Group Title: Alachua County Voices : Oral History Digitization ( NEFLIN 2006 - 2007 Mini-grants )
Title: Mini-grant final report, Alachua County Voices
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 Material Information
Title: Mini-grant final report, Alachua County Voices
Series Title: Alachua County Voices : Oral History Digitization ( NEFLIN 2006 - 2007 Mini-grants )
Physical Description: Archival
Creator: Haas, Stephanie
Publisher: University of Florida
Publication Date: 2007
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082124
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Northeast Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN)
2233 Park Avenue, Suite 402, Orange Park, FL 32073


Form Due: August 31, 2007

LIBRARY NAME George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida



Describe the project in sufficient detail to make clear its purposes, activities and results. (Attach
additional pages as needed.)
Explain how this project impacted the community you serve.

Please include one copy of any printed or audiovisual publication produced as part of this
project, e.g., brochures, book lists, manuals, pamphlets, videotapes, etc.

(See attached narrative and appendices)

Detail expenses for this project by category.
Any funds not expended by July 31, 2007 must be returned to NEFLIN by check and accompany
this report.

I certify that all of the information contained herein is correct to the best of my knowledge.

Stephanie C. Haas
Printed Name

_ _ __I"
Signature Date

Online version of this form:

Returned completed form by U.S. Mail to the NEFLIN office or e-mail to

Mini-Grant Final Report Page 1 of 5

Library: George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida

Project #: 0607-NEFLIN-MG-06



Dr. Karen Thomas, Oral History Consultant

Leslie Lee, Electronic Distribution Consultant



1 50 pk MAM-A Gold Archive DVD-R

1 Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatality Interface Sound Card

1 100 pkg DVDs


Sweetwater 2 Compact flash recorders

Samson C03 Microphone with adjustable stand and cable

2- Lexar Professional Compact Flash Memory Cards


Pastperfect software w/audio module for Matheson

TOTAL EXPENSES ............................................. ..........................
($12.08 was contributed by UF to purchase the Sound Blaster Card)

FUNDS RETURNED TO NEFLIN ................................................

$ 5806.08+$1,980(IDC)

$ 0

Mini-Grant Final Report Page 2 of 5

$ 3,000


$ 112.73



$ 999.94



$ 310.00


The Alachua County Voices mini-grant project had several objectives. It was designed: 1) to
help preserve the oral history tape collection of the Matheson Museum by creating digital copies
of the analog tapes, 2) to enhance research access to the contents by providing free online access
to the transcripts and, where allowable, to audio excerpts from a selection of tapes, 3) to develop
the digital audio capabilities of the Digital Library Center, University of Florida Libraries which
provided technical support for the project, 4) to provide training to individuals and regional
historical agencies interested in creating digital oral histories, and 5) to train volunteers and staff
at the Matheson in the use of digital recording equipment. The over arching purposes were to
assist the Matheson Museum to make its collections available to the community including
researchers at the University of Florida and to continue the development of collaborative projects
that enhance both the Matheson's and the University of Florida's contribution to the citizens of

At the outset of the project, Lisa Auel, the former director of the Matheson Museum, indicated
that the original release agreement did not include any stipulations concerning Internet
distribution rights. While the director was confident that most individuals would agree to have
their transcripts available on the web, Leslie Lee, the electronic distribution consultant, took on
the task of contacting all of the oral history interviewees to confirm internet distribution rights.
Many of the original interviewees were no longer living so attempts were made to contact the
closest living relatives. Ultimately, ninety-six contacts were successful with internet distribution
permissions granted by 51 individuals. Future oral history agreements will include appropriate
internet distribution wording. At the current time, 51 transcripts are available on the Matheson
Museum Oral History web site
and 14 clips have been added. An example is Mai Kahlich's description of trains running down
Gainesville's main street at The 14 clips represent
half of the originally proposed number but reflect the fact that permissions to display transcripts
were also half of what was originally expected. Future oral history transcripts and clips will be
added as the Matheson staff continues its oral history activities.

A quick review of each of the objectives is the most appropriate way to summarize the activities
and results of the grant:

1) Migrate oral histories from analog tapes to digital .wav format

All of the tapes available in the Matheson Museum oral history collection have been transferred
to digital .wav format and stored on MAM-A (Mitsui) gold archival DVDs.
The .wav format is considered the archival format for long term storage. Additional use copies
have been made for use of researchers visiting the Matheson. A total of 96 oral histories have
been converted.

2) Create a searchable web site for the Matheson oral history transcripts and clips.

