Call for SAA Oral History Project Co-Coordinators

Proposed May 2012 by the 2012 OH Section Steering Committee


The Oral History Section Steering Committee seeks two (2) volunteers to serve staggered terms as co-coordinators of the section’s ongoing oral history program.



Launched in 2009 at the SAA meeting in Austin, and as part of the Society’s 75th Anniversary celebrations, the SAA Oral History Project aims to collect the stories of SAA leaders, across groups, in order to document the diversity of SAA and of the profession.

From 2010-2011, eighteen interviews were conducted by section volunteers on-site in Washington, DC and Chicago, and are currently in post-production. Interviews will be deposited with the SAA Archives administered at UW-Milwaukee Libraries.

Since 2009, the project has been coordinated and managed by past section chair and 75th Anniversary Task Force Liaison Lauren Kata, with cooperation and input from the steering committee and SAA Staff.

SAA Council and Executive Director Nancy Beaumont have approved the continuation of interviewing in 2012 and 2013. Arrangements are in place for 2012, but the section would like to begin now planning for 2013 and 2014 work. Part of that planning includes recruiting new volunteers and splitting the coordinator position into two positions, in order to keep the project sustainable.


Position Descriptions:

Project Coordinator, 2012-2013

Shadowing the current coordinator (Lauren), this person will coordinate all tasks associated with conducting interviews. This includes:

      Communicating with SAA Staff to arrange for logistics (for 2013)

      Communicating with potential interviewees and pre-scheduling interviews

      Recruiting and communicating with volunteer interviewers

      On-site coordination of all interviewing, including contact with SAA staff for room logistics and management and set-up/tear-down of equipment

      Communicating with interviewees onsite and after interviews (being available to answer any questions)

      Conducting interviews

      Pre-conference promotion of the project via newsletter blurbs, announcements

      Other related duties as assigned

      Note: Attendance at the annual meeting is necessary and required.


Project coordinator, 2013-2014

Working with the 2012-2013 project coordinator, this person will coordinate all tasks associated with post-processing and post-production of interviews. This includes:

      Working with the onsite project coordinator, arranging for the secure and safe transfer of the interview tapes following the annual meeting (these arrangements may be made in a way that is mutually convenient for both project coordinators)

      Serving as custodian of the original tapes until they are transferred to the SAA Archives

      Coordinating the post-processing/post-production of the digital video tapes - this includes:

      Arranging for the transfer of interviews from tape to uncompressed digital moving image files (requires access to hardware and software, and/or the recruitment of a volunteer who can manage the transfer)

      Arranging for the creation of audio files from the master digital video files

      Organizing and describing all interviews

      Recruiting volunteers for transcription work

      Coordinating volunteer transcription work and maintaining volunteer logs and communications with all recruited volunteers.

      Working with any partners (UW-Milwaukee, Nunn Center) to transfer copies of interviews and transcripts for special access/indexing projects

      Coordinating post-interview communications with interviewees and delivering draft transcripts for their review

      Serving as final editor for all transcripts, and/or recruiting volunteers to create final edits and drafts

      Other related duties as assigned

      Note: attendance at annual meeting is ideal, but not required

Workflow around all of the above can be worked out between coordinators and with the assistance and feedback of the steering committee.

In addition to the leadership experience and professional contribution this opportunity affords, these positions will be considered appointed, ex-officio positions, and volunteers will be able to claim service on a national-level SAA steering committee. This is a wonderful way to contribute to SAA.

If interested, and/or for more information, please contact current project coordinator Lauren Kata at and indicate your interest and experience. The Section hopes to fill these positions prior to the SAA Annual Meeting, so that the onsite project coordinator may be prepared to participate in the coordination of 2012 onsite interviewing. Applications/self-nominations will be accepted through June 30.