Title

Giving Voice to the Past: Digitizing Oral History

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-21-2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the processes and procedures utilized by Jacksonville State University's Houston Cole Library to digitize an oral history collection and provide access to it through the Library's catalog, web presence, and the state‐wide digital repository initiative, Alabama Mosaic (see www.alabamamosaic.org).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on the Library's experiences in acquiring, digitizing, creating metadata for and making accessible a collection of oral histories.

Findings

The paper describes the obstacles overcome, issues encountered, procedures established, and ramifications of the project.

Practical implications

Many institutions are currently digitizing unique collections as part of repository initiatives, both institutional and collaborative. Effective practices and guidelines must be developed in order to streamline the process and provide the most complete access to these unique collections. The paper provides a practical model to address these issues.

Originality/value

The paper provides common practices for the digitization, creation of metadata, and provision of access for unique oral history collections; it also provides insights into issues that can arise and how best to address them.

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