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Since formally becoming an official OHA task force in 2014, the MTF has worked to exchange and analyze both current and best practices for making oral history accessible through thoughtful metadata applications and to promote collaboration across institutions.  Our work is closely aligned with OHA’s Archives Interest Group but our focus is specifically metadata considerations, decision-making, and best practices.

Although we are each also members of other organizations, doing this work under the OHA umbrella makes the most sense to us.  Archivists and librarians are not our only audiences; we seek to provide meaningful guidance about what to collect for oral history that reaches OHA’s broad and multidisciplinary community.


2019 Task Force Membership

Lauren Kata, Independent Archivist/Oral Historian

Natalie Milbrodt, Metadata Services Coordinator and Director of the Queens Memory Project, Queens Public Library

Steven Sielaff, Senior Editor and Collections Manager, Baylor University Institute for Oral History

Jaycie Vos, Special Collections Coordinator and University Archivist, University of Northern Iowa

Other former OHA member partners: Cyns Nelson (founding member), Doug Boyd (OHA Council liaison), Nancy MacKay (member emeritus)



  • 2015 – Publication of micro-essays and case studies on the Oral History in the Digital Age platform
  • 2016 – Working group session hosted by Baylor University in Waco, Texas, sponsored by both OHA and Baylor
  • 2017 – Phase 1 of a national oral history metadata survey focusing on academic oral history programs
  • 2018 – Phase 2 of a national oral history metadata survey open to any institution with oral history collections
  • 2018 – Production of an oral history metadata field rubric, introduced at the OHA Annual Meeting in Montreal
  • 2019 – Development of an online tool for metadata decision-making, based on user personas (In Progress)
  • 2019 – Reporting of survey results in a variety of spaces (In Progress)


Current Projects

The MTF is currently focused on two major projects in 2019:

  1. Analyzing the data from both phases of the national survey and determining the best way to share the results
  2. Exploring opportunities to provide access to the metadata rubric, specifically via an online platform or tool


Upcoming Events

The MTF will host a panel at the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Annual Meeting in July/August 2019! Our panel is titled “That Sounds Just Like Me! Leveraging User-Centered Design Personas to Inform Your Metadata Practices for Oral History Collections” and will focus on the interaction of user personas with our produced metadata rubric.


Contact Information

If you are interested in contacting the MTF, you can reach us via email at