Online Series: Oral Interviews

Capturing Changing Technologies in Oral Interviews

Online Learning & Interview Project

The series will teach oral history techniques as well as raise awareness around issues of technology, practice, and sustainability. Following the online learning series, a grant will fund six oral history interviews. Webinar attendees will be given priority for receiving stipends to conduct interviews with practitioners. 

The field of audiovisual archiving and preservation has experienced tremendous technological change over the last thirty years. As digital technology progressively eclipsed its analog counterpart, new possibilities for preservation were created, along with new problems. With the decline of analog formats and playback equipment, cultural heritage institutions have struggled to keep up with the pace of this transition. Maintaining and repairing obsolete equipment and access to individuals with specialized technical knowledge are just two of the significant challenges institutions face in relation to the preservation of analog formats. These issues are further inflamed when institutions are under-funded or operate on a lean staff with few resources—which is sadly more often the case than not.

Oral history provides a methodology for recording and disseminating knowledge rooted in the lived experiences, we believe that it is ideally suited for preserving the tacit knowledge of our professional community. By preserving anecdotal knowledge and personal experiences of those in the audiovisual archiving community through oral histories, technical knowledge that has historically been excluded from our cultural heritage could finally be captured. In this spirit, we invited several oral historians, and other archivists who have conducted interviews, to offer training in oral history methodologies and to present on their experiences interviewing practitioners of changing technologies.

The “Capturing Changing Technologies in Oral Interviews” webinar series begins with “How We Did It: Archivists Who Have Interviewed Practitioners of Changing and Obsolete Technologies,” featuring five presentations by archivists who have already conducted such interviews. They will explain their more informal processes and what they learned. The panel will be followed on July 18-19  with a two-part training course “Doing Oral History.”

The workshop series and interview project is managed and curated by Melissa Dollman, PhD. The project is made possible by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), with funds provided by the National Film Preservation Board.

Note: Attendees can register for all three webinars at a combined discounted rate, and AMIA members get an even better deal!

How We Did It: Archivists Who Have Interviewed Practitioners of Changing and Obsolete Technologies

  • July 5 – 9:00am – 12:00pm (Pacific)

Opening the series is a roundtable of five audiovisual archivists will present on oral history interviews they have each conducted with practitioners of increasing obsolete media formats and technologies (audio, time-based, analog video, film). They will discuss their differing approaches to interviewing, outreach, how they disseminated their interviews to a wider audience, and more.

Speakers

  • Eddy Colloton, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • Dan Hockstein, UNC’s School of Information and Library Science
  • Chad Hunter, Video Trust
  • Jackie Jay, Farallon Archival Consulting
  • Andrea McCarty, Yale University Library

Doing Oral History Workshop

  • Part I – July 18 – 9:30am – 1:30pm (Pacific)
  • Part II – July 19 – 9:30am – 1:30pm (Pacific)

The workshop will offer training in each of the core areas of this important documentation method. Attendees will learn how to record, archive, and provide access to projects ranging in size from a few interviews to the beginning of their own oral history program. In two, four-hour sessions presented in consecutive weeks workshop leaders will cover the following major topics: 1) Project Design; 2) the importance of Legal and Ethical Frameworks; 3) Recording Technology; 4) The Pre-Interview Process; 5) Interviewing Techniques; 6) Preservation, Metadata, and Cataloging; 7) Transcription and Other Derivative Works; and 8) Project Access and Outcomes. The workshop will be interactive and include sample materials, a project design tutorial, a practice interview (with feedback from professionals), and an introduction on how to index oral histories using OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer). This session also includes specialized instruction concerning the world of remote interviewing and contains targeted training for professionals looking to learn more about how to ethically work with oral history materials.

Speakers

  • Anne Kelly, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Teague Schneiter, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Steven Sielaff, Baylor University Institute for Oral History
  • Jade Takahashi, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Mae Woods, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Speaker Information

Eddy Colloton is a Project Conservator of Time-based Media for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, where he works closely with the conservation department on the museum’s diverse array of media artworks. Colloton received his MA degree from the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at New York University in May of 2016. Colloton has previously worked as an Assistant Conservator at the Denver Art Museum, and a Time-Based Media Technician at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Dan Hockstein [he/him] is a media specialist and audiovisual archive professional from Springfield, NJ, currently living in Chapel Hill, NC. He has worked in the field of audiovisual preservation since 2014, including roles at Thomas Edison National Historical Park, George Blood Audio, and UNC-Chapel Hill. Additionally, Dan currently serves as a board member-at-large for the Association of Recorded Sound Collections. Dan is currently finishing his Masters of Information Science at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science. He is particularly interested in concepts surrounding digital preservation, accessibility, and sustainability as it relates to the dissemination of legacy technical knowledge.

Chad Hunter is Executive Director of Video Trust, and Director of the Pittsburgh Silent Film Society.  In his work as a film archivist at institutions such as George Eastman Museum in Rochester; Appalshop in eastern Kentucky, and musician Peter Gabriel’s human rights organization WITNESS in New York, he supervised the preservation of more than one hundred films, including the home movies of Martin Scorsese and Joan Crawford, early silent films from Harold Lloyd and Raoul Walsh, and the National Film Registry-named The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man.  He co-founded Home Movie Day and the Center for Home Movies, and in 2021 launched National Silent Movie Day, an annual celebration devoted to the exhibition and preservation of silent film.

Jackie Jay received her MLIS with a focus in archival studies and imagining technology as well as a graduate certificate in archival management from the University of North Texas. She previously worked at Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) as a preservation technician where she built her digitization skills, most significantly in ¾” U-matic and ½” open-reel videotape.  Jackie has been the videotape digitization instructor for all three rounds of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting’s Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship and for the U of Alabama’s EBSCO funded fellowship. She teaches a Digital Assets course she developed for Diablo Valley (community) College and an Audio Visual Archives course that she developed for the University of Alabama. She is the owner of Farallon Archival Consulting LLC in San Francisco. Jackie is a member of the AMIA Continuing Education Advisory Task Force.

