The readings for Module 7, Oral History, included learning about the free Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) based at the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries. OHMS helps with one of the challenges of oral history, being able to easily search for elements within an interview. One of our assignments was to try annotating oral history with OHMS
After reading the assigned articles and watching the Doug Boyd’s videos, the process seemed straightforward. Accessing my account was simple enough, and I entered the information that I had into the easy to use Metadata Editor. However, the YouTube video did not come up when I tried to index. I deleted it and tried another, but I had no luck. I decided to try a third time, but I did not find a better result. I looked at what others had done, and I could not see the difference between mine and theirs. Dr. Leon came to the rescue, letting me know that I needed to delete the “s” in the “https” in the address from YouTube. Once I did that, I was able to index my interview. People who want to use YouTube with OHMS would be wise to remember that advice.
I decided to work on an interview with Agnes Nixon, “The Queen of the Soaps,” who passed away last year. Since I have admired her for decades, I suggested Agnes Nixon for inclusion in 100 Entertainers Who Changed America: An Encyclopedia of Pop Culture Luminaries and wrote her biographical sketch. I love the interviews with her from The Archive of American Television and thought this would be the perfect chance to honor her in another way.
Once I began the process of indexing, I realized what a fabulous product OHMS is, and how much fun it is to transcribe this way. Here is my first try at using OHMS.
OHMS allows users to watch the videos or listen to the audios and then to pause at different times (using time stamps) to transcribe and enter information in the metadata fields. It is very easy to rewind and to change time stamps. I would recommend OHMS to anyone who is considering transcribing an oral history interview.
I also indexed an interview with Toni Morrison, another talented writer. This interview, “Challenges as a Female Writer” was insightful. I am pleased to have learned Morrison’s thoughts, and I encourage you to watch the interview. Toni Morrison’s interview also was a joy to index.
I know that these are just the first two of many times that I will use OHMS. Doug Boyd and the team at OHMS deserve great praise and many thanks!
Boyd, Doug. “OHMS: Enhancing Access to Oral History for Free.” Oral History Review 40.1 (2013): 95-106. Published on March 20, 2013.
McMaster, MaryKate. “Nixon, Agnes (1927–).” In 100 Entertainers Who Changed America: An Encyclopedia of Pop Culture Luminaries. Edited by Robert C. Sickels. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2013. http://ebooks.abc–clio.com/