Coral will introduce the Voces Digital Audio Archive, an online archive created by students in LIS 665 that documents the Puerto Rican diaspora through oral histories. The presentation will touch upon the steps taken to design this project, including digitization, metadata and user experience, with a special focus on curatorial efforts. This project was conducted in collaboration with The Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives at CUNY.
The Voces Digital Audio Archive is an online repository created by students in LIS 665 that documents the Puerto Rican diaspora through oral histories. This project was conducted in collaboration with The Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) Library and Archives at CUNY. The Centro Library and Archives is a renowned organization known for the preservation of Puerto Ricans’ history and is the premier research resource on the diaspora. As part of LIS 665, the class partnered with Centro to digitize 29 compact audio cassettes and 2 CDs that contained oral histories of musicians, community leaders, labor organizers and other personalities whose stories serve as a way of documenting the challenges and triumphs of Puerto Ricans in the United States.
The class worked together to digitize the tapes using Audacity, an open-source, cross-platform program. Students were then placed in four different teams to carry out the project. The teams were: Curatorial, Collection Control & Metadata, Technology and Design. The Curatorial and Metadata team worked together to establish bilingual content standards that could be accessed by English-language users while being respectful of Spanish-language naming conventions. Under the guidance of the Metadata team, the class created summaries of each of the interviews. The Design team conducted user experience testing and worked with the Technology to update and create new material for the Voces website developed by a previous semester. The class used Omeka as their CMS, an open source web-publishing platform mainly used for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions. The four teams worked together to add content and perform quality assurance testing of the website. The final product was an enhanced web-presence for Centro’s oral history collection.