I'm quite new to the world of oral history, digitalization, and sound in general (depending on the list you're suscribed to!), and I have some questions to ask (sorry for cross postings then, some questions are dealing with technical aspects, some others with cataloguing aspects, but I felt I could write a general email...).
I've been assigned by one of the regional divisions of the French Culture Department (DRAC) to write a full method in order to digitalize (technical process, preservation, analysis, cataloguing, use of metadata, etc.) small oral history collections belonging either to private individuals or small organizations in the Poitou-Charentes region. In the end, the DRAC could use the digitalized documents on cdroms, web sites, commercials and so on (basically, some money could be made out of it... I know copyrights have to be dealt with; some other person has been assigned to write a paper on that specific subject). People would lend (they would get back their copy, plus a digitalized version of it, on a cd) their collections to a firm specialized in digitalization (firm yet to define) which would deal with the whole process while following my method (!!) step by step. Of course, this firm would know a lot about technical aspects of digitalization (no need to explain how to use Samplitude or Protools, at least that's something!), but little to nothing about either oral history (we have a wide range of subjects from music to songs to interviews to tales to specificities of local languages and so on, and there are very few people who would be able to analyse everything accurately) or cataloguing (and I'm not even talking about cataloguing oral history!) So, I need to write something really simple yet relevent and easy to update if needed. The trick is that it has to be both very down-to-earth with basic/general data (data rather easy to find even to someone who's not familiar with the subject e.g. title, date, place, author) but also analysed enough to be able to find specific subjects (data usually not that easy to describe when you're not used to it, e.g. when specific musical terms are concerned or when the main language is not french, to name a few...).
I've been asked to use XML and apart from that, I'm free. I'll be using the "Guide d'analyse documentaire du son inédit" (Bonnemason, Ginouvès, Pérennou. Paris: AFAS, 2001.) as a basis for my work (no direct written transcript of the recording here, more of a very described analysis on two levels: general document and item of the document). I've also found some interesting recommendations, especially on the Colorado Digitalization Project web site, but I'm always looking for more informations and guidelines (since handbooks for digital projects on oral history are not that current on the web), especially on the following subjects:
- digitalization process (what to do and when, creation of the tracks on the cds -which takes us back to the level of indexation used-, etc.)
- use of metadata (what's the most relevent? DTD EAD, METS, Dublin Core, OLAC... ?)
- problems any of you had to deal with when digitalizing your collections (recommendations, things you wouldn't do again or differently...)
- preservation on an audio CD? CD-ROM? CD-Extra? DVD? ...
- compressed and non-compressed formats for various uses (preservation, distribution,...)
Thanks a whole lot,
CERDO (Centre d'Études, de Recherche et de Documentation sur l'Oralité)
Maison des Cultures de Pays
1, rue de la Vau Saint-Jacques
B.P. 03 - 79201 Parthenay Cedex
Tél : 05.49.94.90.77
Fax : 05.49.94.90.71