Volunteer an hour to help transform understanding of metadata practices for oral history

OHA Oral History Association

By Jaycie Vos, OHA Publications Committee and Metadata Task Force

The Oral History Association Metadata Task Force is charged with improving access and discovery for oral history interviews by helping their creators and caretakers improve the capture and preservation of the interviews’ metadata.

The task force saw the need for more structured information to offer a base understanding of metadata: what it is and how people are using it. To this end, in 2016 we surveyed a select group of oral history programs at higher education institutions about practices, successes and pain points related to description.

After reviewing the results, we are launching Phase 2 of the survey, which aims to obtain information and feedback from a broader range of institutions and practitioners at higher education institutions, public libraries, cultural heritage organizations and anywhere oral histories are conducted and collected.

We want to hear from you! You can take the survey here. We anticipate this survey will take 45 – 60 minutes to complete. This survey may be completed by one person representing the practices of the whole; or, it may be used as an exercise among your overall staff or team, which we highly encourage, based on positive feedback received in our initial data-gathering phase.

Your submissions will be reviewed by the task force and will be incorporated into a larger report and menu of best practices, which we will then share with the larger community of oral history practitioners. Phase 2 of this survey will remain open through most of 2018, but we encourage you to complete it at your earliest convenience to enrich and expand the findings the task force can report out in forthcoming publications and presentations.

If you have any questions about the survey or our work in general, please feel free to email us at oha.metadata@gmail.com and we will be happy to communicate with you. Thank you!


The OHA Metadata Task Force

Doug Boyd, Lauren Kata, Natalie Milbrodt, Steven Sielaff and Jaycie Vos

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