If you’ve worked in a library or archive at a larger institution, you may have gotten the opportunity to use Glifos Social Media to present indexed oral histories. With Glifos Social Media (which is part of a suite of Glifos tools useful to libraries). One of the most useful features of oral history indexing is the ability to timestamp transcripts so that, with one click, a user can find the location they want in a transcript and navigate to that exact moment in the audio or video file.
This is incredibly useful for researchers who use oral histories, but until recently, only available to institutions or organizations that can afford to pay to implement programs like Glifos–and even though you can choose which Glifos products to purchase, you might still be paying for tools you don’t actually need. For smaller organizations creating oral histories, this has been an impediment to presenting their content in useful, researcher-friendly formats.
Fortunately, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky created the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) to provide indexing tools specifically geared toward the needs of oral historians. Originally used only within the University of Kentucky system, the Nunn Center received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to make the OHMS free and open source. Now, it can be used as a plug-in with any number of content management systems such as Omeka (which is also free and open-source) or ContentDM.
OHMS allows you to index oral history interviews with the following data:
- Time Stamp
- Partial or full Transcript
- Segment Title (required)
- Segment Synopsis
- GPS Coordinates
- GPS Description
- Link Description
By time-stamping the interview, linking it to a transcript, and providing keywords and subject headings, oral historians make it much easier for researchers to find oral histories, as well as locate relevant moments within those histories. OHMS is also useful because it allows the researcher to switch between the partial transcript–short descriptions of each segment of the interview, with keywords and other relevant metadata–or the full transcript, if they need more specific information about the contents of the interview.
Obviously, someone has to go to the trouble of creating all of this metadata, but fortunately the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History has made it quite simple to do the majority of work within the OHMS. And since it is open-source, designed by-and-for people who work with oral histories, there is a significant amount of documentation available all over the web to help beginners understand how to use the OHMS effectively. Check out our Library to find links to some of this documentation, or watch the video below for a great tutorial that explains how to create high quality metadata while indexing oral histories with the OHMS.
As always, visit our Toolbox to learn about other great tools to support oral history work!