This site is dedicated to fomenting a new turn in Oral History: Multimodal Digital Oral History. Multimodal Digital Oral History (MDOH) is one that engages with oral history artefacts in multiple representational modalities: transcript, sound, waveform, metadata and more.
If the first “digital turn” in oral history was largely a passive affair, concerned with the online dissemination of retro-digitised and born digital oral history recordings, what might the incipient “sound as data” turn herald? What gains and losses might result from data-driven enquiries of oral history interviews as sonic or multimodal artefacts, individually or at scale, as opposed to enquiries of them as transcript only, as interviews have continued to be positioned by Digital Oral History scholarship?
Which digital tools, processes and platforms can best be utilized in the data-driven analysis of oral history as sonic and multimodal artefact? What rationale and ethical commitments can and should guide processes of tool selection and creation for this work? What new research questions and trans-disciplinary collaborations may follow? And what are the implications for oral history of participating in this research, as may be illuminated through the emerging sub-field of digital hermeneutics?
MDOH is an Oral History where the digital is active rather than passive; where Digital Oral History modalities are positioned as analytical categories of inquiry and also as sites of data-driven analysis; where reflexivity is a core aspect of digitally-mediated research; and as an endeavour that nevertheless remains attuned to Oral History as a subjective and intersubjective meaning-making process, situated in space, time, culture and technology.
Through the sharing of research, digital tools, and convening an international seminar series, we invite oral historians and digital humanists to engage with oral history artefacts in all their representational modalities.