Vlatka Lemić, Local coordinator of They: Live project in Zagreb, Croatia

Vlatka Lemić, Local coordinator of They: Live project in Zagreb, Croatia

Assistant professor Vlatka Lemić, Ph. D. works at University of Zagreb as Head of Archival Office. She has Ph. D. in the information sciences in the field of achivistics. From 1998 till 2018 worked in the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb in the area of reference services, information systems, publishing and presenting archival records, registers, development and documentation services and international cooperation. She was Director of Croatian State Archives from 2013 till 2016. From 2003 teaches archival studies at Zagreb University and participates in various educational and professional programs and projects. During professional career she participated and lectured at various professional meetings and conferences in Croatia and abroad and published more than 80 works in Croatian and foreign publications. She is actively engaged in various international projects in the field of information and archival sciences, culture and digital humanities (Creative Europe, DARIAH, AERI). She is vice president of ICARUS, president of ICARUS Croatia and member of ICA EURBICA Executive Board and EGSHAH.  She is actively engaged in various international projects and initiatives in the field of information and archival sciences, culture and digital humanities (Creative Europe, Time Machine, DARIAH, AERI). She is vice president of ICARUS, president of ICARUS Croatia, member of ICA EURBICA Executive Board and EGSHAH, Time Machine Ambassador and member of Europeana Advisory Board.

What attracted you to participate in They: Live Project?

During several decades of my work in the archive service I have been involved in areas such as specialised archives and their contents, archive accessibility and users, archive interaction with the community and numerous other similar topics, so the theme of archiving student life immediately attracted me personally.As I work at the university archive, I am well-aware that these materials have not been systematically preserved, so this is why they are today mainly kept in private collections.

In addition, the diverse profiles of project partners correspond to contemporary professional archiving trends, which are focused on inter-disciplinary co-operations and approaches to research and interpretation of archive materials, so this project has naturally complemented the activities of ICARUS Croatia.

In what way are the activities of ICARUS Croatia integrated in They: Live Project?

The role of ICARUS Croatia in the project is mainly focused on education and provision of advisory support to partners in the area of digital archiving, use of methods and techniques of participatory archive practices and support in collection and publication of partners’ materials in virtual archive collections. The digital infrastructure for storing and publication of collected audio-visual material in the framework of the project was established through the international collaborative digital platform Topotheque, which is administered by ICARUS. In addition, our activities also include collection of audio-visual material documenting lives of the University of Zagreb’s students from 1950’s to present, which will be presented within the network in They: Live Zagreb Topotheque collection and on the project’s network page.

To what extent are digitalised materials on student life represented in European online collections and how will They: Live project contribute to this form of archiving on a broader level?

Numerous digital platforms, an extensive base of associates and cultural heritage networks, from Europeana to different thematic portals, have been developed in Europe in the last decade by means of co-operation of the archival community with institutions and experts of different backgrounds in the framework of different international projects.Students and student life are the topics that are not particularly well represented in those digital contents, given that digital records from various public archives related to students are dispersed in different collections and funds. More documentation on student life can be found in university archives, but such records, even when digitalised, are most frequently connected with other heritage digital collections. The idea of They: Live Project for setting up a platform aimed at documenting student life can significantly contribute to the research of different student activities and creation of a virtual archive, by means of which this content will be incorporated into European digital cultural platforms.

Did you, during your studies, live on a campus, or visited some of them while socialising with your fellow students? Do you have personal photographs from the time of your studies, and how important are they now for you?

Given that I was born in Zagreb, where I also studied, I have never experienced the life on campus, but during my student years I visited friends who lived on campus. Unfortunately, I don’t have many photographs from my student years, because at that time, the photo camera was not frequently a part of the student kit, but the photographs taken in ‘photographing occasions’ are fond memories and I remember the circumstances in which each of them is taken. 

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