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ART Discussion Group: Oral Histories and the Archives

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2011
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Kellen Design Archives

Join us for the eighth in our series of informal, focused discussion groups led by ART membership. On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, archivists will gather to talk about the role of oral histories in and out of the archives.

Does your repository have an oral history program, or are you thinking about starting one? Do you work with another department in your institution that conducts oral histories? Or, do you have a cache of old interviews on audiocassette that you’re trying to decide what to do with?
Explore the diverse relationships archives have to oral histories. In this discussion we will be free to analyze our own successes and missteps without criticism or judgment. We will compare approaches, ask questions, offer suggestions, wonder aloud. We guarantee that you will leave the session armed with at least one new tip, idea, or approach. Above all: Come ready to talk!

We’ll discuss issues like the following:
-Deciding to shoot video, or only to record audio
-Role of the archivist in creating oral history
-Selecting/buying/leasing equipment
-Choosing subjects
-Coordinating with other departments
-Pre- and post-interview communication with interview subjects
-Transcription
-Online access to audio, transcripts, or both
-Digitizing recordings
-Rights issues
-Use in exhibitions

PLEASE NOTE: This session is for those archivists who play a lead role in conducting and/or collecting oral histories. Attendance is limited to 15 participants. Advanced registration is required. Qualified attendees will be admitted on a first-come first-served basis and will be notified prior to the date of the session.

Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Time: 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Location: Kellen Design Archives
Register: To register, email Wendy at: scheirw@newschool.edu

Further information with directions will be included with admission confirmation.

Cost: Free to all NYART members.


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Discussion Groups in General
Our goal is to create a space where archivists can engage in focused conversation around a specific problem derived from archival work and to explore the strategies archivists employ in their everyday practice. The size of each group will be small, to encourage discussion among all attendees. Unless noted otherwise, each session will be designed for archivists at similar levels of experience.
Participants will come away from discussions with fresh approaches to practical challenges.


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This program is intended to address topics generated by ART members, to take on topics that address the immediate needs of working archivists. Our last discussion topic, in fact, was suggested by a member. Members themselves lead the discussions. In order for the program to succeed, we need to hear from you! Please send in your ideas for future discussion topics. Or, even better, if you would like to lead a discussion, let us know. We plan to pass the torch to you after the first discussion. Send comments, questions and suggestions to Wendy Scheir and Maria LaCalle at scheirw@newschool.edu and Maria.LaCalle@jdcny.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!

questions? communications@nycarchivists.org
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