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Oral History Projects: From Interview to YouTube

This Prezi follows the inception of two oral history projects, interview techniques, challenges of digitization of a variety of recording media, making available interviews through YouTube, and promoting projects through social media.

Dickinson Research Center

on 16 April 2013

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Transcript of Oral History Projects: From Interview to YouTube

From Interview to YouTube Oral History Projects Two Oral History Projects: Questions? Brodkin Contemporary Western Artists Why digitize? Digitization Both oral history projects need a dedicated web page.

Each project page is designed slightly different dependent on the needs it serves, funding support for projects, and how it complements collections.

We do receive independent funding for the Brodkin Project to support the acquiring and processing of artists' papers, in addition to the digitization and exhibition of these artists' collections.

We do not receive independent financial support for maintaining the Rodeo Project, yet, so projects remain minimal and not prioritized. Websites Social Media Laura Anne Heller
Electronic Archivist,
Dickinson Research Center,
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

email: lheller@nationalcowboymuseum.org
phone: (405) 478-2250, ext. 290
web: www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/research/ Brodkin Contemporary Western Artists Formed in February 2001 with independent funding to insure these initiatives: Rodeo Historical Society In 2003 the organizers of this project met for the first time. Gail Woerner was designated by the RHS President to organize and implement the project with the help of selected interviewers and Museum staff. Rodeo Historical Society Focuses on the lives of western artists, their careers, influences, and techniques.

Interviews were conducted by a research professional, and the interview environments varied. Explores the lives of rodeo professionals, many of whom were inducted in the Rodeo Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

Interviewed by a journalist and author who is familiar with the rodeo lifestyle. a) securing artists' papers through deed of gifts
b) properly storing, cataloging, & preserving artists' papers
c) maintaining access to papers for research use The project collects, through recorded interviews, the biographies and stories of rodeo cowboys and cowgirls nationwide. These interviews are preserved and made available to authors, historians, and other interested persons. "These oral and video recordings will give anyone interested in the history of rodeo an opportunity to hear and view participants in rodeo tell their stories, first hand."
- Gail Woerner Audio Formats Used Standard Cassette
& Microcassette Sony MiniDisc Digital Audio Tape
(DAT) Video Formats Used DVC Pro DVCam Mini DV Tapes Born Digital In pursuit of artists' papers for the archives, the introduction of oral history interviews was used to initiate a conversation with artists. Some collections have arrived as a result, but most artists have only contributed through oral history interviews. Brodkin Interview Techniques: Researched artists' choice of artistic medium & important life transitions & used these points to guide interview when lulls appeared. Started interview with soft questions (date of birth, parents, childhood memories) before asking harder questions. Repeated lengthy quotes from articles to interviewee; Some may have felt nervous or uncomfortable from interrogative "did you say this?" questions. Interviewer interjected corrections & own interpretations about artist's artwork & style. Brodkin Interview Locations Early interviews were usually recorded during the annual Prix de West Exhibition when interview time was limited to schedule & interviewee's immediate concerns were elsewhere. Some interviews were also scheduled at the artists' home studios which allowed for lengthier sessions & more comfortable settings for the interviewees. RHS Interview Techniques Interviewer researched rodeo person's career & is prepared with some specific questions. Interviewer asks personal & journalistic questions & eases rodeo person with soft questions. She gives interviewee time to remember memories. Interviewer is very vocal with agreements so much so that capturing only interviewee's voice is difficult or impossible. Interviews are rarely longer than 45 minutes & may lack introspection & depth. Many first interviews are too short due to hired interviewers' inexperience interviewing. RHS Interview Locations Some interviews were conducted over the phone. Other interviews took place during Rodeo Weekend when schedules were tight & interviewees were concerned about family & friends visiting. Some interviews were recorded during NFR, also when schedules conflict & many reunite with friends. digitize older formats so researchers can view & listen to interviews
use interview clips for exhibits & documentary videos
provide recordings to interviewee & their relatives
interviews can be used for educational purposes; Teachers need accessible formats preserves the information shared in the interview itself
use of physical formats risk damage from dust, overuse, breakage, stretching of tape, etc.
allows for making of & storage of multiple copies Challenges Digital Audio Tape Sony Mini Disc Cassettes Digitized Formats Preservation of Digital Files Access Copies Challenges DVCPro & DVCam Digital Hi-8 Mini DV Tapes Born Digital Digitized Formats Preservation of Digital Files Access Copies * Requires DAT player for playback of recordings.
* Without the high-performing audio-digitizing equipment, I used a 2.5m cable from the DAT player to the computer in order to capture the interview using the audio editing program Audacity from Sourceforge.
* Although this translates the digital recording to analog to digital again, it was suitable for our immediate needs to capture the interview. * Requires Cassette player and recorder for playback of recordings.
* Using audio cable from a stereo cassette player plugged into the sound card on the computer I was able to capture the audio from cassettes, also using Audacity.
* One interview was recorded on a microcassette recorder, for which I had to use the same 2.5m cable to send the analog audio to the computer to capture using Audacity. * All audio recordings were digitized as Broadcast Wave Files (BWF), saved as .wav

