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Text > Data: Mining Oral Histories for Multiple Audiences

Event: Mining Oral Histories for Multiple Audiences
Monday, February 18
Time: 3:30-5:00 PM
Location: 217 Perkins Library, Duke West Campus (Map)
Contact: Liz Milewicz,, 919-660-5911
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Millions of dollars have been spent on digitizing oral histories, preserving records of otherwise undocumented lives and experiences. But a list of digital audio files and transcripts can seem impenetrable and intimidating to all but the most intrepid scholars. If part of the mission of these projects is to make histories accessible to the public and produce fresh understandings of our past, digitization is not enough. How might computational tools be applied to organizing and presenting these histories in new ways, making them easier to comprehend and connect?

In this presentation Dr. Ryan Shaw, an assistant professor in The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information Science, explores how computational tools and methods might be applied to narrative histories. His research project Contours of the Past examines alternative ways of analyzing oral histories, namely through the techniques of event parsing and narrative clustering. Shaw pursues these research questions with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


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