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.
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.
I spent four days last month with my colleague and friend, Doug Boyd, as he and I (mainly he) gave oral history workshops in Milwaukee and Madison. While the idea to bring Boyd to Wisconsin for these trainings began with Ann Hanlon, Digital Humanities Lab head at UW-Milwaukee, I jumped at the chance to find groups to sponsor his time in Madison.
We recently asked you to tell us to send us your reflections, stories, and the difficulties you’ve faced while doing oral history. This week, we bring you another post in this series, focusing on an oral history project from Carmen Doncel and Henry Eric Hernández. We encourage you to to chime into the discussion, comment below or on our Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and G+ pages.
There are less than two months left before we converge on Tampa for the Oral History Association’s annual meeting! This week, we asked Jessica Taylor of the University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, who authored “We’re on Fire: Oral History and the Preservation, Commemoration, and Rebirth of Mississippi’s Civil Rights Sites” in the most recent Oral History Review.
Tim Cole’s article “(Re)Placing the Past: Spatial Strategies of Retelling Difficult Stories” in the most recent Oral History Review raises some really intriguing questions about the function of space and distance in oral history interviews. Cole graciously agreed to answer some of our questions over email, which we’ve reproduced here for your enjoyment.
Over the last few months, we’ve had the pleasure of publishing thoughtful reflections, compelling narratives, and deep engagements with what it means to do oral history. Each post was written by a member of the oral history community who was willing to share their thoughts and experiences with all of us. We received an incredible response from our last call for submissions, so we’re coming back again to ask for more.
“When I went to the Iv’ry Coast, about thirty years ago, I remember coming off the plane and just being assaulted with not only the heat but the color.” These were the first words of the most moving story I have ever heard—but it wasn’t the story I was there to collect. For me, the best oral histories are the ones that sound a human chord, stories that blur the spaces between historically significant narrative and personal development.
This week on the Oral History Review blog, we’re continuing our recognition of LGBTQ Pride month with a special podcast featuring Elspeth Brown. In the podcast, Brown discusses the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory, as well as her work as a member of the community and a historian. Check out the links below for more information, and send us your proposals if you’d like to share your work with the OHR blog.