Oral History in the Digital Age

Oral History in the Digital Age: An IMLS Initiative to Establish Best Practices for Oral History
Oral History in the Digital Age: An IMLS Initiative to Establish Best Practices for Oral History

This past year, Doug Boyd, Director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries has managed the first year of an IMLS grant initiative to establish best practices for oral history in the Digital Age. The project partners MATRIX, Michigan State University, the Oral History Association, the American Folklore Society, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The goal is to work with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and expertise to establish best practices for oral history in all phases of the oral history process: collecting, curating, dissemination–with specific emphasis on technology, intellectual property, and digital video.

This week, the group convened in Washington, D.C. at the Library of Congress for a two-day meeting. Keynote addresses following the meeting featured Mark Kornbluh, Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky as well as Doug Oard, Professor of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Dr. Kornbluh spoke of the value of oral history in current trends of digital scholarship and Dr. Oard spoke about emerging trends with speech recognition and processing oral history. On November 4th, project manager Doug Boyd addressed the Board of Trustees at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress about the project’s progress as well as discussing emerging technologies regarding the innovative online delivery of oral history at the University of Kentucky Libraries. The IMLS project has entered its second year and will be reporting results October 2011.

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