Creating Digital Exhibits Using Oral History
October 4, 2017
Welcome to the 2017 OHA workshop on learning easy and affordable methods to create digital oral history exhibits. We will focus on practical ways to share oral history interviews and excerpts using open source and/or freely available tools and platforms, integrating audio with images, text, maps, and other resources.
The third party platforms we will use include (although there are many other options out there):
- SoundCloud (see example)
- ThingLink (see example and this one too with embedded audio)
- Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (see example)
- HistoryPin (see example)
Each of these platforms can connect with commonly used content management systems, including WordPress, Drupal, and Omeka, through the use of embed codes. You will have access to a sandbox page on this WordPress site to experiment with using embed codes.
We have audio and images available for you to experiment with in a shared Google Drive folder. You do not need to log-in to access.
8:30 – 8:45 Introductions
8:45 – 9:15 Using digital audio SoundCloud as building block
9:15 – 9:45 Integrating audio with images using ThingLink
9:45 – 10:15 Integrating audio with maps using History Pin
10:15 – 10:30 Q&A and troubleshooting
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:15 Embedding the OHMS viewer
11:15 – 12:00 Sandbox, brainstorming, and consulting re individual projects
Think of Soundcloud as similar to YouTube, but for audio. With a free account you can host your audio files and make them available to play in other platforms (including HistoryPin and Thinglink) or you can embed the sound files on your own website.
ThingLink is a simple to use tool that allows users to create “hotspots”–icons to click–on an image. To each hotspot users can add text, images, video, hyperlinks, or audio.
- With a free account you can embed audio files from Soundcloud
- With a paid account, such as the Teacher Pro account ($34/year) you can upload audio directly (you can an educator’s account with a .edu mail address)
Other platforms for combining audio with images and other visualizations:
HistoryPin uses the Google Map interface to allow users to pin images, video, and audio from the past to a world map. You can discover historical content from all over the world and also add your own. As a crowdsourced project, your content will be accessible to others, and the map becomes richer and more engaging with more contributors.
- Pins must be curated into collections or tours.
- Audio must be linked from SoundCloud or AudioBoo and video from Vimeo or YouTube.
- Works with Google or Facebook log-in, or you can create account with email
Other map options that work well with audio:
Created by the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries, the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer allows users to sync audio with a transcript or index, in order to find an exact moment in an oral history interview. Although it takes a bit more set-up than some of the off-the-shelf products described above, OHMS makes oral histories and their metadata searchable and discoverable. Like the other platforms, the OHMS viewer can be embedded in various content management systems.
Where should I host my exhibit?
Once you’ve made your exhibit, it has to live somewhere on the World Wide Web. I highly recommend Reclaim Hosting for your server needs, especially if you do not have institutional support. Reclaim has designed their products with academia, students, and small organizations in mind. With one-click installation you can have Wordress, Drupal, Omeka, and the OHMS viewer up and running in no time, all for super low annual hosting rates. I have never experienced such supportive customer service.
Post Workshop Resources
Thanks for helping compile all of these additional resources! You all made this workshop a success by contributing your ideas and experiences. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like me to add.
Clio — map based platform for local history
Timeline JS — Easy timeline tool using Google Sheets and embeddable audio, images, and video.
- Will Chase, “Where to find archival audio,” NPR Editorial Training, Oct 7, 2015.
- Alison Macadam, “Active sound: How to find it, record it, and use it,” NPR Editorial Training, Sept 29, 2015.
- Alison Macadam, “Writing through sound: A toolbox for getting into and out of your tape,” NPR Editorial Training, June 23, 2015.
- Free Sound