Oral History in the Digital Age



Home ; About ; Best Practices ; Getting Started ; Ask Doug ; Thinking Big ; Wiki ; Resources ; Donate


This website is the result of the project Oral History in the Digital Age (OHDA) which started in a wiki, by doing a survey of what oral history/narrative resources and best practices were online. Now the wiki gives visitors a chance to add to the conversation by making updates or adding resources.
The central lesson learned from the work on OHDA is, that there are no simple set of “best practices” for digital oral history/narrative projects. Therefore the Best Practices section is set up as a sitemap to the collected information.

The Getting Started section contains three glossaries for the domains: archives, audio and video. Furthermore essays on ten themes are presented in so-called playlists, to help AV-archivists who want to get started right away. Topics: Planning, Equipment, Use, Legal Issues, Partners, Digital Preservation, Cataloging and Metadata, Access and Outcomes.

Ask Doug takes the visitor through a series of questions to help find the right piece of equipment for a project. At this time, Ask Doug can help with digital recorders. Tips on choosing video cameras and microphones will be added.

Thinking Big is a series of interviews with leading figures working with digital media and/or digital oral histories/narratives.

The Resources section presents a brief list of featured resources pertaining to various aspects of oral history.

OHDA materials may be downloaded and used for educational purposes as the website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


The essays are of good quality and of nice length, encompassing relevant topics for oral historians, audio archivists, content managers and policy makers who are planning to start narrative projects with the AV-content from their collections.

The website contains such a wealth of information that it can be considered a relevant resource for anyone involved in cultural digital archives. Even if you are an expert on for example recording equipment, the file naming tips or the tutorial on checksum might be useful.

The content is presented in text as well as in videos.
Apart from the website sections, the content can easily be accessed via tags and categories.

Hanneke Smulders