University of Kentucky's oral history program has potential to be revolutionary

Kylie Lacey's picture

The University of Kentucky is making strides to preserve oral history with a system that allows interviews to be heard online before they are transcribed.

The Oral History Metadata Synchronizer, developed at UK in 2008, is the only one in the country, said Doug Boyd, director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at UK's Special Collections.

"It's potentially revolutionary," he said.

In 2011, the Institute of Museum and Library Services gave the Nunn Center a $195,853 National Leadership Grant to continue developing the synchronizer, Boyd said.

The Nunn Center, which is part of UK Libraries, has been gathering oral histories for four years and has about 9,000 interviews, Boyd said, adding that one of the center's goals is to make the interviews more accessible to the public. Before the synchronizer, the only way to listen to the interviews was to go to the center.

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