Overcoming the archival secrecy ? the OFF-SITE research project experience

Overcoming the archival secrecy ? the OFF-SITE research project experience


The control of the collective memory of the violence that engulfed the country during a revolution, involving a radical change in political and ideological structures, is of strategic importance for the regime. Access to the Iranian archives remains under severe restrictions, and significant efforts are made by the IRI government to control information on the Web. Though, significant historical data are made available online by various actors: Iranian government bodies and organizations backed by the government, NGOs, research institutions, and Iranian diasporas. These Web historical data in its raw state form an unreliable environment. Being removed from the original archival fonds, it touches the feelings constructing the history through the emotional and imaginative appeal of associated objects. The question is how to work with these raw historical data. The CNRS-ERC project OFF-SITE aims at providing an archival ethnography of post-revolution Iran, addressing, among others, issues like integrity, authenticity and traceability of sources in digital environment. Substantial parts of this research will be available through a database built following the conceptual model of the new archival ontology RiC-O and managed by Heurist.






Natalia Pashkeeva
Post-doctoral Research Fellow, ERC Off-Site Program, CNRS (Paris), Ph.D. in History and Civilization from EHESS

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