The final session from WebWise 2012 that I’ll be reporting on is creating and preserving oral history collections. If you think that oral histories are just about recording hour-long interviews with oldtimers, the digital age has changed that considerably. Not only are oral histories collected digitally, but they are being presented in many new ways, including audio tours, podcasts, radio programs, and in websites. Remember, if you want the complete details, the videos from WebWise are now available at online and you’ll find this session on Day Two.
Eileen McAdam discussed how she was using 21st century tools to reach new audiences. She’s been working for many years to engage people in the Hudson Valley through stories through the Sound and Story Project of the Hudson Valley. Rather than deliver audio tours as lectures, she presents stories from the people who live there. She noted that it was difficult to find oral histories that were recorded previously (often they’re not catalogued or easily available) which led to a partnership project to identify what had been done, conduct condition assessments, access the content, and then use the materials to engage new audiences. Much of the initial growth of oral histories came with the availability of inexpensive cassette tape recorders in the 1970s and this project’s work was to graduate these collections to digital formats. In her presentation, she outlined the process of digitizing and editing files to select compelling content and create 1-2 minute stories, recommending Audacity (free), Garage Band (comes with Mac), and Hindenburg (inexpensive), and providing some examples of edited snippets and presentation methods, including Continue reading