* Access files are .mp3 * .WAV files are stored on external hard drives designated for each oral history project.
* Files are backed-up to Cloud & to off-site server. .WAV files are burned to audio CDs for on-site listening by researchers. If all else fails, recordings can be ripped from these CDs. * Tape media requires the original camera for playback.
* We no longer have a DVCPro and DVCam video camera so these tapes are outsourced for digitization at cost. * Tape media that requires the original camera for playback.
* Most of our video oral histories are recorded on this media; Film archives professionals say these tapes have a 3-5 year shelf life before they start to lose information.
* Early interviews recorded in Standard definition; Later interviews recorded in HD and widescreen (16:9) settings. * Most recent format
* Most diverse file formats
* Complicated
* Retain all files associated with born digital video recordings * Video from DVCPro, DVCam, Digital Hi-8, and MiniDV are saved as .AVI or .MPEG-4 files

* Born Digital video is recorded as AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition).

* We do not store low-res video files since video takes up so much storage space * .AVI and .MPEG-4 files are stored on external hard drives designated for each oral history project.
* Files are backed-up to Cloud & to off-site server. Video interviews are burned to DVDs for on-site viewing by researchers. We do not "rip" video from DVDs for production use. Photos of Audio Digitization Process Photos of Video Digitization Process * Requires Sony Mini Disc player for playback of recordings.
* Sony is a proprietary company and the player used storage that inhibited playback or transfer of recordings without Sony's control.
* I managed to set up the Mini Disc player with Audacity the same way I did with the DAT player and capture the interview. This also was a digital-to-analog-to-digital set-up. * Tape media requires the original camera for playback.
* We still have a Digital Hi-8 video camera; I hook up the camera to the computer through a firewire connection and capture video during playback with Adobe Premiere.
* I am prioritizing the digitization of these video oral histories since the camera is old and very used; I want to digitize as many as I can before the camera "dies" and I have to outsource these, too. Brodkin Project Web Site * Link to current virtual exhibit

* Sub-pages by medium or group

* Full alphabetical list of interviewees * Date, place, format, length of interview
* Brief artist biographies
* Link to artist papers
* Link to past exhibit pages
* Link to YouTube video clips Rodeo Project Web Site * Description of project

* Full alphabetical list of interviewees

* No sub-pages
* No virtual exhibits * Date, place, format, length, and interviewer of interview
* Link to YouTube video clips Interns & Volunteers * Paid & unpaid interns
* Adult & student volunteers - Typed inventories for each project
- Labeled access copies of interviews
- Summarized interviews
- Created brief video clips for YouTube
- Researched artists for potential interview questions Used to showcase interview video clips

Used to interact and outreach by sharing links to YouTube videos, current exhibits, collections' finding aids, event photos, etc.

Twitter and Instagram are used for outreach in smaller tidbits: Tweets about museum events, quotes, and links to videos; Instagram pics about museum and archives life.

Used to put photographic collections "on the
map" as outreach and useful tool for
visitors. www.youtube.com/NCWHMuseum Brodkin Project playlist Rodeo Project playlist Thanks! www.facebook.com/DRCenter * Post video, photo, & web links
* Mention artist pages
* Fans, shares, & views @ncwhm
#nationalcowboymuseum www.twitter.com/ncwhm * Posts about events
* Photos promoting museum
* Links to YouTube videos
* Cowboy quotes
* Museum Store promotions via Instagram App on phones:
@dickinsonresearchcenter * Post photos of museum sculptures, staff & interns working in archives, "item of the day" from archival collections, exhibits, "museum life."
* Use hashtags! #museumlife #archives #sculpture #postcards * Pin photos, videos, or audio clips to locations on a map
* Create tours to help visitors discover your city, state, or subject
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