Archival Innovator Award: Dr. Doug Boyd

Dr. Doug Boyd, director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries, is the 2018 recipient of the Archival Innovator Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The Archival Innovator Award recognizes archivists, repositories, or organizations that show creativity in approaching professional challenges or the ability to think outside the professional norm or that have an extraordinary impact on a community through archives programs and outreach.  

Boyd designed and leads the development of the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS), a free digital tool that improves access to online oral histories by synchronizing text with audiovisual content on an open-source platform. Launched in 2014, there currently are OHMS accounts at more than 350 institutions in more than 20 countries and OHMS is used by a diverse array of oral history projects. Boyd’s team continues to actively develop new features, including the addition of multilingual support in 2017. This feature has greatly increased visibility of underrepresented groups in digital oral history collections, such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ use of OHMS to publish oral histories of Latinx filmmakers.

Boyd’s supporter wrote: “While it was his creative and innovative nature that envisioned the capability for OHMS to be multilingual, it was Boyd’s leadership and focus that led to the implementation of the vision that now makes this type of project possible by institutions all over the world.”