My first memory of Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) was feverishly searching the Internet for information about it upon learning that I had received an invitation to interview with Go For Broke National Education Center. I started my work on the Hanashi Oral History Project here at Go For Broke with little knowledge or experience with oral histories in general. Therefore, OHMS was a completely new resource for me to learn and familiarize myself with.
Learning the ins and outs of OHMS was a process that I approached in stages. Initially, I had to orient myself with performing the basic tasks associated with OHMS, such as indexing and tagging interview segments. Next, I needed to learn what exactly OHMS could do in terms of working with other software and platforms to help preserve and host the oral history interviews that Go For Broke has collected (and is still collecting) from Nisei veterans. Once I felt that I had progressed to an acceptably competent level in those areas, I transitioned to also considering the role of OHMS in the bigger picture of what our Archives staff here at Go For Broke imagines for our Hanashi Oral History Project.
After working in OHMS personally, hearing about what my colleagues have said about working in OHMS, and seeing what the archives community has had to say about OHMS, I have realized that OHMS is a simple, effective tool that helps our staff process oral history interviews in an incredibly secure environment . The best metaphor I could use to describe OHMS is that it is acting in the role of a middleman during our processing. It is a helpful tool that aids us in reaching our end goal of transforming these valuable interviews into user-friendly, educational resources that we can preserve long-term. The flexibility within OHMS allows us to utilize it in that fashion. Yet, there is more to be done on our end outside of just using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer in order for us to accomplish that end goal.
OHMS has proven to be an almost indispensable resource in helping our staff proceed with processing and preserving our collection of oral histories. I know I feel indebted to the University of Kentucky and its Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History for developing this platform. Without it, I fear we would still be at square one on how to feasibly develop a workflow for our indexing. OHMS, in collaboration with other software, will allow our staff at Go For Broke to tirelessly disseminate the story of these heroic Nisei Veterans to an international audience for decades to come. The fact that OHMS is making that a very real and inevitable possibility is amazing, and I believe that is the highest compliment that I can pay to OHMS. I am excited to continue working with this platform to share the Nisei story.