Around 1968: Activism, Networks, Trajectories

Publishing a revolutionary collection of historical interviews

french workers with placard during occupation of their factory


The Around 1968 project, based in the Faculty of History, has collected hundreds of oral history interviews with people who participated in the revolutionary events of 1968 in Europe. This international project reconsiders the political upheavals of 1968 as a historic moment: in the shadow of the Second World War, Cold War and wars of decolonisation, and in the glare of the Swinging Sixties, when a generation of young activists believed that they could change the world and at the same time change themselves.

The Around 1968 project faced technical challenges which affected the stability of its database. Moving onto the Sustainable Digital Scholarship platform has ensured that the project and its data resources will be available and protected long into the future. 
Most of these valuable oral history resources contain personal and sensitive information about the interviewees, making it important for the project to comply with data protection legislation. Figshare is certified for the storage of personal data, and the Sustainable Digital Scholarship team have processes in place to manage the handling of sensitive data.

The future of Around 1968

The Sustainable Digital Scholarship service has worked with Professor Robert Gildea and other members of the project team to transfer the interviews and their associated metadata onto the Figshare platform. This involved adding additional information not previously included in the database, improving its utility to researchers.

The main body of the Around 1968 interviews were granted under the condition that they would be made available only to those undertaking academic research. This subset of 18 interviews are available on the public Sustainable Digital Scholarship platform.

Several hundred more contain personal data that means they can only be accessed by approved academic researchers. Moving onto the Sustainable Digital Scholarship Platform has allowed the project to make this material available under restricted access, using Figshare's permission controls. The Around 1968 team have granted access to these interviews to members of Oxford University, and can grant access to members of other accredited research bodies, who can contact the team via the SDS platform.