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All fields in the humanities have been transformed by digital technology, but none more so than oral history.  The new book, Oral History and Digital Humanities: Voice, Access, and Engagement, published by Palgrave Macmillan, explores the impact that new technologies have had on the field.  Edited by Doug Boyd and Mary Larson, the essays in the book chronicle a number of key oral history projects, the lessons learned, as well as look to the future of the field.

“Over the last two decades, much has changed in the world of oral history, as technology has opened up a 9781137322012wide 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. …” (read more)

Doug Boyd is a long time partner with Matrix.  He served as project manager for the highly successful Matrix project, Oral History in the Digital Age, and has developed an amazing application for indexing audio and video, OHMS.  Mary Larson has be a long time associate and editor at H-Net.  I was asked to do the final essay in the collection, “[o]ral [h]istory and the [d]igital [h]umanities, that looks at the relationship between oral history and DH.

The table of contents has several contributors to Oral History in the Digital Age and is an rich representation of the field:

Part I – Orality/Aurality

Chapter 1: “Oral History in the Age of Digital Possibilities” by William Schneider
Chapter 2: “WHY DO WE CALL IT ORAL HISTORY? Refocusing on Orality/Aurality in the Digital Age” by Sherna Berger Gluck
Chapter 3: “Adventures in Sound: Aural History, the Digital Revolution, and the Making of I Can Almost See the Lights of Home: A Field Trip to Harlan County Kentucky” by Charles Hardy III
Chapter 4: “‘I Just Want to Click on it to Listen’: Oral History Archives, Orality and Usability” by Douglas A. Boyd
Part II –Discovery and Discourse
Chapter 5: “Beyond the Transcript: Oral History as Pedagogy” by Marjorie McLellan
Chapter 6: “Notes from the Field: Digital History and Oral History” by Gerald Zahavi
Chapter 7: “Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project” by Tom Ikeda
Chapter 8: “Deconstruction without Destruction: Creating Metadata for Oral History in a Digital World” by Elinor Mazé
Chapter 9: “‘We All Begin with a Story’: Discovery and Discourse in the Digital Realm” by Mary A. Larson
Part III – Oral History and Digital Humanities Perspectives
Chapter 10: “Swimming in the Exaflood: Oral History as Information in the Digital Age” by Stephen Sloan
Chapter 11: “[o]ral [h]istory and the [d]igital [h]umanities” by Dean Rehberger

Published in blog digital humanities publication


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