I was introduced to oral history while completing my Master’s in Library Science at the University of North Texas. I needed to fulfill my practicum requirement, and I took a chance on an advertisement to intern at NASA-Johnson Space Center. (I grew up wanting to be an astronaut, but in high school I met AP Calculus and that dream was indefinitely deferred.)
Oral history has always been concerned with preserving the voices of the voiceless, and new technologies are enabling oral historians to preserve and present these memories in new and exciting ways. Audio projects can now turn to mapping software to connect oral histories with physical locations, bringing together voices and places.
I am a curator at a mid-sized museum in Texas. My job includes overseeing the oral history program, which was founded in 1970, two years after the museum opened. Today, the collection is home to over 1,000 oral histories on topics ranging from the ethnic groups of Texas, Texas military history, local history, traditional folk arts, immigration, and farming and ranching.
With Valentine’s Day barely a week behind us, we want to celebrate our love of oral history. To help us out, we asked Dana Gerber-Margie to tell us how she ended up in the audio world and why she loves oral history.
Two weeks ago, we published the first part of an exchange between Henry Greenspan and Tim Cole. Below, they wrap up their conversation, turning to the intellectual difficulties of taking context into consideration. The issues they raise should be of interest to all oral historians, so we want to hear from you!
Regular readers of this blog will be more than familiar with the work of both Tim Cole and Henry Greenspan. Their work offers new and powerful ways of understanding the role of space and time in oral history process and production.
As you may have heard, Wisconsinites love the people who can quickly turn our spoken words into written text. Transcriptionists are the unsung heroes of the oral history world, helping to make sure the incredible audio information stored in archives across the globe is accessible to the largest audience possible.
In the spirit of Christmas (and in honor of our all-time-favorite daytime talk show host), our present to you is a list of some of our favorite things from 2015. We hope you enjoy reading our list as much as we did writing it.
Last month, the oral history world suffered a major loss with the passing of Oral History Association Executive Director Cliff Kuhn. His work touched all of us, and many people have written far more eloquently about his life and his passion than we ever could.
During my second semester at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I took an oral history seminar with Dr. Jacquelyn Dowd Hall. It was an eye-opening experience, not only because of what I learned, but how I learned.
In two weeks, as students across the United States are enjoying their Thanksgiving break, StoryCorps wants to give us all a bit of homework. Calling it the Great Thanksgiving Listen, they are asking high school students to use their mobile app (available in iTunes or Google Play) to “preserve the voices and stories of an entire generation of Americans over a single holiday weekend.”
Some of you open a can of soup and tweet about it, others of us would never know about your tweet since we don’t use Twitter. Others at this year’s Oral History Association annual meeting put their phones away for a second to do what they do best: listen.
The military is a total institution and army chaplains are embedded deeply within it. They wear the uniforms and the rank, they salute and are saluted. I was reminded how deeply embedded we are, when I arrived at the US Army Chaplain Center and School at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina about two weeks ago.
This week, we’re bringing you another exciting edition of the Oral History Review podcast, in which Troy Reeves talks to OHR contributor Jessica Taylor.
All of those presidential candidates who promise to change the world on “my first day in office” have a lot to learn about the federal government’s glacial pace. The government does tend to do the right thing, so long as you have the patience to wait a few years (or decades).
This week, we’re pushing the boundaries a bit to bring you an interview with Dana Gerber-Margie, who publishes The Audio Signal, a “weekly digest about audio.” Troy and I are huge fans of the newsletter, as are Pop Up Archive and even the Wall Street Journal.