Volunteer One Hour to Help Us Transform the Understanding of Metadata Practices for Oral History

Volunteer One Hour to Help Us Transform the Understanding of Metadata Practices for Oral History

Jaycie Vos, Oral History Association Metadata Task Force

The Oral History Association Metadata Task Force (MTF) is charged with improving access and discovery for oral history interviews by helping their creators and caretakers improve the capture and preservation of the interviews’ metadata.

The MTF saw the need for more structured information to offer a base understanding of metadata: what it is, and how people are using it. To this end, in 2016 we surveyed a select group of oral history programs at higher education institutions about practices, successes, and pain points related to description. After reviewing the results, we are launching Phase 2 of the survey, which aims to obtain information and feedback from a broader range of institutions and practitioners at higher education institutions, public libraries, cultural heritage organizations, and anywhere oral histories are conducted and collected.

We recognize that the SAA Oral History Section is comprised of practitioners who share many of our goals regarding building best practice around accessibility and preservation of oral history. To that end, we specifically seek your participation in Phase 2 of our survey. We want to hear from you! You can take the survey here. We anticipate this survey will take 45 - 60 minutes to complete. This survey may be completed by one person representing the practices of the whole; or, it may be used as an exercise among your overall staff or team, which we highly encourage, based on positive feedback received in our initial data-gathering phase. Your submissions will be reviewed by the MTF, and will be incorporated into a larger report and “menu of best practices,” which we will then share back to the larger community of practitioners. Phase 2 of this survey will remain open through the majority of 2018, but we encourage you to complete it at your earliest convenience to enrich and expand the findings the MTF can report out in our forthcoming publications and presentations.

If you have any questions about the survey, or our work in general, please feel free to email us at oha.metadata@gmail.com and we will be happy to communicate with you. Thank you!