A four-part webinar series covering various facets of timed text (a.k.a. captions and subtitles). This series will include workflows for creating and editing timed text; legal and ethical implications; working with vendors, contractors, and software; text styles and encodings; and considerations for equitable access to archival AV materials.
Each session is approximately 2 hours long, with 1 hour reserved for presentations and another half hour reserved for questions. The sessions will be conducted live on Zoom—recordings of these sessions will not be created in an effort to foster an environment for more conducive to open discussion.
Registration for the full series or individual sessions is available.
More information about each session below.
This workshop explores useful concepts in the transcription of oral history to help us more accurately portray the voice of our narrators. The English language is inextricably linked to a history of colonialism and has been used in the history of America to delegitimize the voices and agency of Black people (from forced illiteracy during slavery, to voter suppression during the Civil Rights Era, to even the halls of academia today). This workshop aims to change the way we think of the transcript as a record and the way we consider dialect and the importance of AAVE (African American Vernacular English) to recording American history and culture.”
Alissa Rae Funderburk (she/her/hers) is the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded Oral Historian for the Margaret Walker Center at the HBCU Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. She maintains an oral history archive that, like the Center, is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of African American history and culture. Previously, she created an oral history course for high school students at the Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center and conducted freelance oral history interviews for the city of Jersey City.
While completing coursework in the Oral History Masters Program at Columbia, Alissa Rae served as the Deputy Director of the Columbia Life Histories Project alongside its co-founder Benji de la Piedra. Her OHMA thesis on the religious and spiritual experiences of Black men in New York City was based on her studies of race, culture, religion, and the African diaspora, when graduating from Columbia College in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology as a John W. Kluge Scholar. Alissa Rae is a native New Yorker, newly elected OHA council member, avid reader, and yoga enthusiast with a passion for travel.
This panel discussion will focus on automated and computer-assisted transcription, captioning, and audio description, and other technical advancements as they relate to creation transcripts, subtitles, and captions. Panelists will discuss the technology they use, workflows and practices, challenges, and plans for future development of technology. Topics include: Captioning and Audio Description Software, Transcription and Captioning, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Libraries and Archives
Building software for captions, audio descriptions, and editing transcripts – Brad Botkin (he/him/his) has more than 30 years’ experience in accessibility software design and management at WGBH, including the planning, design, and implementation of technologies used by WGBH’s Media Access Group as well as in the wider technology space. Many of the patented and award-winning software solutions and specifications he has developed have resulted in new capabilities within mainstream media technologies, specifically designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. He has extensive knowledge of all issues surrounding digital data delivery in spaces which includes broadcast/cable television, conventional/specialty movie theaters, airline entertainment, live theater, radio and web streaming, and has created accessible browser applications including CADET, NCAM’s tool for authoring captions and audio descriptions. Brad is an active participant in industry groups, working to ensure standard approaches for carriage and display of captions and description in digital media technologies of all types.
Automated captioning workflows in preservation nonprofits – Libby Savage Hopfauf (she/her/hers) is the Program Manager/Audiovisual Archivist at Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS) and Project Audiovisual Archivist at Seattle Municipal Archives (SMA) in Seattle, Washington. She received a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of the Arts in Creative Writing with a minor in Sociology from Western Washington University. She is passionate about creating resources that provide intuitive use of open-source tools, making the digitizing process accessible to archivists (with a wide variety of skill-levels) to ensure the sustainability of institutions to preserve their videotape and conquer the magnetic media crisis.
Stanford Libraries captioning and transcription research and analysis – Geoff Willard (he/him/his) is the Media Production Coordinator for the Media Preservation Lab at Stanford University. Prior to accepting the position in 2010, he spent a summer working for the Hoover Institution after receiving his MSIS from the University of Texas at Austin. His formative AV preservation exposure came while working at the Harry Ransom Center and the Texas Archive of the Moving Image while in school at UT.
Oral history transcription and captioning – Jennifer Snyder (she/her/hers) is the Oral History Archivist at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art where she oversees more than 2,300 interviews, the largest collection of recordings about American art anywhere in the world. Jennifer earned her MLS from the University of Maryland and enjoyed a career as a processing archivist before finding her way to oral history. Jennifer has presented at the Society of American Archivists and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, and is a frequent guest speaker for undergraduate and graduate courses.
This session will focus on streaming media delivery that incorporates transcripts and captions for users. Panelists will discuss initiatives and developments regarding caption and subtitle playback at their respective institutions or organizations. Topics include: Streaming Media Playback, Transcript Delivery.
Web-browser display of timed text tracks – Brendan Coates (he/him/his) is an audiovisual preservationist who focuses on Oral Histories, currently working at the Computer History Museum where he’s contributing to the overhaul of their access and descriptive systems.
Captions in the Avalon Media Player – Jon Cameron (he/him/his) is the Product Owner of Avalon where he works with the developers to represent the needs of Avalon users. As Digital Media Service Manager for the Indiana University Libraries, he’s the public face of IU’s multiple instances of the Avalon Media System, providing training, documentation and guidance for a growing user base of collection holders. He also works in various capacities on IU’s Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative.
Legal and technical considerations for captions display at UNT – William Hicks (he/him/his) is the head of User Interfaces at the University of North Texas Libraries in Denton, TX where he contributes to the development of web-based systems including The Portal to Texas History and The Gateway to Oklahoma History.
This workshop will cover a variety of topics related to captioned media and supporting deaf and hard of hearing library users. Workshop leaders will address why captions provide equal access, why automatic speech recognition technologies are not the answer (yet), understanding legal responsibilities for institutions, and how to build effective, centralized, captioning systems. Topics include: equitable access; disability services; legal issues and standards surrounding captioning and transcription, planning for captioning services
Stephanie Zito (she/her/hers), MS, NIC, is the lead Technical Assistance Specialist at the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes. She is also a certified sign language interpreter and trained C-Print captionist for over ten years. After studying interpreting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she went on to pursue her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Currently, she serves as Board President for the National Association of Interpreters in Education (NAIE). Stephanie has also devoted much of her free time volunteering and consulting with local, state, and national nonprofit organizations.
Kate Lewandowski (she/her/hers), MS, is a Technical Assistance Specialist at the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes. She has over 12 years of experience advising and coordinating access for deaf students in the postsecondary environment. Kate’s passion for outreach on topics of disability justice, access, and inclusion is a deeply personal endeavor which stems from her experiences navigating systems as a deaf student. Kate earned her master’s degree in Disability Services in Higher Education from the City University of New York’s School of Professional Studies in 2019.
Brendan Coates (he/him/his) is an audiovisual preservationist who focuses on Oral Histories, currently working at the Computer History Museum where he’s contributing to the overhaul of their access and descriptive systems.
Dinah Handel (she/her/hers) is the Digitization Services Manager at Stanford University, where she works across their digital library program to provide quality services to Stanford University patrons and the community at large. Previously, she was the Mass Digitization Coordinator at the New York Public Library, and an NDSR‐NY resident at CUNY TV. She holds an MLIS from Pratt Institute in New York, and a BA from Hampshire College.