Pre-Conference Workshops

The OHA will offer 5 pre-conference workshops on Wednesday, October 30. Workshop registration is $25.

Conference registration is available here. However, if you would like to attend one or more of the workshops without attending the rest of the conference, please email the OHA Executive Office at to arrange payment.

The Following Workshops will be Offered:

8:30AM – 12:30PM:

  • An Introduction to Oral History Workshop, led by Jeff Corrigan
  • Rates, Contracts, Portfolios, and More: Activating the Independent Practitioners Toolkit to Create a More Sustainable Career, led by Sarah Dziedzic and Jess Lamar Reece Holler
  • The OurStoryBridge Methodology: The Bridge That Connects Communities, Generations, and Stories Across Time, led by Jery Huntley

1:30PM – 5:30PM:

  • Streamlining Oral History Integration with Omeka and OHMS (the Next Generation), led by Sharon Leon
  • When The Archive is Not Enough, led by Alma Simba
  •  What Does Done Look Like? Project Planning for Oral History, led by Jen Cramer and Doug Boyd

Workshop Details:

8:30AM – 12:30PM: An Introduction to Oral History Workshop, led by Jeff Corrigan

This introductory workshop serves as an informative overview to the field of oral history from initial idea through finished product. The workshop will cover specifics within three subcategories of oral history: Pre-Interview, Interview, and Post-Interview, including the basics of oral history, project planning, technology, interview setup, writing interview outlines, release forms, legal and ethical considerations, providing access, and a variety of available resources for further information. Additionally, the workshop will include a series of audio question and answer examples from several oral history interviews to help individuals hone interviewing skills and provoke additional discussion in the workshop.

Bio: Jeff Corrigan is an Associate Science Librarian and Outreach Coordinator at California State University Monterey Bay. Prior to CSUMB he was the oral historian at The State Historical Society of Missouri/University of Missouri System for over nine years. He has previously served as the OHA Annual Meeting Workshop Chair and given the introductory workshop several times, most recently in 2019. Currently he is serving on the OHA Book Award Committee.

8:30AM – 12:30PM: Rates, Contracts, Portfolios, and More: Activating the Independent Practitioners Toolkit to Create a More Sustainable Career, led by Sarah Dziedzic and Jess Lamar Reece Holler

Utilizing the Independent Practitioner Toolkit’s most popular chapters, this workshop will balance instruction with exercises that will get people more comfortable with real world scenarios related to cultivating and maintaining sustainable oral history work. Participants will leave with tools, tips, and strategies that support actively creating a pathway for the kinds of oral history work––and pay––they want in the future. Instructors will address how to:- establish fees and rates that allow you to thrive- negotiate pay and deliverables like a professional who knows their value- develop scopes of work and contracts that won’t leave you feeling burned out- protect your intellectual property so you can utilize your past work as you grow your career- build your portfolio so you can get the kinds of work you want- decline unfairly paid or unpaid work so that you––and your peers––can all be compensated fairly. Published in 2021 as a result of an intensive, two-year project of the Independent Practitioner Task Force of the Oral History Association, the Independent Practitioner Toolkit will form the basis of this in-depth workshop. Suitable for both new and experienced practitioners, this workshop will be applicable to people who work within the fields of oral history and allied documentary and cultural work as freelancers, independent contractors, consultants, artists, community historians, and small business owners/sole proprietorships. Folks who have recently experienced a career change are welcome.

Note: For COVID-19 safety, as well as participant and instructor accessibility, we would like to request that all who attend this workshop wear a face mask.

