OHMS: Enhancing Access to Oral History Online, Pre-conference Workshop

We’re just about a month out from OHA’s Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary celebration! There’s a great lineup of Wednesday, pre-conference workshops, and the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries and Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies are excited to sponsor and lead the workshop, “OHMS: Enhancing Access to Oral History Online.” Developed by the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky, OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer) is a free, open-source, online system designed to provide enhanced access to oral history. It works with content management systems and popular streaming services such as YouTube, SoundCloud, and Kaltura. OHMS is not just all about access! It is a system that captures critical descriptive and administrative metadata for digital preservation, and is versatile enough to be used with any digitized, time-based media.

In 2013, UGA Libraries became the first, non-UKY institution to implement the OHMS viewer fully, and for two years we’ve been integrating OHMS across all of our archives and the Digital Library of Georgia. From oral histories to field recordings, we’ve worked a lot with OHMS, and have helped many others to do so, too. Digital archivist and OHMS shepherd, Callie Holmes, and I will lead a snappy, hands-on-OHMS workshop for registrants. That’s right–bring your laptops! Really—bring or borrow a laptop, if you can. Oh, and earbuds or headphones, too. We’re setting up each participant with a dummy OHMS user account with media and metadata, so you’ll be ready to try the two-step with your new partners-in-access, and even give OHMS a spin after the workshop ends.

But, before we dance, we must first learn proper caring and feeding of OHMS. We will cover OHMS’ unique features, and some ways to work best with them in workflows and in your shop or archive: getting started, navigating the index module and indexing strategies, time management, and time-on-task estimates. We’ll also go over transcript preparation and syncing, and get deep into the craft and mashup of metadata and how to leverage the most out of it with OHMS. We’ll finish with a good chunk of time for hands-on work, cover newly-released updates, and maybe even show you some exciting, non-oral history uses, mods, and grant-funded projects OHMS has helped make happen for your fellow oral history practitioners.

Want to see OHMS in action at UGA? We like this one. “Level 2 index,” as Doug Boyd would say. Interview with Lemuel LaRoche aka Life the Griot


Submitted by Christian Lopez, Lead, Oral History and Media Archivist,
Presenter and Coiner of “Everybody Must Get OHMS-ed,” University of Georgia




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