Oral History Interactives: Going Beyond the Interview to Create Multimedia Experiences

How-to Session
Ty Pierce, Ohio History Connection, USA, Phil Sager, Ohio History Connection, USA

Published paper: Oral History Interactives: Going beyond the interview to create multimedia experiences

The power of oral history lies in its ability to turn an event or topic into a personal experience between two people: the interviewee and the user. Digital oral history collections, however, are usually presented as a long-form video and a separate transcript or index document. This disconnect between the transcript document and the audio/video recording makes for a disjointed and time-consuming user experience, undermining the potential of oral history to connect users with historical narratives.

This paper accompanies a how-to session that gives an overview of the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer and the work the Ohio History Connection’s Multimedia Services team has done to create a new distribution platform for "Oral History Interactives." It discusses the challenges of producing high-quality oral histories and the additional challenges of producing them as interactives, and gives workflows developed to meet these challenges. This include such topics as on-location scanning, portable studio setups for artifact photography, and efficient ways to collect narrative descriptions to use as metadata.