I'm an oral historian who has been working with digital dissemination of interviews since 1991, back in the day when God was a child, dinosaurs roamed the earth, and we were ecstatic to have 32 mb of RAM. I'm happy that I now get to play with faster computers and larger file sizes and that it doesn't take three tries anymore to burn a CD because of slow transfer speeds. As someone who resides during work hours in a library, I'm a firm believer in Stephen Ramsay's Screwmeneutical Imperative. There is so much wonderful information out there for wallowing about in, and I'm interested in making it as available as possible, with lots of added contextualization to enhance its usefulness.

  • Oral History and Digital Humanities


    While not all oral historians identify themselves with the digital humanities, there is a distinct subsection of practitioners who do, and many of the remaining researchers are doing work that is relative to DH, either directly or indirectly. Because of their emphasis on making interviews more accessible to both scholars and the general public, oral historians and digital humanists have a number of intersecting priorities. The new technologies that started becoming available in the 1990s provided a lot of opportunities for presenting materials online, and after working through a range of ethical issues, oral historians took advantage of the new platforms in a wide variety of ways.

    Those who conduct oral histories are also in an interesting position for DH practitioners, since while many DH scholars spend their time parsing, analyzing, and recontextualizing already existing records, oral historians are involved in the creation of primary sources as well as in the development of DH research and tools.

    This proposed “talk” session would  open a conversation about the roles of oral historians in the digital humanities, what work they are doing now that is relevant, and what products or formats non-oral historians would like to see that would help them with their own work.

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