Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tomorrow: Streaming Audio and SMIL for Oral Histories

I'm very excited that tomorrow I will be attending the day-long workshop "Streaming Audio and SMIL for Oral Histories," sponsored by OCLC and presented by Trevor Bond. Billed as a "nontechnical" overview of the technology required for digital capture and presentation of oral histories, I expect to gain just enough knowledge to make me dangerous. So, the OHSU Library Web Manager will be accompanying me, to clamp down on outrageously ambitious project requests in the future.

Presently, we have a list of all oral histories collected as part of the OHSU Oral History Program; PDF and HTML versions of the indexes for each processed interview; and an Oral History Master Index (which we refer to as the OHM Index) which allows searching across the individual indexes. The catalog records for each of the processed interviews link back to the individual index, providing a bit of a crosswalk back to our site and more information about the Program (example).

When the Program began back in 1997, the developers had the great foresight to create permissions release forms that do permit the online (re)publication of both audio and video portions of the interviews. While we have, to date, lacked the resources to fully exploit the opportunities provided by web for presenting oral histories, we continue to watch developments in online oral history collections--including those at Trevor Bond's home institution, Washington State University.

We hope to begin to present some of the wealth of material collected in our Oral History Program on the web soon--so stay tuned!

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