Monday, July 16, 2007

University Libraries Offer Digitizing Oral Histories Conference — September 20, 2007

Ball State University Libraries personnel learned a great deal about the issues involved in digitizing oral histories during the recent Middletown Digital Oral History Collection Project funded by a 2006-2007 Library Services and Technology (LSTA) Digitization Grant. They are planning to share their experiences with other library, archives, and information technology professionals through a conference hosted by the University Libraries.

Can You Hear Me Now? Digitizing the Voices of the Past, a one-day conference on digitizing oral history, will be held Thursday, September 20, 2007, at the Ball State Alumni Center. The conference will focus on the needs, opportunities, and challenges of transferring audio documentation of the past to new digital formats for preservation and global access. Key issues to be discussed include:
• Planning and funding
• Copyright issues
• Audio digitization procedures, equipment, and standards
• Transcription
• Metadata
• Demonstration of current projects

Using CONTENTdm for making digital oral histories available will be a focus of the conference, but other systems will be discussed also.

In addition to participants from the Ball State University Libraries, the program will include:

• Brenda Burk, Philanthropic Studies Archivist, Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI)
• Carrie Daniels, Assistant Professor and Associate Director, University Archives and Records Center, and Co-Director, Oral History Center, University of Louisville
• Jeffrey Green, Sweetwater Sound, Inc.
• Cinda May, Assistant Librarian and Project Director for Wabash Valley Visions and Voices, Indiana State University
• Kathleen Medicus, Cataloger, Special Collections and Archives and Media Services, Kent State University
• Connie Rendfeld, Library Services and Technology Act Consultant, Indiana State Library

The luncheon and keynote address will be given by Dr. Luke Eric Lassiter, Marshall University, and Elizabeth Campbell, University of Indiana, Pennsylvania. They will discuss The Other Side of Middletown oral history project that they conducted while at Ball State University. The interviews from that project have now been digitized and transcribed and are available as part of the Middletown Digital Oral History Collection in the Ball State University Digital Media Repository, a project of the University Libraries.

Co-sponsors of the conference include the Center for Middletown Studies, the Ball State Department of History, and the Society of Indiana Archivists.

For more information on the conference or to register online, go to or contact John B. Straw, conference chair and Director for Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, at, (765) 285-5078.

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