Fifty-one of the Matheson Museum transcripts have been digitized and are available on the Oral
History web site. These are full text searchable and available to anyone globally over the
Internet. Sixteen clips have been made and are offered to users in the web compatible .mp3

Mini-Grant Final Report Page 3 of 5

Although the web site is still under development, during the last three months, there have been
89 visitors and 110 page views.

3) Develop capabilities at the Digital Library Center, University of Florida libraries to convert
analog tapes to digital formats.

Randall Renner, head of the imaging unit, selected Sound Blaster as the conversion software and
has converted all of the available tapes to digital formats. While working through the
digitization of the oral histories tapes, Randall noted "that many of the interviews were recorded
with little attention to signal level and consequently have very poor audio levels." He surmised
that this was probably due to misplacement of directional microphones, or poor placement of the
microphone between the interviewer and interviewee. Digital formatting cannot compensate for
original low audio levels. The training of Matheson volunteers by Dr. Thomas, as well as the
new equipment should result in much higher sound quality that will meet current oral history and
archival standards.

4) Provide training to individuals and regional historical agencies interested in creating digital
oral histories.

Karen Thomas, Oral History consultant for the project, presented an oral history workshop at the
Matheson on Saturday, May 12, 2007 from 9 am to noon. Nine individuals attended representing
the Matheson Museum, the Micanopy Historical Society, Evergreen Cemetery, Lake City
Community College, and High Springs Community School. The following evaluative comments
were received:

1. Was this workshop valuable?
Most answered yes. Comments: "technically informative," "lots of aspects of
techniques to consider I had not thought of," "great info-excellent presentation,"
"addressed many questions of a basic nature, providing useful suggestions and
advice," "very valuable...this info will be a great help in organizing students to do
an OH project," "covers overall aspects, very informative, pithy."

2. Is there any information that you were seeking that was not covered in the
workshop? If so, what?
All left this blank or said no.

3. Length of workshop:
too short--2
Comments: "could have gone on after lunch," "need more breaks," "digressed a
little too much," "more time for Q & A"

4. Were the activities helpful? If not, why not?
Yes-7, blank--1
Comments: "good to be reminded this is a group activity," "fun to interact with
attendees," "allowed to grapple with applying the info"
No-1 "The one we did was not helpful. I suggest not doing that but then doing the
sample interview instead."

Mini-Grant Final Report Page 4 of 5

5. Any other comments?
Great program!
Very good overall, GREAT reference material--very valuable Got ideas for
projects excellent, well done, very informative Maybe have another session later
this year to address other subjects and/or activities of interview
style/techniques/evaluation Thanks!
Very, very good presentation

Dr. Thomas' presentation is attached as an Appendix to this report.

5) Train volunteers and staff at the Matheson in the use of digital recording equipment.

Karen Thomas provided additional hands on training for the registrar and the oral history
project director of the Matheson Museum. This grant paid for new digital recording
equipment, memory cards, and a new microphone and stand for use by the Matheson. It
is expected that future recordings will not exhibit the low audio levels found in the
current analog tapes.


The major impacts of this project can only be fully appreciated at some point in the
future. As indicated above, 89 visitors have visited the Matheson site in the last three
months, but due to the newness of the web site, it is not possible to determine the value of
this resource to researchers and the community. Although the Matheson does expect to
promote the availability of the web site to its membership and the community, those
activities have not been done. The project PI will work with the new interim director at
the Matheson to clarify the appropriate URLs that should be cited. It is expected that the
project will be discussed in the Matheson's newsletter and other mailings. Additionally,
the Matheson oral history transcripts are searchable and available as part of the larger oral
history collections in the University of Florida libraries digital collections

Karen Thomas, the oral history consultant, will take the feedback from the workshop and
training sessions she conducted and use it to modify training materials being developed
for the oral history component of the state-wide Florida Electronic Library project. The
recommended practices that Dr. Thomas is formulating will help standardize the
collecting, archiving, and sharing of oral history projects throughout Florida. Dr. Thomas
notes that a link to the DLC/Matheson website will be included in the directory of Florida
oral history sites that will be featured on the Florida Voices digital oral history
clearinghouse website, sponsored by FCLA and the State Library and Archives This will
increase the visibility of the grant-funded converted interviews and future digitally
recorded interviews.

Because the Matheson director and registrar, both key members of this project team, have
left the Gainesville area, the Matheson Museum is in a transitional phase with an interim
director. The basic objectives of the grant have all been accomplished, but it is expected
that future growth of the oral history collection will await the institutional stabilization
associated with hiring a replacement director.

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