L'Arxiu de la Memòria Oral Valenciana-Museu de la Paraula is a research project by L'ETNO, Museu Valencià d’Etnologia, pertaining to the provincial council of Valencia. The main goal is to create a biographical data bank to compile, preserve, investigate and disseminate oral testimonials about the sociocultural reality of Valencian men and women who played leading roles in the 20th century. L'Arxiu de la Memòria Oral Valenciana-Museu de la Paraula is thus fed from memory. By interviewing people aged over 75 years, their private, everyday, individual, collective knowledge and culture is spun, through and thanks to their memories, providing us with most significant cultural heritage and social practices of the past century.
The project consists of an archive of biographical data that goes way beyond a simple compilation of information. In the Arxiu de la Memòria Oral Valenciana-Museu de la Paraula we have tried not to simplify the subjects in individuals and not to dilute their discourse in opinion, since although the vital trajectories of people are not History, they are a history that needs to be told. What used to be done, how it was done and why it was done are the questions at the heart of the Arxiu de la Memòria Oral Valenciana-Museu de la Paraula. This life experience is the seed of the project. Life experiences and remembrance that can be of common interest comprise the soul of this archive. All life stories are worthy of being told, because everybody is a source of knowledge and experience.
That is the conviction behind our work. We hoard somewhere around 350 life stories. We started our fieldwork in 2002, and we published it on-line in 2010. The interviews are in audiovisual format, transcripts, indexed and available to view on the internet. These accounts tell the life stories of the interviewees and several of them are included in some of the specific projects that we have been working on at L’ETNO, Museu Valencià d’Etnologia over the years.
In the Arxiu de la Memòria Oral Valenciana-Museu de la Paraula archive four main fields of work that have traditionally existed alongside each other merge: life stories, museology, intangible heritage and new technologies.
We understand life stories (oral memory) as intangible heritage, emphasising our interest in people, their knowledge, expressions and skills, and we have made them visible through our ethnology museum, looking outwards thanks to new technologies.
The Arxiu de la Memòria Oral Valenciana-Museu de la Paraula holds a cooperation agreement with the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua (AVL).