Noteworthy web sites
Found Memory Lane, a part of Sasha’s Roots (while egosearching, of course) I love the tagline: “A journal of my adventures in archiving and family history research - and the technology and resources I use to pursue it.”
Some very good guidelines on family oral history at Baylor’s Institute for Oral History website. Go thou and read them. It’s a good distillation that touches on all the salient points.
On this site, I bounce between techno-geeky details of digital audio (currently in focus with the analog/digital article I just posted) and the very human-to-human methods to interview family members. The 10 steps listed on the Baylor Family Oral History site deal far more with the approach to the interview/the family history, how to structure it, how to ask questions “Ask broad, open-ended questions. Above all, be a good listener. Allow the interviewee time to think.” and coming up with a within-the-family written agreement.
The concusion of Item #2—Think far into the future to the possibilities for using and preserving the historical document you’re about to create—has this ...Read More
The Remembering Site —Sharing our collective memories— is a website where you can join, and be presented with a host of questions to answer. It’s like writing a personal memoir, in small stages. The site is primarily devoted to text and writing recollections. But the nonprofit foundation offers audio recording services, too. One co-founder, DG Fulford (together with her brother Bob Greene) wrote a book To Our Chidren’s Children, an excellent book of questions to spark memory and recollection.
You sign up for the site, pay $10, and are guided to answer as many or as few of the myriad questions presented. Here are a few from the page of sample questions (that’s 4 of 32; go the page for all of ‘em). I like them for the way that they pull for specifics and sensory details, but if you’re going to be asking questions in a conversation, I wouldn’t ask multiple-point questions:
Did your grandparents live nearby? How often did you visit their homes? Did the house have a special cooking smell? Onions? Cookies? What did their couch feel like? How big was the kitchen?
Do you remember “getting” a concept in school? Cursive writing, maybe? Do you remember the moment when you first ...Read More
Richard Hess has a new blog– Restoration Notes about restoration of tape recordings and digital transfer. He’s one of my heroes when it comes to digital audio. His knowledge about tape and formats is detailed and vast. He’s the go-to guy to pull audio off of tape that may be destroyed or otherwise gone to audio no-man’s-land.
I met Richard when he taught an audio restoration workshop at Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Public and Oral History. Back when he lived 2 cities over (that’s “nearby” in Southern California-speak… he since moved to Ontario, Canada), I visited his audio restoration home office and we whiled away a happy afternoon as audio geeks talking shop. Well, okay, he was mostly talking, and I was young Grasshopper, taking it all in. I’ve blogged about him before.
I hope to have an interview with Richard on this site, too.
[disclosure: I gave Richard some advice on the software he used for his blog while he was setting up his site.]
Field Research, as in field recording, as in portable audio recording equipment. As in information about solid state field recorders, and digitizing and editing recorded audio. Very good information from the Vermont Folk Life Center.
I learned about the Vermont Folk Life Center from reading the Oral History mailing list. Andy Kovalos always has a good word on the ins and outs of digital tools. He recently wrote to the list and said that they’d re-vamped their field recording guides. These pages are definitely worth a read.
Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History. She begins with the best word of advice there is: Just Do It, and follows with lots of practicalities.
Podcasting our personal history together: “How does podcasting fit into the oral history picture?” Kevin Lim at the Educational Technology Center at Buffalo muses on the intersection of podcasting and oral history.
He’s seen the StoryCorps booth at Grand Central Station and he’s been helping some professors put together a web site for their oral history, and it’s got him thinking about ways to incorporate podcasting and oral history.
Digital Library Site based around audio materials, housed at Michigan State Univeristy. Links online collections, discussions of best practices for digital audio
Historical Voices, part of the Digital Library Initiative (endowed by NSF , NEH), a site with online exhibits and educational materials, centered around audio files.
The site has a set of research papers (white papers) about issues of digitizing text and audio for archivists, libraries and curators.
Ventura County Star article points to resources on the internet for recording (and recorded) history.
The article about online resources for recording history, and the boom in historical resources now appearing on the internet. (reg required, but try bugmetnot reg)
Some sites mentioned in the article (all look very interesting)
Talking Across the Lines: Oral tradition and folk tradition from Appalaicha. Workshops, too.
Center for History and New Media
Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history�to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. We sponsor more than a dozen digital history projects and offer free tools and resources for historians.
News stories about Genealogy.
(I wonder if it’s got an RSS feed. I didn’t see one on the page) Genealogy in the News is a service of genealogysearch.org, pointing out newsstories relevant to Genealogy. I found one that was interesting…
* Growing your family tree
The thrill of making connections between the past and present is one of the reasons genealogy has become the second-most-popular hobby in the United States after gardening. Newsday (NY), March 15, 2004.