From Shared Authority to “Social Curation”:
A Workshop on Collaborative Oral/Public History in the Digital Age
Saturday 25 October 9.30am-12.30pm
History Victoria is excited to host this event presented by Michael Frisch. Michael Frisch is Professor of History & American Studies/ Senior Research Scholar at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He is an American social and urban historian involved in oral and public history projects, often in collaboration with community history organizations, museums, and documentary filmmakers. Frisch’s publications include A Shared Authority: Essays on the Craft and Meaning of Oral and Public History (1990) and Portraits in Steel (1993), in collaboration with documentary photographer Milton Rogovin. His work in oral history applications of new media technology has been developed through his consulting office, The Randforce Associates, LLC, in the University at Buffalo’s Technology Incubator.
Digital tools are often understood as broadening and shifting conversations into cyberspace—from immediate and personal to the virtual communication and sharing of information. My long-standing focus on the collaborative nature of oral history has led me to reverse this emphasis—to ask how digital tools can invigorate face-to-face conversations about history, as in oral history interviews, in the public spaces of libraries, museums, and community.
The workshop will introduce case study examples of public projects in my home city, Buffalo New York that have focused on civic engagement through digitally-assisted exploration of oral history and other documentary materials. A central aim has become what we’re calling “social curation” – sustained collaborative community work in a process de-centering the usual authority relation of experts/professional and communities, enhancing the capacity of communities to “do” history in self-propelled, self-directing ways.
Using these case-study examples, in both full group discussion and break-out subgroups the workshop will examine contrasts and comparisons to current practice in Australia, and brainstorm potential prototype projects leveraging oral history and other documentary sources for digital age community engagement in the Australian setting.
Morning tea will be provided
Further enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘BEHIND THE WIRE’ EXHIBITION
If you’re heading up Longreach way between now and the end of October, call in to the Qantas Founders Museum to see the documentary (words and photos) by OHAA (Vic) member Susan Gordon-Brown.
It throws very personal light on the experiences of Vietnam vets.
PRACTICAL WORKSHOPS IN SEPTEMBER
What is Oral History? An introduction to the history and practice of oral history
with Sarah Rood
Sunday 14 September 9.45am (for 10am start)
Everyone has a story to tell. But how do we go about interviewing someone to capture their story? How do you know what questions to ask and how to ask them? And, what is the best equipment to use to record these stories?
This day-long beginners workshop on oral history is designed to address these questions and more! If you are about to embark on an interview project or simply want to learn more about oral history then this workshop is for you.
The first part of the day will be dedicated to understanding oral history as a practice and how it emerged as a method of inquiry. We will explore some of the ethical issues associated with oral history and some of the dynamics that emerge in the interview situation.
Then we will look at recording equipment, how it has changed and how we can be sure to make the most of our recording environment regardless of the equipment we use. We have a brief look at digital recording formats and clarify the recording options. There will also be a large practical component as we write, carry out and record oral history interviews.
Please bring your own recording device to the workshop along with a set of headphones!
Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, but bring your own lunch or buy locally.
Presenter: Sarah Rood is a director of Way Back When – Consulting Historians, who specialises in commissioned and community history. Sarah has been presenting these oral history workshops for the OHAA for several years.
Using the Spoken Word
With Sarah Rood and Alistair Thomson
Sunday 21 September 9.45-4.30
What do you need to do so that you can make best use of your oral history interviews? This day workshop, presented by two leaders in the field, will explore issues and introduce techniques for using the spoken word.
In the morning, Al will outline the range of approaches to creating textual ‘finding guides’ which enhance access to audio or video interviews (including summaries, interview logs and transcripts), and you will experiment with creating your own transcripts in poetry and prose.
In the afternoon, Sarah will demonstrate software and techniques for sound editing digital oral history interviews, and you will practice editing your own or other sound files.
You should bring your own laptop, memory stick and headphones to the workshop, and you should download Audacity and Express Scribe software (both free online) onto your laptop before the workshop (any troubles with Audacity, email email@example.com). Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, but bring your own lunch or buy locally.
PRESENTERS: Sarah Rood (read about her above). Alistair Thomson is Professor of History at Monash University and co-editor of The Oral History Reader.
Draft timetable for Workshop 2:
9.45 Introductions and aims
10.00 Documenting interviews and creating finding aids (Al)
11.00 Tea break
11.30 Creating transcripts in poetry and prose (Al)
12.30 Lunch break
1.30 Sound editing 1 (Sarah)
3.00 Tea break
3.30 Sound editing 2 (Sarah)
AGM — NOTE DATE CHANGE — Tuesday September 16
We have a date change and updated agenda for the OHAA VIC AGM.
New date is Tuesday September 16. Drinks and nibbles from 5.30, with a start time of 6.00.
Our speaker, Ken Berryman will be offering reflections on nine years of managing an Oral History Program for the National Film and Sound Archive. (See more below).
Meeting agenda and proxy voting form: AGM 2014
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the AGM
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU’VE READ THIS NEWS ITEM, regarding intended changes to our constitution:
ABOUT KEN BERRYMAN
Ken Berryman was the first appointment as Melbourne Office Manager of the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) after its separation from the National Library of Australia in 1984. For the past 10 years, he has been Manager of the NFSA Oral History Program, until this position was terminated as part of a number of job cuts ahead of this year’s Federal Budget. In this talk, Ken will discuss the changes to and progress of the Archive’s Oral History Program over the past decade, reflect on the highs and lows, and air his concerns about the health of the overall arts and cultural sector under the present government.
Oral History Association of Australia (Victoria Branch) Inc