General

Oral History of the Star Trek Vulcan Salute

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Personal history meets TV Sci Fi legend. Leonard Nimoy explains how the Salute came to be. In this YouTube video by the Archive of American Television, Nimoy describes how it came from Jewish tradition. [via Laughing Squid]

Link to YouTube video

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 23, 2009 in • General
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Audio Engineering Society’s 60th anniversary includes an oral history project

This is so meta. The AES – Audio Engineering Society is the place where real audio science gets done (this, according to my signal-processing engineer boyfriend). The meta part – I guess this is as good as an oral history of oral historians. This is oral history of audio engineers – the people who make recording spoken interviews possible. Very cool. the organization includes the likes of Les Paul – Les Paul!! (did you see the American Masters show about him last year? Wow!) They had a big 60th anniversary dinner and presentation (standing room only).

The event was highlighted by a screening of excerpts from the forthcoming AES Oral History Project.  Tantalizing anecdotes by legendary Columbia Records engineer Frank Liaco; Louis Goodfriend, first editor of the AES Journal; inventor and AES officer, Norman Pickering, and Les Paul, the godfather of multi-track recording, provided the audience with insights, revelations and thanks to Les Paul, occasional laughs.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on March 18, 2008 in • General
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For Your Consideration

“And the nominees for Best Family History Post are….” In keeping with the ending writer’s strike and the fact that the Academy Awards show must (and will) go on, the current call for entries for the Carnival of Genealogy is on the theme of Awards for Family History/Genealogy posts for 2007 (and the first 6 weeks of 2008). I’ve culled though my site archives, called in favors from dress designers and stylists, and am ready to walk the red carpet. Here, for your consideration, are nominees for awards of outstanding achievement in Family History and Genealogy weblog posting.

The Red Carpet. I’ve walked a red carpet once. No lie. The event was a US Premiere of a film for AFI Film festival. It was held (wait for it) in Beverly Hills at AMPAS, the American Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Oscars place. On the sidewalk outside, there it was: red carpet. And velvet ropes along either side. I saw them, and gulped. My friend urged me hold my head up high,  smile, and walk with confidence.  I did. The paparazzi ignored us plebes, though. I also had a brush with a red carpet and awards ceremony almost exactly a year ago. A high-school friend was nominated for a Grammy, so I accompanied her to the Grammy Special Awards and Reception. Roped off red carpet ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on February 10, 2008 in • General
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Apple goes to Erie Museum Lecture

I love the internets. Yesterday, I did a news roundup and saw that a lecture would be taking place today in Syracuse at the Erie Canal Museum. I drooled at the topic: Myth and History. When family or community stories are mythologized – whether by accident or on purpose – and how this isn’t so great for future generations. I’d love to go. Now, I live in the Los Angeles area, so of course I wasn’t able to get there. But I happen to notice that Apple of Apple’s tree recently blogged about a house in Syracuse. Hm. Is Apple close to Syracuse? Does she know about the lecture? Is her schedule free? I sent her an email. Her answers: Yes, She does now, and Yes!!! Color me stoked.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 19, 2008 in • GeneralPersonal History
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Studs Terkel: Touch and Go

The LA Times reviews the new memoir by Studs Terkel: Touch and Go. It’s about Studs Terkel’s amazing life.

“I have, after a fashion, been celebrated for having celebrated the lives of the uncelebrated among us; for lending voice to the face in the crowd,” Terkel, now 95, writes in “Touch and Go,” his new memoir. In a dozen books of oral history, including “The Good War” (about World War II), “Hard Times” (the Great Depression) and “Working” (the life of people on the job), Terkel has won an enduring place in American letters. “Touch and Go” is, not surprisingly, conversational and impressionistic.

 

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 30, 2007 in • General
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This Sunday! Rosie Riveter National Park in Richmond, Ca

image In the SF Bay Area? Visit Rosie Riveter/World War II Homefront National Park this Sunday afternoon, Oct 28. It’s a wandery spot, so here are the definitive times to meet: 12:30 Rosie Memorial, 2:00 SS Red Oak Victory Ship ($5 tour donation).

I discovered this park while doing research for the War Stories Genealogy Carnival. Glad to discover it before a trip to the Bay Area.

The link to the Upcoming site has all the deets, links and way to RSVP (Upcoming uses a Yahoo sign-in). I’ll be in Bay Area for the Oral History Association conference, and will inviting people from the conference, as well as having invited some Bay Area web and software developers in the personal history/digital storytelling realm.

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 24, 2007 in • General
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Ancestry.com scrapes websites; places harvested content behind membership wall

imageAncestry.com gets the BAD netizen of the Day (week? month?) award. The site scrapes data from websites, plunks it into their databases, and offers it – behind its paywall membership wall – to users.

Bloggers covering this story: The Genealogue, Kimberly Powell at About.com Kinexxions, Cow Hampshire Genea-Musings, Untangled Family Roots, Ancestories, Jessica’s Gene JournalCreative Gene, and Craig Manson.

Janice at Cow Hampshire has a good discussion about commercial use and examines Ancestry.com’s text describing their subscription-based service.