Bios: Sarah Dziedzic is an oral historian, project consultant, grant advisor, researcher, teaching artist, and workshop facilitator based in New York City. She has produced numerous oral history projects in partnership with museums, archives, school programs, and community groups on NYC neighborhood history, visual arts, and cultural heritage. She is a co-developer of Equity Budgeting, where she creates educational materials and facilitates workshops that provide instruction on creating budgets for cultural projects that equitably value time, labor, and power as part of a social & economic justice-based practice. As a vocal advocate for economic accessibility within the oral history profession and across the cultural work sector, in 2022, she received an NEH-funded mini-grant from the Oral History Association to produce a survey and white paper on issues oral history workers face in the workplace, and was also invited to serve on the Empowering the Public History Workplace working group of the National Council on Public History. Prior to that, she served as co-chair of the Oral History Association’s Independent Practitioner Task Force, where she created a free, public toolkit and other resources that outline fair labor and payment practices for contract and freelance oral history work. She graduated from Columbia University’s Oral History graduate program in 2011, is a chronically ill student loan debtor, and lives in Queens with her partner and their many houseplants.

Jess Lamar Reece Holler is a public folklorist, public historian, oral historian, documentary artist, teaching artist, & community cultural organizer in North-Central Ohio. Jess is Co-Founder & Executive Director of Marion Voices Folklife + Oral History: a regional folklife & oral history non-profit amplifying the region’s diverse cultural heritages for more just, abundant futures, while growing expanded livelihoods for artists, cultural workers, & historians. Jess has developed exhibits, folklife surveys, & oral history projects for Marion Voices, Terradise Nature Center, the Marion County Historical Society, the Village of Caledonia, Black Heritage Council of Marion County, United Plant Savers, & more, on topics ranging from Marion’s 1919 lynch mob to the history of the Sandusky Plains prairie conservation movement to diverse herbalism traditions in Ohio. Through Marion Voices in the Schools, Jess also teaches oral history, curation methods, exhibit design, photography, (& sometimes, Taylor Swift) to young people. As a community arts organizer & administrator, Jess stewards community arts experiences for the Caledonia Farmers’ Market & Terradise Nature Center. As a freelance historic preservationist, Jess works to amplify the historic impact of Ohio properties with an eye to equitable access to preservation tools & resources for marginalized communities. At Marion Voices & with Sarah Dziedzic & others, Jess is proud to develop & teach the equity budgeting model: advocating for fair pay for cultural workers, narrators, community members, & everyone involved in community-collaborative cultural work. Jess has been involved in labor organizing in the cultural sector for the last decade: including serving as Co-Chair for the Oral History Association’s Independent Practitioners’ Task Force from 2019-2021. Beyond cultural work, arts, & organizing, Jess enjoys camping on the Keweenaw Peninsula with border collie Isaly and Jess’s partner: who just happens to be the 2022 Pizza-Eating Champion of Marion County.

8:30AM – 12:30PM: The OurStoryBridge Methodology: The Bridge That Connects Communities, Generations, and Stories Across Time, led by Jery Huntley

This workshop introduces OurStoryBridge: Connecting the Past and the Present, explains how to create brief, online oral histories, and provides a hands-on opportunity to practice. In just three years since the release of OurStoryBridge, over 20 communities in 13 states have created online oral history projects using this innovative, online methodology, with 800+ stories available for classroom use and more added daily. OurStoryBridge Inc. incorporated in 2022 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping libraries, museums, historical societies, and issue-oriented organizations use free, online resources to support the production of low-cost, community oral history projects. Applying to speak at the 2023 OHA Annual Meeting, I held the mistaken assumption that OHA wouldn’t be interested in hearing about the non-traditional OurStoryBridge methodology. I was wrong! The four-hour workshop was attended by oral historians from around the world who are enthusiastic about OurStoryBridge! Early in the workshop attendees listed challenges in their oral history practices, including: Technology, e.g., getting good audio; Interviewees tell stories, then renege on use; No consistent request for permissions; Building value for interviews; Transcriptions; Preparing, recruiting, recording, indexing, etc., and staffing; Convincing someone to talk; Intensity/emotions for oral historian and storyteller; Access: what to do with stories. At the end of the workshop, their list was presented again; they wholeheartedly agreed that the OurStoryBridge methodology overcomes their challenges. Furthermore, because they agreed on the importance of retaining the traditional approach to oral histories, they suggested that the OurStoryBridge methodology could also be used as an introduction to traditional projects, in other words, the non-traditional methodology could be used to draw interest in the subject, inspiring the use of long-form collections. Our vision is that OurStoryBridge empowers every community to cultivate connection across the generations, encourage civic engagement, celebrate diversity, and engender shared and durable kindness.

