Special Collections Faculty and Staff Publications


Oral History Curation in an Academic Library

Document Type


Publication Date

October 2013


This four-person roundtable will discuss the different methods and applications that are currently being used by the University of South Florida’s (USF) Oral History Program to curate, present, and promote oral histories. This program, which is based out of the USF Tampa Library, has explored several different delivery models, both traditional and nontraditional. We will examine the digital platforms used by the oral history program, Omeka, LibGuides, and an internally developed media player, and their accessibility and usability for research and teaching. These two platforms provide different structural and organizational models, thus allowing for different levels of curation. In 2009, the USF Tampa Library began using LibGuides, a content management system for library websites, to present to oral history interviews. Shortly thereafter, an oral history player, OHPi, was developed to provide synchronized access to audio and text. These developments enhanced the research experience of faculty and students using USF oral histories; however, the LibGuide platform was limited in its presentation capabilities. In early 2011, the Library began implementing Omeka, an “open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions.” This platform provides oral history curators with greater flexibility in displaying collections, including audio, video, textual, and graphic options. Finally, the Library will soon release a mobile version of OHPi.