Annotating Oral History

Initially, I was going to use the interview I had conducted with Red Rider, a pilot and instructor at Mesa del Rey Flight School, to transcribe on OHMS, however, the access to the recording has been delayed because of technical difficulties. Thus, to practice using OHMS, I chose an interview from YouTube with another WWII pilot from a collection of interviews in the AMC Museum archives. I admit that I ended up watching the tutorial on how to index the recording. While the metadata was not too difficult o complete, something was missing when I uploaded the YouTube video because it just would not play. I ended up comparing data of my Media URL to others to notice the changes I had to make. When the interview was finally rolling, I was able to begin to tag it and work on the transcription. I found that by doing this, stopping at point of the interview, writing the partial transcript and synopsis, the interview yielded its unique structure. Oral histories could be challenging to make sense of because the chronology of the interview, in spite of starting with birth date, childhood, etc., can easily shift with stories popping up out of sync. The transcription helps bring focus to these stories and offers the possibility of connecting them to historical facts, places, and time. Hence, users may jump to a specific story when searching a topic. This in turn made me rethink the titles of those segments I had decided to stop at and change. When I will be using OHMS to transcribe the interview for my Pilot’s Log site, I will need to consider being specific about these stopping point, how they connect to other information on the site, and what could be gained by others in their search.

Interview with Charles Devonshire, Berlin Airlift Pilot

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