Oral History Conference comes to Little Tokyo, Los Angeles March 31-April 3

SOHA logo. This year is the 30th anniversary of the Southwest Oral History Association. The Southwest Oral History Association (SOHA) holds its annual conference in Southern California every other year. This year: Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. Also this year: two days of hands-on computer lab workshops! I am on the conference committee, and have been working on preparation for this conference. And yes, I’m the computer lab coordinator. Plus, I’ll be teaching a workshop on digital audio Thursday, March 31. If you’re in Southern California, and want to know about how to conduct interviews, or learn other skills about capturing and preserving stories, this is your opportunity.

SOHA Work Ahead Each conference features a day of workshops, from an introduction to oral history to other topics. This year, there are seven (count them, seven!) workshops. Two different ways to approach project management, taking an oral history transcript to a theatrical performance, a session all about audio and recording. Those workshops all take place Friday, April 1. (No fooling!)

The two days of computer lab workshops: Digital Audio and Digital Video.

There’s a three-workshop lineup that’s especially good if you’re starting out and want to capture the stories of your community: Intro to Oral History and the two project management workshops.

Friday night is a reception and film ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on February 25, 2011 in • Do it: Learn HowOral Historians
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Shocking Truth about Thin-skinned CDs (or why you should never write on a CD with a Sharpie)

I’d heard the adage that the top surface of a CD or DVD is thinner and more fragile than the bottom surface, but until I went on a cleaning bender, I didn’t get it. I reallly didn’t get it. It’s true, it’s true– the top layer of CDs and DVDs are thin. Shockingly thin. Here is a photo gallery of the CD that taught me just how fragile a writeable CD is.

After the holidays, I went on a desk and home office cleaning frenzy. Under a pile of papers, I discovered a disk that failed when I’d burned it. (also known as a “coaster!”) 

“Oh bummer,” I said. “A Bad CD. What’s it doing here? I should toss it out.” Then I remembered that I’ve wanted to destroy a disk just to see how it was put together. “Allrightie, then! I’m going to break this lil’ puppy!” I began to bend the CD. I figured that it would soon snap, but it bent and kept bending. At the crease, I noticed that a ripple appeared. It looked like a buckle or oblong bubble in the rainbow foil.

Strange! What is that? I bent the CD some more, then dug at the bubbly area ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on February 22, 2011 in • AudioAudio: HardwareDigitalityLongevity
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Roundup of my posts regarding interviewing family (the “not at Rootstech because I’m sick” edition)

Not at rootstech. So I wrote you this post instead. I’m not at Rootstech because I’m sick (I was registered, tho). Dang. As tweets and posts emerge from it, I figured I’d do a roundup of my “how to interview family (how to + tech + tools)” posts from the last year that will interest people who are attending Rootstech. I’ve written quite a few posts about interviewing family, both procedural, and technical over the last year. Here’s a guide to them:

Interviewing family series

Interviewing Family Series from Genealogy Jamboree I wrote this series ahead of the Southern California Genealogy Society’s Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, CA (where I spoke on interviewing family, and digital tools) It’s about different ways to come up with good questions to ask your family member when you sit down to interview him or her.

Three Weeks to Jamboree: Interviewing Family
Curiosity. Non-Judgement. The underlying attitude to everything.

Interviewing Family: Why not Why?
Why is asking “WHY?” not a good idea when interviewing family members?

Interviewing Family: What Should I Ask? Major Life Events
When you think about the major events in a person’s life, the questions start asking ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on February 11, 2011 in • GenealogyInterviewing
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