Post written by Chris Brusatte, Exhibit Manager at Go For Broke National Education Center
I am not an archivist or a collections specialist. But day-in and day-out, I am constantly reminded how much I depend on the work that they do. As a public historian and a content specialist, I could not do my job without the hard work that archivists do daily. They put in long hours, often behind-the-scenes, preserving and cataloging all of the primary documents that we historians rely upon. To put it simply, without archivists, historians could not exist!
Imagine my excitement when our resident archivists told me about the new tool that they were pioneering – the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS). OHMS, developed at the University of Kentucky, allows historians and the general public to search through oral history interviews online in the most efficient manner yet created. Put simply, finding exactly what you want within hours of oral history interviews is now seconds away. OHMS allows viewers to search lengthy oral history videos by keyword, and then takes you directly to the spot in the video where your keyword is mentioned. It literally cuts research time exponentially! For historians and the general public, the long days of viewing entire oral history interviews for a few small clips relevant to your interest is a thing of the past.
Here at Go For Broke National Education Center, our archivists are hard at work every day bringing our approximately 1,200 interviews onto the OHMS system. Once they have finished, I know that myself – and countless other historians and people around the world – will be so thankful for their outstanding efforts preserving this important history. The interviews of the courageous Japanese American veterans of WWII will be more accessible than ever before!