Oral History Toolkit

Oral History Toolkit

Introduction

The ASU Oral History Project is a joint endeavor of the School of Historical, Philosophical & Religious Studies, the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, and the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University. This experimental web application is designed to allow the public to hear and search oral histories on a variety of topics (compilations) through an interactive audio player like the image shown below. A few other web sites do something similar.  But our project lets registered users create compilations, upload oral history files (in .mp3 format) and create metadata and transcriptions for them, so that the public can access the files.

 

How it Works

Through innovative annotation and transcription functions, registered users can add tags to their audio files, allowing them to be highlighted for easier navigation. The annotations appear as a listing beneath the audio file listening controls. As a registered user adds annotations the list grows. Any user can click on the 'Listen' link beside an annotation; the audio file immediately jumps to that part of the oral history and plays it. Registered users can also create transcriptions of any audio file in the database. We do not restrict the creation of transcripts to audio files that "belong" to a registered user. Rather, we store each user's transcriptions for any audio file, which leverages the transcription process and gets multiple listeners involved. That can be especially helpful where accents or audio problems render transcribing difficult. And it also lets us create side-by-side comparisons of transcriptions.

In addition to having annotations and transcriptions that let the user jump into oral histories at various points, the system we are developing supports keyword searches of audio file and annotation metadata. The metadata for each audio file and annotation contains descriptive text and a list of relevant keywords. When the user sees a listing of available audio files or their annotations, the list of keywords is included as a series of links. To find other audio files or annotations with any keyword, the user can simply click the keyword of their choice, or type their keyword search term in the "Recordings Keyword Search" box in the upper right corner of the page. Immediately, a result list is displayed, which the user can use to load and listen to other relevant audio files.

The ASU Oral History Project is a joint endeavor of the School of Historical, Philosophical & Religious Studies, the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, and the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University. This experimental web application is designed to allow the public to hear and search oral histories on a variety of topics (compilations) through an interactive audio player like the image shown below. A few other web sites do something similar.  But our project lets registered users create compilations, upload oral history files (in .mp3 format) and create metadata and transcriptions for them, so that the public can access the files.

Affiliated Organizations

Project Director(s)

Michael Simeone

Director of Data Science and Analytics, Hayden Library

Headliner Info

Mark Tebeau

Associate Professor of Public History and Director of Public History Graduate Studies

Headliner Info

Project Team

Stephen Savage

Scientific Software Engineer

Headliner Info

Bio

Stephen H. Savage is an archaeologist and software developer.  He has worked in the archaeology of the U.S. and Near East for more than 30 years, including fieldwork in the U.S. Southeast and Southwest, and Jordan, Israel and Egypt.  Before entering graduate school he was a computer systems analyst, working in the financial planning and healthcare industries.  He received his MA in Public Archaeology/Anthropology from the University of South Carolina in 1989 and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Arizona State University (ASU) in 1995.  He is currently a Scientific Software Engineer at the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development (OKED) at ASU, and affiliated with the Institute for Humanities Research and the Nexus Lab.  He also runs the Geo-Archaeological Information Applications Lab, developing large-scale archaeological and GIS database applications for a variety of platforms, including the Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land, the Aegean Digital Archaeological Atlas, and the Mediterranean Archaeological Network.  At the University of South Carolina he developed an innovative social landscape model for the Late Archaic period, using early GIS applications.  Prior to joining OKED he was the IT Manager of ASU’s Archaeological Research Institute for seven years, and in the early 2000’s he was the GIS network manager for the Arizona SHPO, and developed methods to easily access the AZSite cultural resources inventory.  He has conducted training workshops in Jordan, Greece and Norway.  Since 2000 he has directed the Moab Archaeological Resource Survey in Jordan.  His research interests include early complex societies in the Near East and North Africa, the Levantine Bronze Age, Predynastic and Archaic Egypt, mortuary analysis, spatial analysis, GIS and remote sensing, database development and design.  He has published in American Antiquity, the Journal of Archaeological Science, the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Radiocarbon, the Journal of Archaeological Research, the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology and the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan.  He is a past recipient of a NASA Space Archaeology grant for Climate Change and Human Impact on Ancient and Modern Settlements: Identification and Condition Assessment of Archaeological Sites in the Northern Levant from LandSat, ASTER and CORONA Imagery.  Savage has expertise in Archaeological Method and Theory; application of computer methods, including GIS (ArcView, MapObjects) Remote Sensing (MultiSpec, Global Mapper), AutoCad, Surfer, quantitative and spatial analysis; Programming capability in PHP, JavaScript, Visual Basic, Turbo Pascal, several earlier forms of BASIC, and Assembler Language; Computer simulation modeling; Database development and management; Operation of surveying instruments and equipment such as the total station, theodolite, transit, etc., preparation of site topographic maps; Architectural drafting and technical illustration; Working knowledge of Predynastic Egyptian ceramics and lithics, South Levantine ceramics and lithics; Archaeometry.