Bio: Jery Huntley, MLS, created OurStoryBridge at the rural Keene Valley, NY library after a career as a teacher, school and public librarian, NYS Assembly and U.S. Congress staff, recycling professional, lobbyist, and association CEO. In 2022 OurStoryBridge incorporated as a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit, which she leads as a volunteer. As Founder and President, she teaches communities across the country how to start online, oral history projects through a unique, cost-effective model, then brings those stories to educators to use in their classrooms. Other volunteers and advisors assist. OurStoryBridge brings our past and present to life.

1:30PM – 5:30PM: Streamlining Oral History Integration with Omeka and OHMS (the Next Generation), led by Sharon Leon

This workshop introduces a updated integration software for the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) and Omeka, aimed at oral historians, librarians, and archivists. The new suite of plugins and modules updates and extends the original work of the OHMS+Omeka project, and expands its application to, Omeka Classic, and Omeka S. The session will demonstrate how the new, improved software facilitates a more streamlined, efficient process for embedding oral histories into digital collections. Participants will learn practical skills for utilizing OHMS within Omeka to enhance the discoverability, accessibility, and interactivity of oral history archives. By the end of the workshop, attendees will be equipped to transform their oral history projects with advanced metadata synchronization and digital exhibition capabilities.


1. Introduce the new software integration between OHMS and Omeka.

2. Demonstrate the streamlined process for synchronizing oral history metadata with digital collections.

3. Provide hands-on training for embedding oral histories into Omeka sites, enhancing user engagement and accessibility.

4. Highlight best practices for metadata management, digital preservation, and user interface design to maximize the impact of oral history projects.

Format: The workshop will be a half-day session, including:- An overview of OHMS and Omeka functionalities and benefits.- Step-by-step tutorials for setting up and managing oral histories in Omeka using OHMS.- Case studies showcasing successful integrations and outcomes.- Interactive Q&A and hands-on practice sessions.

Target Audience: Oral historians, digital archivists, librarians, and anyone involved in the management, preservation, and dissemination of oral history collections.

Outcomes: Attendees will leave the workshop with the knowledge and skills to:- Efficiently integrate oral history content into Omeka platforms using OHMS.- Enhance the accessibility and discoverability of their collections.- Engage wider audiences through improved digital narratives and exhibitions.

Bio: Dr. Sharon M. Leon brings two decades of experience in the field of digital public humanities and digital scholarship to her role as Chief Operating Officer of Digital Scholar, the not for profit corporation that stewards essential digital software including Omeka and Zotero. In addition to directing the Omeka family of web publishing platforms, Dr. Leon is at work on a digital project to surface and analyze the community networks and experiences of the cohort of people enslaved and sold by the Maryland Province Jesuits in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Life and Labor under Slavery: the Jesuit Plantation Project. Prior to joining Digital Scholar full time, she was Associate Professor of History and Digital Humanities at Michigan State University where she launched the On These Grounds project, an initiative to design, develop, test, and disseminate a linked open data ontology to describe the lived experiences of enslaved people who labored for colleges and universities. Previously, Dr. Leon spent thirteen years at George Mason University’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) as Director of Public Projects, where she led teams producing award-winning projects including, Histories of the National Mall, the Bracero History Archive, and Historical Thinking Matters. Dr. Leon holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities and an A.B. in American Studies from Georgetown University. She is author of An Image of God: the Catholic Struggle with Eugenics (2013), published by University of Chicago Press.

