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Continuing Education and Events: 04/10 - Talking About Oral Histories

This guide contains current and upcoming events of interest to librarians, archivist, library staff, and others in Capital District Region.

Talking About Oral Histories

Do you have oral histories in your collection? Has your institution thought about conducting oral histories? Not really sure what oral histories entail, but want to learn more?

CDLC has been discussing how we might support oral history in the region, and we need to hear from you to gauge interest in this potential initiative and learn how we might best support our members.

At this meeting, we will provide a brief overview of what an oral history project might entail. CDLC members will talk about their work with oral histories, including how they got started with their project and lessons they have learned. We will present some ways that CDLC might support oral history in the region, such as providing equipment, training, or money for reformatting.

But most importantly, we want to hear from our members. Is your institution interested in exploring an oral history project? What do you need from CDLC to make such a project a success?

All are invited to this initial meeting and no commitment to an oral history project is required.

Related LibGuide: Regional Automation Advisory Committee

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
9:30am - 12:00pm
CDLC, Large Meeting Room
  Continuing Education     RAAC  


From Saratoga Springs Public Library Presentation by Lorie Wies

Questions About Existing Oral History Recordings:

  • What do we need to do to digitize the existing formats? Is Audacity doing the job?

  • How do we ensure we are providing common access points?- LOC is not easy to use. Can we combine our vertical subject file headings into a local common database?

  • How do we “display” them? Store them?

  • What is a reasonable time line for us to follow? What is our overall plan?

  • What equipment do we need?

  • How do we integrate the other repositories?

  • What assistance do they need?

  • What is the condition of the collections?

  • How do we approach quality control issues?

  • Copyright? Are the laws different if the repository is a Gov’t entity? Or the Interviewer a Gov’t employee?

Questions About Beginning New Oral History Projects: 

  • Money??

  • Do we have a theme for the project? What is it?

  • Where will we do the interviews?

  • What should we be asking?

  • What equipment do we need?

  • How do we recruit, train and utilize volunteers?

  • What do we do with “outliers?”

  • How will we store data?

  • Can we upload info or does it need to be entered?

  • What is the scope- just oral histories or do we want visuals too? Provide context?

  • Copyright????

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Phone: 518-438-2500