Anne Marie Kelly is the Senior Archivist for the Academy Oral History Projects. Previously, Anne worked as a research specialist for Dimensions in Testimony and Program Lead of Immersive Innovations at the USC Shoah Foundation.  They have their master’s degree in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Southern California, with publications in The Cine-Files and Spectator. Anne started their career working in film sound restoration for Deluxe Entertainment and on the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Oral History Interviews at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oral History Projects.

Andrea McCarty has worked in moving image archiving for over twenty years and is currently Media Preservation Manager for Yale University Library. She is the former Director of Archives and Asset Management at HBO and has worked with collections at WGBH Media Library and Archives and Northeast Historic Film, where she currently serves as Board Chair.

Teague Schneiter is the Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oral History Projects department, where she is responsible for new video productions and the acquisition of a collection of over 2,000 legacy interviews with filmmakers (1948-present). As the initiative’s founder, she has been responsible for strategic planning; developing born digital video production, research, description, metadata and access practices specific to oral history; collection development; digital preservation planning; curatorial projects; cross-institutional initiatives; and outreach. She has been involved in multiple grants projects, including co-developing an oral history project dedicated to documenting the stories of Latina/o/x and Latin American filmmakers which resulted in a richly searchable multilingual website using Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) for the Getty’s 2017 PST:LA/LA cultural festival. Teague earned her master’s degree from the University of Amsterdam’s moving image preservation program, and worked in the early part of her career with oral history, human rights and other cultural heritage materials in Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States with organizations such as WITNESS and IsumaTV. From 2016 to 2020, Teague served on the Board of AMIA as Vice President, and co-founded: AMIA’s Continuing Education Advocacy (CEA) Task Force, AMIA Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Program (ADIFP) Fellowship Task Force (now Pathways), Advocacy Committee of the Board, and Oral History Committee. She now serves as Project Director for AMIA’s Pathways Fellowship, which is supported by a Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant.

Steven Sielaff is Senior Editor & Collections Manager at the Baylor University Institute for Oral History in Waco, TX. During the last ten years he has held positions ranging from graduate student to senior lecturer, working on various web-based and multimedia projects, including For the Greater Good: Philanthropy in Waco, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission’s Texas Liberators Oral History Project, and War Comes to Waco, A WWI digital exhibit. Steven has also conducted many institutional oral histories, including series on both the Dr Pepper Museum and Baylor’s Mayborn Museum Complex, as well as a forty-interview series on the history of Baylor University. In his supervisory role he oversees every technical aspect of processing, preserving, and disseminating Baylor’s oral history collection of over 7000 interviews. He directs the digitization of BUIOH’s analog collection, oversees the Institute’s web presence, and spearheads the migration of transcripts and audio files to the institute’s searchable online database powered by Quartex. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Oral History Association’s annual journal, Sound Historian, serves as chair of the Oral History Association’s Metadata Task Force, and is Managing Editor for the H-OralHist listserv.

Jade Takahashi (she/her) is an audiovisual archivist, cinephile and bibliophile, currently the Senior Specialist of Production and Operations with the Oral History Projects department at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a Project Archivist with Cal State University Monterey Bay’s Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library. She is a producer and founding member of ParTak Films. She works with a range of materials and topics that cover filmmaking, local histories, politics, civil engagement and personal growth. In previous roles at AMPAS, she was the archivist for the Oral History Projects department, assisting with the recording, preservation and cataloging of original and legacy audio and visual histories. As an intern, she cataloged small gauge film from the home movie and Master and Masterworks collections. Her interest in home movies and photography has made her the family archivist. She received her B.A. in English Literature and M.A. in Moving Image Archive Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mae Woods joined the Academy Oral History Program in 2004 and has contributed over 370 hours of audio interviews with such film luminaries as Arthur Hiller, Alvin Sargent, Eva Marie Saint, and Frank Pierson. When the department transitioned to visual histories, her role expanded to include training researchers and interviewers. Mae earned a B.A. in English at UCLA then began her career as Peter Bogdanovich’s assistant while attending graduate school in film studies. She was a researcher on Bogdanovich’s oral history interviews and assisted on his films, from The Last Picture Show to Nickelodeon. She served as an associate producer on six features directed by Walter Hill, produced for USA network, and wrote for HBO’s Tales from the Crypt. This background in production now enhances her interviews with filmmakers. She currently oversees the research for a slate of 30 career-length interviews per year and content produces the sessions. She completed training in oral history practices at UCLA and the Southwest Oral History Association. She has participated in presentations for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Oral History Association, Southwest Oral History Association, and the Film Librarians Conference.

Project Director, Melissa Dollman earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in American Studies in 2021 and has a Master’s in Moving Image Archiving Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked professionally as an audiovisual archivist, adjunct faculty, fellow, exhibit developer, and researcher for cultural heritage institutions including Women In Film Foundation, UCLA Film and Television Archive, Academy Film Archive, Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, State Archives of North Carolina, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, the Southern Oral History Program (UNC), and is currently the digital projects manager and archivist for Tribesourcing Southwest Film. Melissa has published textual and videographic works on home movies, digital humanities, public relations films and living trademarks. Between 2016 and 2020 she was a director of the board for the Association of Moving Image Archivists, in the 2000s chaired the Access Committee, and currently co-chairs the Publications Committee. In 2022, she joined the board of directors for Al Larvick Conservation Fund that supports the preservation of American analog home movie, amateur cinema and community recording collections.