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OHMS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)<http://www.imls.gov/> has awarded the Louie
B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries<http://libraries.uky.edu/> a $195,853 National Leadership Grant to further develop their Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS). OHMS is an open source, web-based system that allows users to search for specific terms within recorded oral history interviews. This free tool will enable a wide variety of libraries, archives, and cultural heritage institutions to enrich the presentation and the use of digital oral history collections and will save considerable time for experienced and inexperienced researchers alike.

The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History<http://libraries.uky.edu/nunncenter>, under the direction of Doug Boyd<http://libraries.uky.edu/libpage.php?lweb_id=11&llib_id=13&ltab_id=261>, partnered with the Digital Library Services entity of UK Libraries to create OHMS to inexpensively and efficiently enhance access to and discovery of oral history online. The system provides users word-level search capability and a time-correlated transcript or index connecting the textual search term to the corresponding moment in the recorded interview online. The latest version of OHMS contains a segment creator and synchronizer to enable repositories who prefer to index their interviews instead of depending solely on a transcript to present their synchronized interviews online. The ability to pinpoint specific terms in lengthy oral history interviews will save the experienced researcher, as well as students or the general history enthusiast lots of time and effort.

The new grant project is designed to create compatibility between OHMS and other popular content management systems empowering institutions, both large and small, to provide an effective, user-centered discovery interface for oral history on a large scale. In addition to developing OHMS compatibility with open source content management systems such as OMEKA, and larger scale commercial systems such as CONTENTdm, this project will develop multimedia tutorials instructing users on the use, installation and deployment of OHMS within particular content management systems.

Since its creation, the Nunn Center has used the OHMS system to upload more than 500 interviews in the past three years. To try an OHMS search of the Nunn Center’s oral history collections, visit the Kentucky Digital Library at http://kdl.kyvl.org/cgi/b/bib/bib-idx?c=oralhistbib;cc=oralhistbib;page=simple.

As part of the project UK Libraries will work directly with multiple institutions that employ different content management systems in order to test the other systems compatibility with OHMS. Partner institutions taking part in the project include: Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History<http://www.baylor.edu/oralhistory/>; Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma Oral History Research Program<http://www.library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/>; MATRIX<http://www2.matrix.msu.edu/> at Michigan State University; and Cleveland State University’s Center for Public History and Digital Humanities<http://csudigitalhumanities.org/>. Over the course of the project, UK will also work directly with additional institutions as well, who want to enhance their online presentation of oral history.

Permanent link to this article: http://ohda.matrix.msu.edu/2011/11/ohms/

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