The list below is a sampling of online resources and tools that may be of use to practitioners using oral history and narrative for social change and movement building. Please suggest additional ideas and tools using the comments feature below!
Ideas for Building Your Tech Skills
- Transom.org’s tool page has good audio editing, mixing, and recording how-to’s, software and equipment reviews, gear guides, etc.
- Public access cable TV and community radio stations often offer training for free or modest fees. Often have access to professional equipment at reasonable rates.
- Lynda.com offers excellent software training and video tutorials.
- In NYC: People’s Production House
- Check out class listings at your local community college
- Search Youtube for a Do-It-Yourself video
Working with Oral Histories
- The Oral Historians Digital Toolbox – This comprehensive site produced by Concordia’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling indexes a wide variety of tools (many of them free) for use by oral historians and audio producers. Includes info on indexing and databases, online content management and delivery, digital storytelling, audio and video editing, qualitative analysis tools and more.
- Stories Matter – Free, open source software from Concordia’s Center for Oral History and Digital Storytelling that facilitates the “archiving of digital video and audio materials, enabling users to annotate, analyze, evaluate and export materials, as well as tag, index, search, and browse within interviews, sessions, and clips or across entire collections.”
- Audacity- free audio editor and recorder
Online Resources for Sharing Audio
- Soundcloud – bills itself as “the world’s leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere. Recording and uploading sounds to SoundCloud lets people easily share them privately with their friends or publicly to blogs, sites and social networks. It takes just a click to share sounds to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Foursquare. SoundCloud can be accessed anywhere using the official iPhone and Android apps, as well as hundreds of creation and sharing apps built on the SoundCloud platform.” Other, similar sites include: Houdbite and Audioboo
- Broadcastr – “is an app for iPhone and Android that creates intimate and immersive experiences by unlocking pictures and audio relevant to where you are. It turns your smartphone into a multimedia guide to the world, and everyone can contribute.”
- Public Radio Exchange – “is an online marketplace for distribution, review, and licensing of public radio programming. PRX is also a growing social network and community of listeners, producers, and stations collaborating to reshape public radio.” Allows users to post work online and connect with other media makers.
- Transom – “channels new work and voices to public radio through the Internet, and discusses that work, and encourages more. Transom is a performance space, an open editorial session, an audition stage, a library, and a hangout.”
Ideas for Funding and Sustaining Your Work
Grants and Fellowships
- Fellowships, research and dissertation grants for PhD students
- Issue-based foundations
- State and local Humanities Councils
- Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Schlesinger Library Oral History Grants
- Oral History Association Emerging Crisis Research Fund
Fundraising Tools/Strategies for Grassroots Support
- Kickstarter – online fundraising platform for creative projects
- Indiegogo – online fundraising platform for all kinds of projects
- Sustainers Program – inviting individuals to contribute a certain amount on a regular basis
- Fee for Service
- Merchandise. How do we avoid commodification? (Can we develop a set of basic guidelines or suggestions for how to do this ethically and responsibly?)
Fiscal Sponsorship (allows access to funds otherwise limited to formal 501c3 institutions)
- Fractured Atlas – a national non-profit that supports artists and arts organizations by providing access to fiscal sponsorship arrangements, health insurance, resource sharing, etc.
- Applying for grants with partner institutions (academy, historical societies, archives)
- Developing mutually beneficial partnerships between community groups and universities or established non-profits (examples?)
Strategies for Sustaining
- Do other, more mainstream work to support our radical oral history work.
- Peer to peer strategies and bartering. Example: I will transcribe three interviews for you if you will edit my audio. (This, instead of asking artists, photographers, media-makers, etc. to do their work pro-bono, which many practitioners see as a devaluation of their skills.)