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Annual Meeting Workshops

A series of workshops will be offered on Wednesday before the annual meeting, and a free teacher workshop targeted at 4-12 educators will be offered on Saturday morning at the Madison Public Library. If you are interested in learning more about the practice of oral history, register for one of OHA’s instructional workshops. Wednesday workshops are $40 for OHA members and $50 for non-members, and they will be held at the Madison Concourse Hotel. If you are attending the conference, you may sign up and pay for workshops when you register. If you are not, you may pay prior to the workshop at the registration desk in the Madison Concourse. Registration for the conference is not required to attend a workshop.


Introduction to Oral History
Wednesday, October 8, 8 AM to 12 PM

The introductory workshop serves as an informative overview to the field of oral history from initial idea through finished product. The workshop will cover specifics within three sub-categories of oral history: Pre-Interview, Interview, and Post-Interview, including the basics of oral history, project planning, technology, interview setup, writing questions, release forms, providing access and/or a transcript, available resources, and any other topic of interest to the attendees. Additionally, the workshop will include a series of audio question and answer examples from several oral history interviews to help individuals hone interviewing skills and provoke additional discussion in the workshop.

Workshop Leader: Jeff D. Corrigan, Oral Historian for The State Historical Society of Missouri at the University of Missouri-Columbia


OHMS: Enhancing Access to Oral History Online
Wednesday, October 8, 8 AM to 12 PM

The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries has created an open source and free, web-based, system called OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer) to inexpensively and efficiently enhance access to oral history online. OHMS connects the textual search term in a transcript or an index to the corresponding moment in the recorded interview. OHMS has been designed to be easy to use, universally compatible, and extremely flexible and provides a powerful and scalable option for enhancing online access to oral history for institutions with wide ranging (including minimal) budgets and technical support. This workshop will serve as a general introduction to OHMS and will explore, in detail, the processes of getting started using OHMS, indexing techniques, the synchronization of transcripts, and general workflows for successfully implementing OHMS at your institution. For a general introduction to OHMS, go to

Workshop Leader: Doug Boyd, Director, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


Look Before You Leap: Transitioning to Video Oral History
Wednesday, October 8, 1 to 4:30 PM

Based on “from the ground up” experience, this workshop will inform and prepare oral history practitioners and archivists who are transitioning from audio recording to digital video capture. Scalable and practical approaches to video oral history will benefit individuals and institutions with varying resources. The workshop will explore the basics of digital video capture and workflows, incorporate demos, and will address the benefits, challenges, and fundamentals of using digital video for conducting interviews.

Workshop Leaders: Christian Lopez, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia; Doug Boyd, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


Oral History and the Law
Wednesday, October 8, 1 to 4:30 PM

The goal of this workshop is to explore the major legal issues that all practitioners of oral history should be knowledgeable about. Topics to be covered include: professional ethics, legal release agreements, protecting sealed/restricted interviews, defamation, the privacy torts, copyright, uploading interviews to the internet, and institutional review boards. Participants will be given ample opportunities to ask questions related to their project or subject matter interest. The workshop is intended to be academic in nature and will not provide legal advice.

Workshop Leader: John A. Neuenschwander, emeritus professor of history at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and author of A Guide to Oral History and the Law, Oxford University Press, 2009.


The Power of Performance: A Practical Guide to Writing an Oral History-Based Performance
Wednesday, October 8, 1 to 4:30 PM

Using a practical approach, the process of crafting a performance from oral history transcripts will be demonstrated. The various methods of choosing themes, gathering quotes, as well as the process of constructing the narrative and the challenges associated with this process will be discussed. The presenters will also reflect on their experience as both writers and performers, offering insight into their own reactions to performance as well as the reactions of those whose stories are represented.

Workshop Leaders: Kira A. Gentry and Janet D. Tanner, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton


Teacher Workshop: Principles and Best Practices for Oral History Education (grades 4-12)
Saturday, October 11, 9AM to 12 PM

First Floor Conference Room, Madison Public Library, Central Branch Sponsored by the Wisconsin Humanities Council (no charge to register) Teachers interested in learning more about integrating oral history in their classroom curricula are invited to attend this free workshop at the Madison Public Library. The workshop will feature the new OHA Principles and Best Practices for Oral History Education document for 4-12 educators. The document, developed by the OHA Education Committee with funding from the History Channel, is organized by the three main stages of an oral history project—pre-interview, interview, and post-interview. Come to the workshop and benefit from the experience of educators who have had success engaging students with oral history.

Workshop leaders: Debbie Ardemendo, Apollo Theater Education Program in New York; Cliff Mayotte, Voice of Witness in California; and Traci Morgan, Teach for America and McClintock Middle School in North Carolina