In the project Oral History Today an application is build for researchers from the humanities that want to work with Oral History.

The development of OHT is based on four research stages:

  • Selection phase: an exploratory phase in which an archive is consulted to arrive at a selection of relevant sources
  • Analysis Phase: a phase where zooming in on the selected sources and a research question is answered
  • Presentation Phase: a phase in which the results of the study are presented , for example through an enhanced publication
  • Curation phase: a phase in which as far as possible all used and generated data sets and research results are stored permanently

Oral History Today focuses on the first two phases of the study. Think for the selection phase on mechanisms to select the content of an audiovisual archive via “themes”, “time periods”, “collection managers”, “locations”, and “researchers associated with the sources”.

Of course there is a facetted search functionality with filter options on the basis of the available metadata. The application can store the selections made by the user, the results due to these selections, and personal notes and annotations into a “personal folder”.

In the selection phase large amounts of (pointers to) collections are stored, but in the Analysis Phase the selection and preservation will be more detailed. There will be the possibility to (virtual) copy-paste and store selected fragments and enrich them with personal annotations. These results can be shared with colleagues via a shared workspace. Visualisation of key-issues will be an important part of the Analysis Phase. One may think of cloud of words, a google n-gram viewer, google map projections, timelines and more. The application will be developed in collaboration with OH-scholars who will evaluate each new version.

For more information see these blogs  about Oral History and search technology.

Website OHT