1:30PM – 5:30PM: When The Archive is Not Enough, led by Alma Simba

The workshop addresses people of marginalized identities or people who may work with communities that do not often feature in archives. People from these communities often feel as though they are not worthy as objects of study as objects of archiving and recording or simply do not see themselves in the archive or heritage institutions. In addition, when these communities do see themselves in institutions such as museums they are often fetishized and depicted in a way that may not feel true to identity and history. The proposed workshop rejects the idea of conforming to fit into these institutions and takes responsibility to document stories and histories in a way that does not fit the standard approach of archiving. In this creative archiving process, the workshop aims to highlight the value of marginalized histories – in whatever form – to heritage and memorialization. The workshop thus draws on the idea of being your own storyteller. Oral histories and creative approaches propose different ways to memorialize and value marginalized histories. By subverting the conventions of academic research and using creative writing the workshop will engage with larger conversations around marginalized heritage but also the strides that can be made, and have been made, through innovative approaches. By using creative writing the workshop will explore these themes of marginalization and imaginative possibilities – equipping participants to see the value of creative archiving. This is a tool that may be helpful for historians, practitioners and artists that work with marginalized communities to encourage the collection of stories, memories and experiences given that “official” institutions will not. The workshop presents this idea of creative archiving and documentation through a range of mediums such as text, sound or photography.

Bio: Alma is a historian, writer and sound practitioner focused on the ways that research and non-academic approaches can be used to explore the past and history. Her subject matter is broadly of ancestral heritage: namely, how indigenous black Africans can communicate and explore our (ancestral) history through oral traditions, memory and imagination. She combines a non-academic/artistic practice by using creative writing and experimental sound to explore themes of the past, forgetting and memory. She combines an experimental artistic approach with the conventions of historical methodology to show the many ways in which we can remember, forget and craft history. Alma believes in the power of oral history as a portal to the potentials of non-conforming historical approaches.

1:30PM – 5:30PM: What Does Done Look Like? Project Planning for Oral History, led by Jen Cramer and Doug Boyd

This half-day pre-conference workshop, co-led by Jen Cramer and Doug Boyd builds upon previous evolving versions of this workshop presented at the Oral History Association conferences over the years. It concentrates on the logistics of planning and implementing oral history projects and is designed for individuals and teams who are conceptualizing an oral history project or are already in the process of developing one. The workshop introduces participants to a project planning “tool kit,” a step-by-step resource for effective and ethical oral history projects. This hands-on, interactive, capacity-building workshop offers an intense focus on engaged project planning, looking especially at the question in the title, “What Does Done Look Like?” Then, from that question, we will use a project planning document, breakout groups, and peer and instructor feedback to work together to create a plan for an oral history project of any size or budget. The goal is for each participant or team to leave with an implementation plan and resources for their unique oral history project. It would be helpful if participants were already familiar with the basics of oral history best practices.

Bios: Jen Cramer is the Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History and has overseen all oral history projects for the LSU Libraries and manages an oral history collection of over 6,000 interviews with topics on Louisiana politics, culture, military, the environmental movement, civil rights, women’s history, and coastal changes. Partnering with researchers, faculty, staff, and community groups, Cramer helps facilitate new and ongoing projects each year throughout the state. Cramer’s particular research interests include veterans’ history, the dynamics of community collaboration, and the intersection of trauma and oral history. For the LSU Ogden Honors College, Cramer teaches a seminar on Oral History and the Louisiana Veteran Experience. She served as the Media Review Editor for The Oral History Review from 2010-2018, and as a council member for OHA from 2016-2020, where she has been a member since 2000. She serves on several university and community committees.

Doug Boyd directs the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries. Boyd envisioned, designed, and implemented the open-source and free Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS), which synchronizes text with audio and video online. Boyd is the co-editor (with Mary Larson) of the book Oral History and Digital Humanities: Voice, Access, and Engagement published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2014, and he is the author of the book Crawfish Bottom: Recovering a Lost Kentucky Community published by the University Press of Kentucky. Boyd served as president of the Oral History Association in the United States in 2016-2017 and conducted research in Australia as a Fulbright Scholar in 2019. Boyd managed the Oral History in the Digital Age initiative, authors the blog Digital Omnium, produces and hosts The Wisdom Project podcast, and has authored numerous articles pertaining to oral history, archives, and digital technologies.

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