Technology for Oral History

Basic explanation of the various technologies used in the creation, processing, analysis, and disclo- sure of Oral History recordings.

Technology

Software used in OH-projects

An overview of different software packages that can be used for creation, transcription, correction and disclosure of OH-documents.

Software

Collection of manuals, blogs, and showcases about the use of Search-, AI- and HLT-software in Oral History projects.

Documentation

Overview of excisting OH-projects where different types of technology were used for various stages of the projects.

Projects

Here AV-files can be submitted for automatic transcriptions, translations and human-made corrections.

Submission

Oral History

In its simplest form, Oral History is in the use of spoken word as a source in history research. Everything from the interviewing of eye-witnesses in historical events, to the analysis of interviews as a historical source, to the collecting and archiving of recorded interviews and stories falls under the umbrella of Oral History. This makes the term both hard to define and useful in a broad field of historical research.

Oral History is a relatively new method of historical research in the scope of academic historiography, with it only beginning to rise in the mid-20th century. Important in this shift are advancements in portable recording technology, combined with a new interest in on one side the more personal experience of historical events, and on the other the common man’s story within history research.

With the Digital Age coming in full swing at the start of 21st century, Oral History has begun to experience a paradigm shift. The internet is becoming an important place for oral history archives, making sources more publicly available. Digital tools are starting to be used and normalized within the field, bringing previously tedious or even impossible research steps mouse-clicks away. Mobile phones are making the recording of oral history available for virtually anyone interested. These developments haven given the Oral Historian great expectations and new possibilities, but have received important criticisms, and one should be mindful of the doubts and possible pitfalls concerned with the digitalisation of the Oral History landscape.

The main goal of this website is to give an overview of technology that can be used in the processing of Oral History data in general: from an analogue tape and perhaps a handwritten summary to a digital recording including digital transcripts, speaker allocation/recognition (who is speaking when), emotion-markers, speech velocity and much more.