Digitization and Access of Louisiana Oral Histories (@ladigilibrary)

The following chapter excerpt is from the first section of Digitization in the Real World; "Small is Beautiful: Planning and Implementing Digitization Projects with Limited Resources."  Download the entire chapter for free (PDF)   or purchase the book at Amazon.com.

Access the collections here.

Author

Gina R. Costello (Louisiana State University Libraries)

Abstract

from "Civil Rights Series" at T. Harry Williams Ctr for Oral History The Louisiana State University (LSU) Libraries Center for Oral History began an effort to digitize at risk and high demand collections in 2007. The Center acquired digitization equipment, server space, and collaborated with the Libraries Special Collections Digital Services librarian to offer digitized oral histories online via the statewide Louisiana Digital Library (LDL). This paper details the history of the ongoing development of a digitization program for oral history materials using two staff members and limited resources. Decisions about what materials to digitize and how, equipment and software, and issues with access and preservation will be discussed.

Introduction

The Louisiana State University (LSU) Libraries T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History began to digitize at risk and high demand collections in late 2007. Planning for the systematic digitization of the primarily analog collection began a year prior to any digitization efforts. The Center sought advice from an expert in the field, acquired digitization equipment and server space, hired a full time employee to manage digitization, and collaborated with the Libraries Special Collections Digital Services Librarian to offer digitized oral histories online via the statewide Louisiana Digital Library (LDL).

The Center staff and the Digital Services Librarian have prioritized collections for digitization based on fragility or patron demand, made decisions about organization and access of the audio materials for the public, and addressed copyright issues. Only a small number of oral history collections have been added to the LDL, although over 700 hours of tape have been digitized so far.

This paper details the history of the ongoing development of a digitization program for oral history materials with one full time staff person and partial effort from another staff member. Decisions about what materials to digitize and how, equipment and software, and issues with access and preservation will be discussed. Results of the digitization and online access efforts have been mixed, but may serve as an example for oral history programs wishing to develop a more programmatic approach to digitization.

Download the entire chapter for free (PDF) or purchase the book at Amazon.com.

References

Bond, T. J. & Walpole, M. (2006). Streaming audio with synchronized transcripts utilizing SMI., Library Hi Tech 24, 452-462.

Bond, T. J. (2004). Streaming audio from African-American oral history collections. OCLC Systems & Services, 20, 15-23.

Casey, M. & Gordon, B. (2007). Sound directions: best practices for audio preservation. Retrieved from:http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/ projects/sounddirections/papersPresent/sd_bp_07.pdf

Hurford, A. A. & Read, M. L. (2008). Bringing the voices of communities together: the Middletown digital oral history project. Indiana Libraries. 27, 26-29.

Integration and the black experience. (2003). Retrieved December 14, 2009 from http://www.louisianadigitallibrary.org/cdm4/ browse.php? CISOROOT=/IBE

T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History Exhibits and Presentations. (2009). Retrieved December 14, 2009 fromhttp://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/williams/ep.html

The Baton Rouge Bus Boycott of 1953. A recaptured past (2004)Retrieved December 14, 2009 from http://www.lib.lsu.edu/ special/exhibits/boycott/index.html

Weig, E., Terry, K. & Lybarger, K (2007). Large scale digitization of oral history: A case studyD-Lib Magazine 13. Retrieved from: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/may07/weig/05weig.html