13 episodes

Interest has grown in recent years in in oral history along with the increased popularity of the personal narrative. Oral history can be defined as the practice of eliciting people’s personal memory of lived experiences that are absent in written archives, and documenting them with a recording device with the purpose of turning the interviews into historical sources.

The ‘digital turn’ has had an enormous impact on this archival practice. Currently much unique and valuable spoken language data reside in oral history archives, in the form of digital audio and video, written transcripts and non-digitized recordings. Speech and language technologists have developed various software tools and platforms for the analysis and exploration of the various layers of meaning in spoken data. But despite the large amount of research carried out in numerous disciplines to create, explore and analyse oral history data, the state of the art software is often not exploited by researchers in the humanities and the social sciences. At the same time oral history data is rather underused by linguists.

CLARIN organized a workshop to bring together those doing research on oral history archive data, including archivists, language technologists, social scientists, along with linguists and speech technologists to investigate how these various communities might start to learn from each other and collaborate more effectively.

Exploring Spoken Word Data in Oral History Archives Oxford University

    • Education

Interest has grown in recent years in in oral history along with the increased popularity of the personal narrative. Oral history can be defined as the practice of eliciting people’s personal memory of lived experiences that are absent in written archives, and documenting them with a recording device with the purpose of turning the interviews into historical sources.

The ‘digital turn’ has had an enormous impact on this archival practice. Currently much unique and valuable spoken language data reside in oral history archives, in the form of digital audio and video, written transcripts and non-digitized recordings. Speech and language technologists have developed various software tools and platforms for the analysis and exploration of the various layers of meaning in spoken data. But despite the large amount of research carried out in numerous disciplines to create, explore and analyse oral history data, the state of the art software is often not exploited by researchers in the humanities and the social sciences. At the same time oral history data is rather underused by linguists.

CLARIN organized a workshop to bring together those doing research on oral history archive data, including archivists, language technologists, social scientists, along with linguists and speech technologists to investigate how these various communities might start to learn from each other and collaborate more effectively.

    • video
    From Search to Exploration

    From Search to Exploration

    Barriers and opportunities in using oral history archives as data resources Opening keynote presentation from Jakub Mlynář from the Centre for Visual History Malach in Prague at the event "Exploring Spoken Word Data in Oral History Archives", held at the e-Research Centre, University of Oxford on 18-19 April 2016, organized by Martin Wynne as part of the CLARIN-PLUS project (http://www.clarin.eu). Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 34 min
    • video
    Oral History as Research Data

    Oral History as Research Data

    Interviews, collections, archives, data and history - a view from the UK Data Archive. Louise Corti from the UK Data Archive, at the event "Exploring Spoken Word Data in Oral History Archives", held at the e-Research Centre, University of Oxford on 18-19 April 2016, organized by Martin Wynne as part of the CLARIN-PLUS project (http://www.clarin.eu).
    Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 26 min
    • video
    Oral History Collections

    Oral History Collections

    How to exploit the multidisciplinary potential of Oral History narratives Presentation from Stef Scagliola of Erasmus University Rotterdam at the event "Exploring Spoken Word Data in Oral History Archives", held at the e-Research Centre, University of Oxford, on 18-19 April 2016, organized by Martin Wynne as part of the CLARIN-PLUS project (http://www.clarin.eu).

    Elicited personal spoken narratives have a physical dimension - pressure waves traveling through the air between two speakers - and a semantic dimension - memories and self representations that are woven into a co-created story. The story can be suited for scholarly use or reuse and for a variety of purposes. It may contain references to facts that are omitted from written sources, it can shed light on coping mechanisms to overcome adversity, but it can also offer insights in the structure of dialogue, the relation between vocal and facial expression and gender-related aspects of language use.

    Progress in digital technology has transformed the oral history landscape. Before the ‘digital revolution’, the only viable way to access and analyse this type of data was through its textual representation: printed catalogues and transcripts. Nowadays, a considerable number of the vast array of oral history collections that have been created worldwide since the introduction of cheap recording technology in the 1960’s, is available online. Individual researchers are increasingly encouraged to deposit their interviews after completion of their research, so that other scholars can reuse them. This has yielded a huge potential of useful data for multiple academic audiences.

    The question is how digital tools created to support humanities research in general, can be tailored to extract the characteristic features of personal narratives in ways that match specific methodologies of diverse disciplines. In other words, how can innovation in computer science support the exploitation of this multilayered type of data and bring about innovation in cross-disciplinary scholarly research? Search technology has provided new frameworks that facilitates interaction with the data at various semantic levels. Progress can also be observed with regard to manual annotation tools. But when it comes to the next stage of the research process, the analysis of data, the bottle neck for wide-scale reuse of oral history remains the lack of transcripts, because of the dependency on the labour-intensive process of manual transcription. How to set the agenda for collaboration between developers and the various scholarly communities that want to use oral history material as research data? Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 31 min
    • video
    CLARIN Data, Services and Tools

    CLARIN Data, Services and Tools

    What language technologies are available that might help process, analyse and explore oral history collections? Presentation by Dieter van Uytvanck of CLARIN at the event "Exploring Spoken Word Data in Oral History Archives", held at the e-Research Centre, University of Oxford on 18-19 April 2016, organized by Martin Wynne as part of the CLARIN-PLUS project (http://www.clarin.eu). Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 22 min
    • video
    Increasing the Impact of Oral History Data with Human Language Technologies

    Increasing the Impact of Oral History Data with Human Language Technologies

    How CLARIN is already helping researchers Presentation from Arjan van Hessen of the University of Utrecht at the event "Exploring Spoken Word Data in Oral History Archives", held at the e-Research Centre, University of Oxford on 18-19 April 2016, organized by Martin Wynne as part of the CLARIN-PLUS project (http://www.clarin.eu). Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 23 min
    • video
    Language Technologies: ELAN

    Language Technologies: ELAN

    A short introduction to the ELAN annotation and processing suite of tools Presentation from Sebastian Drude from CLARIN at the event "Exploring Spoken Word Data in Oral History Archives", held at the e-Research Centre, University of Oxford on 18-19 April 2016, organized by Martin Wynne as part of the CLARIN-PLUS project (http://www.clarin.eu).
    Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 13 min

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