Title:Sharing Stories: Putting the Illinois State Museum Audio-Video Barn Online
Authors:Erich Schroeder
Publication:MW2010: Museums and the Web 2010

The Illinois State Museum's Audio-Video Barn contains over 300 hours of oral history interviews pertaining to agriculture in Illinois. The interviews range in date from new sessions recorded in 2007-2009 to archival sessions recorded between 1952 and 1993. The memories recorded in these interviews stretch from 2009 back to the 1880s. Other associated data, such as photographs and transcriptions, are also available in the A-V Barn.The challenge was how to provide flexible navigation, filtering, and searching of these multimedia clips, while maintaining as much of the context and voice of the interviews as possible. Using the digital-indexing software InterClipper, we cut each audio or video interview into short topic-based clips and indexed them using controlled-word vocabularies. This resulted in over 3500 clips of durations ranging from 30 seconds to 12 minutes, each indexed by topics. However, InterClipper cannot be served to the Web, so after some review we decided to use the CMS software Drupal for our display framework. After editing the content in desktop applications such as MS Access, we migrated the data into MySQL and then developed a series of PHP scripts to transform the data in preparation for migration into the Drupal framework. Once the data were brought into Drupal, standard community-supported plug-in modules could be used to display, organize, search, and filter the interviews based on the subject indexes. Although the steps we took are particular to the data and goals of this project, the basic methods could be applied to any set of oral history sessions.