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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday June 26, 2013

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

89 Voices: fascinating first-hand accounts from 1989

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Today, Neil Bates, Marketing Specialist at Europeana, talks about a new engagement concept around Europeana 1989 that builds a personal connection between the stories and objects being digitised.

You’ve probably heard about our latest project, Europeana 1989, an initiative that asks people to share their own stories, photos, videos and sound recordings of the revolutions of Eastern Europe in 1989. The result will be a fascinating archive for present and future generations that can be explored for learning, personal interest and research work. Europeana 1989 is a collaboration between 11 partner institutions, Historypin and the Europeana Foundation.

The Europeana 1989 project kicked off with the first collection day in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday 8 June. Many Warsovians came to the House of History to share personal memories and belongings that paint a picture of what the changes in 1989 meant to them.

On the back of the collection days, we want to dig a little deeper and build a stronger personal connection between the different objects we are digitising and the stories being recorded. Through 89 Voices, we’ve created an oral history and social engagement initiative that aims to record and preserve 89 fascinating first-hand accounts from individuals who experienced the fall of communism and the reunification of Europe. 89 Voices will interview 89 people who bring their objects and unique stories to collection days in Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany and the Baltic States.

Recording a story from Sarmīte Ēlerte (56) at Europeana 1989 collection day in Warsaw.

The 89 audio recordings will highlight personal historical information about individuals, families, important events, and everyday life during the revolutions of 1989. 89 Voices adds a new element to Europeana’s already successful collection days and strives to record valuable information from different perspectives that cannot be found in photographed objects or written sources.

Press play to listen to Anna's story.

Anna Misiewicz (32) from Warsaw talks about the objects she brought along to the Europeana 1989 collection day and the memories associated with them.

The project uses Tumblr and SoundCloud, and will continue until 2014, the 25th anniversary of the start of the revolutions of Eastern Europe. SoundCloud is the world’s leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere. Through SoundCloud, poeple can record and upload sounds, and share them privately with their friends or publicly on blogs, sites and social networks.

Visit and meet the people who experienced an extraordinary year.