of the anonymous republican exiled, also acts as a digital identity place for those connected to this topic and as a space that informs society, with scientific rigor, from the field of Digital Public History.