Oral History and Digital Humanities Voice, Access, and Engagement

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-12-17
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Over the last two decades, much has changed in the world of oral history, as technology has opened up a wide range of possibilities for presentation and preservation of material. The doors of the archives have been blown from their hinges - and "access" has come to have a completely different meaning. This results in expectations for access and engagement that are vastly different than they were a mere twenty years ago. This innovative book examines the theoretical and practical developments that have occurred in the practice of oral history since digital audio and video became practical working formats. Over the years, the digital revolution has changed how oral historians conceptualize projects, how they deal with ethical issues, how they process their materials, how they think about sound and video, and how materials are made accessible. All of this has placed oral history squarely in the middle of the conversation about digital humanities. Each chapter covers a different groundbreaking project in the history of digital oral history from the perspective of the project's organizer, explaining the reasons those projects were developed in the first place, how the researchers solved problems they faced, and how the solutions evolved over time with advancing technologies. Most pertinently, they discuss how the problems that started them on their digital paths are being dealt with currently and what they see for the future of oral history. The result is an illuminating survey of oral history's digital evolution, distilling the insights of pioneers in the field and applying them to the constantly changing electronic landscape of today.

Author Biography

Douglas A. Boyd is the Director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries. Boyd led the team that envisioned, designed and implemented the open source OHMS system (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer), which connects textual searches to correlating moments in the audio or video files online. He is currently directing the IMLS National Leadership Grant OHMS: Enhancing Access and Discovery of Oral History Online to create OHMS compatibility with popular systems such as Omeka and CONTENTdm. He also managed the IMLS grant project Oral History in the Digital Age, a national initiative establishing current best practices for collecting, curating and disseminating oral histories.

Mary Larson is the Head of the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program, the Doris Neustadt Professor of Library Service at Oklahoma State University, Co-Director of the Center for Oklahoma Studies at OSU, and the current President of the Oral History Association.

Table of Contents

1. Project Jukebox; William Schneider
2. CSULB Virtual Oral/Aural History Archive; Sherna Berger Gluck and Kaye Briegel
3. "I Can Almost See the Lights of Home"; Charlie Hardy
4. Summary; Doug Boyd

5. The Journal for MultiMedia History; Gerald Zahavi
6. Miami Valley Cultural Heritage Project; Marjorie McLellan
7. Telling Their Stories; Howard Levin
8. Summary; Mary Larson

9. "What Did You Do in the War, Grandma?"; Linda Wood and Robert Blumberg
10. The British Library and the BBC; TBD
11. Densho Project; Tom Ikeda and Geoff Froh
12. Summary; Dean Rehberger
Conclusion: Digital humanities scholar; TBD

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