Oral History is an important part of the research work done at MATRIX. We have been working for a number of years on setting best practices for audio and video digitization, audio and video production, metadata schemes, and online dissemination. Oral history materials exist across many MATRIX project activities and subject areas.
Among our quilt-related partnerships, MATRIX programming and digital labs support two major oral history projects: Quilters’ — Save Our Stories (Q.S.O.S.) and Quilt Treasures. Q.S.O.S. oral histories document the stories of living quiltmakers with specific “touchstone” quilts. Transcripts of the interviews are stored in MATRIX’s KORA repository along with photographs of the person and their quilt. The interviews are presented in a single page view and are searchable by many parameters. Quilt Treasures presents online “web portraits” featuring a variety of media stemming from long form oral narrative interviews with people key to the late 20th Century quilt revival in the United States. Curated pictures, stories, biographical information and streaming video are combined to produce the online web portrait.
Working with the Chicago Historical Society, we host a large collection of interviews by Studs Terkel. And in partnerships with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the African Studies Center and Department of History at MSU, we have produced a number of video interviews for South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid Building Democracy.