Becky Wiseman at Kinexxions provides screenshots and a walk-through of the method in which the ripped-off data is presented:

The “Internet Biographical Collection” jumped out at me. Notice the padlock? I clicked on that link, but this is a “for pay” subscription database, and since I wasn’t logged in I couldn’t see the detail any ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on August 28, 2007 in • General
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Scanfest this Sunday, 20 May

From 11am Pacific to 2pm Pacific. Scan your photos or documents and chat with other scanners. Let’s meet in Gizmo Project – if you have a USB headset or a microphone on your computer, you can do the Internet route. I’ll set up a conference room. Or you can do the call on the fone route.

There are two ways to get to the conference room:

1. Gizmo Project. The Voice over IP method.
Download the software, set up an account and then enter the conference room. (see movie, below) You’ll need some kind of a microphone.
Dead easiest is using a USB headset.
Dead easiest is using a MacOS laptop (built in mic)
I don’t know about built in mics using Windows Laptops. Do you have one that’s got a built in mic?

If you’re using a built in mic, I urgently recommend that you use headphones. (nab the earbuds from the nearest portable media player) Why? Because I hear myself talk, in my head, then, a few seconds later, I hear an echo as my words come out of your computer speakers ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 18, 2007 in • General
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Holiday Shopping at Library of Congress

Here are some way-too-cool items that you can buy from the Library of Congress gift store. You can spend a good amount of time browsing through all the offerings (I have!). Recordings, maps, photos, clothing, books, posters, and much more.

Recordings

image A Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings

Since 1928, Library of Congress fieldworkers have gathered thousands of American folksongs in farmhouses, prison barracks, and schoolrooms across the nation. Researchers traveled the back roads of the Delta, the Appalachians, and the Great Plains using battery-powered disc-cutting machines as they ventured beyond the grid of rural electricity. Here are 30 of the greatest performances from the legendary Library of Congress recording series.

Here’s a list of all the other folk recordings available... What a tremendous array of recordings from various places and sub-cultures. See anything that matches where your family ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on December 10, 2006 in • AudioGeneralPersonal HistoryPhotographs
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Vloggercon session video on Oral History and Digital Storytelling is up

It’s viewable two ways: See it on the web, download the QuickTime file. Interested in other stuff from Vloggercon? Here is the video archive of all the sessions devoted to vlogging, or video blogging.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on July 10, 2006 in • AfterwardsGeneralPersonal History
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Unknown history, invented history

An 11-year-old named Clara wants to learn more about her own past. Her mother isn’t forthcoming, so she visits an elderly man in town, under the guise of a school oral history project. South Carolina’s The State discusses Shadow Baby, a novel by Alison McGhee.

No, I haven’t read the book. Just saw a mention. I’m intrigued by a story where the process of doing oral history is part of the plot of a novel. A girl seeks answers to questions she has about her life. This resonates because it’s the reason I stumbled onto oral history in my family. To explore the question, “What happened?” But probably ultimately to explore the question, “Who am I?”

Here’s a bit about how Clara, the protagonist of Shadow Baby, describes it:

“We started out as interviewer and interviewee, but that changed,” Clara says. “There were things the old man and I knew about each other. After a while, I just visited him, compadre to compadre.

“I used to write down his ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 01, 2005 in • General
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History Spared: New Orleans Public Archives

The story of the archives in the New Orleans Public Library

Chicago Journal: History Spared

So it was a relief, not to mention a bit of a miracle, last Friday when [Alan Harris] Stein got word from the library’s disaster cleanup people that the archives were safe and the building had only suffered minor damage. The news freed up time for him to think about his next project: recording the oral histories of Katrina survivors. To gather the most immediate stories, he plans gathering interviews done by reporters on the scene at places like the Astrodome and the Convention Center. Then, arm interviewers sanctioned by the Oral History Association with digital recorders and send them out in the field. He’d also like to set up a “story booth” in ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on September 15, 2005 in • General
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Association of Personal Historians Conference

November 2005, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Preliminary announcement of event for people who do personal history

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on June 10, 2005 in • General
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The Oral History of Bus People

Oral History student reflects on benefits of impromptu histories as she waits for a bus

Stardust8032 on impromptu oral history:

The great thing about taking oral history is that I’ve learned that I can find stories anywhere, from anyone - even when waiting for the bus. Although these stories have nothing to do with my project, they were fun to hear, nevertheless.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on April 28, 2005 in • General
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The Net’s Late Bloomers

Computer use among elders in a NYT (3/25/04) article

NYT Article  (Mar 25, 2004) by Katie Hafner

Once largely written off as a lost cause, older Americans are now coming into their own as Internet users. They are researching their family histories, sending e-mail, running virtual book clubs, reading about religion and travel, and pursuing other interests lifelong and new.

According to a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a research organization in Washington, the ranks of Americans over 65 who use the Internet have jumped by 47 percent since 2000, making them the fastest-growing group to embrace the online world.

...Susannah Fox, director of research at Pew, said the biggest factor pushing older Americans toward ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 10, 2004 in • General
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