Panel: “Oral History and Digital Tools”
Will Cowan IDAH Manager, Systems Development
Jon Kay Traditional Arts Indiana
Barbara Truesdell Center for the Study of History and Memory
Practiced by scholars and ordinary citizens, oral history is a valuable ethnographic method for recording the perspectives of individual people about important events and life experiences. Digital technology offers exciting and daunting new tools for recording, archiving, and disseminating these first person accounts. Our panel will discuss the challenges and possibilities that digital recording and archiving present to the professional and the lay oral historian, including the status of existing analog collections and the challenges of digitization, issues of preservation, rights, and access to digital oral history documents, and new directions for oral history suggested by emerging digital tools.
Barbara Truesdell, Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of History and Memory at Indiana University, formerly the Oral History Research Center. The Center studies the myriad ways that people remember, represent, and use the past. Dr. Truesdell administers all aspects of the Center's research projects and the Center's archive of oral history interviews dating back to its founding in 1968. She received her Ph.D. from IU in folklore and American Studies in 1996. She has been doing fieldwork since 1985, and since 1992 has been conducting oral history training for students, researchers, and community groups, including workshops in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Cluj, Romania.
William G. Cowan, Manager of Software Development, Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities (IDAH)
Will works with IUB arts and humanities faculty on the development of digital projects. Prior to this he managed software development for the Ethnographic Video for Instruction and Analysis (EVIA) Digital Archive Project, designing and implementing the Annotator's Workbench (AWB), a tool for the segmentation and annotation of digital video.
Jon Kay, Director of Traditional Arts Indiana. TAI is a partnership between the Indiana Arts Council and the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. Traditional Arts Indiana is dedicated to expanding public awareness of Indiana’s traditional practices and nurturing a sense of pride among Indiana’s traditional artists. With TAI, Jon has collaborated with numerous traditional artists to document and share their experiences and artistry with the Indiana public at performance events, public libraries, the Indiana State Fair, and through the innovative FolkTraditions.com website.