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Friday, May 29 • 5:45pm - 6:45pm
Enhancing Access to Online Oral History: Oral history in the Digital Age (OHDA) and Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS)

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The Oral History in the Digital Age (http://ohda.matrix.msu.edu) addresses best practice for oral historians
using digital technologies. The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries has
created a web-based, system called OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer) to inexpensively and
efficiently enhance access to oral history online. OHMS provides users word-level search capability and a timecorrelated
transcript or index connecting the textual search term to the corresponding moment in the recorded
interview online.

Summary
Oral history is in a profound transition, from an extensive period when sophisticated technology meant utilizing
tape cassettes, to a time when the field has moved into the digital, networked, multi-media rich age. The transition
into a digital world, and the flexibility it brings, has changed the costs of doing oral history, standards of practice
and scholarship, and the vehicles for access. Resulting issues are deeply complex and often dynamic. Digital video
is now readily affordable, but the field remains deeply divided over its use and role. Equally important, the digital
age makes widespread access and use of both audio and video oral narratives, as well as transcripts, increasingly
affordable, but it also highlights major questions about intellectual property rights and informed consent. The Oral
History in the Digital Age (http://ohda.matrix.msu.edu) attempts to address many issues faced with new
technologies.
OHDA has over 72 essays, 12 videos, and many other resources, including an interactive review of recording
equipment called "Ask Doug," a large collection of online oral history collections, and consent forms. Oral History in
the Digital Age (OHDA) is a product of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership
project and a collaboration among the Michigan State University Museum; Michigan State University Digital
Humanities Center, Matrix; the American Folklife Center (AFC/LOC), the Library of Congress; the Smithsonian
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH); the American Folklore Society (AFS); the Louie B. Nunn Center for
Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries; and the Oral History Association.
In development with OHDA is the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS). The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral
History at the University of Kentucky Libraries has created a web-based, system called OHMS (Oral History
Metadata Synchronizer) to inexpensively and efficiently enhance access to oral history online. OHMS provides
users word-level search capability and a time-correlated transcript or index connecting the textual search term to
the corresponding moment in the recorded interview online.
In 2011, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded the Nunn Center a $195,853 National
Leadership Grant to further develop their Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS). The grant project is
designed to prepare OHMS for open source distribution and to create compatibility between OHMS and other
popular content management systems empowering institutions, both large and small, to provide an effective, usercentered
discovery interface for oral history on a large scale. In addition to developing OHMS compatibility with
open source content management systems such as OMEKA and KORA, and larger scale commercial systems such
as CONTENTdm, this project has developed multimedia tutorials instructing users on the use, installation and
deployment of OHMS within particular content management systems.
Beginning in 2013, the open source OHMS system has integrated an interview-indexing module. Instead of relying
solely on transcription, OHMS can now be utilized to create segment-level metadata that correlates to the
corresponding moment in the recorded online interview. The new interview-indexing module opens up new
capabilities for OHMS and expands possibilities for quickly providing enhanced access to far more interviews online
for a fraction of the price of transcription.

Speakers
avatar for Dean Rehberger

Dean Rehberger

Director, Michigan State University
Dean Rehberger is the Director of MATRIX and also Associate Professor in the Department of History at MSU. Dean specializes in developing digital technologies for research and teaching. He has run numerous faculty technology and workshops and given presentations for educators and cultural heritage workers from local, national and international audiences. | | Dean oversees MATRIX project planning, research and development, coordinating many... Read More →


Friday May 29, 2015 5:45pm - 6:45pm
Lincoln Room Kellogg Center

Attendees (19)