The Process of Processing

Since I have started this project, and especially lately, I am frequently asked about what the final product will be. Initially I told people that I wanted to locate an archive or library to deposit them. This made sense (and still does) because libraries and archives are the natural home for oral history interviews; they are the best equipped for handling preservation, transcription, and access. Then, somewhere along the way in my travels, I think it was at Leo Adams’ house, people began suggesting a that the final product would be a book (a suggestion that terrifies me by the way) and after a while I found myself not disagreeing or correcting people. However, this is mostly because I just didn’t know. There are pros and cons to both options and I am weighing out each. In the meantime, I am focusing on the journey (collecting and processing interviews) rather than the destination.

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What is oral history?

Between Art Stories and coordinating the start of an oral history program at CalArts, where I am a librarian, I have been having a lot of conversations with experienced oral historians, reading as much as I can get my hands on, and simply thinking a lot about oral history. I also find myself in a lot of conversations now explaining (or rather, trying to explain) what oral history is

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