Linda Newman

Head of Digital Collections and Repositories, Langsam Library, University of Cincinnati

Hello fellow HiPSTAS! (Is that pronounced Hipsters?)

One of our active digitization efforts for the last two years has been The Elliston Project : Poetry Readings and Lectures at the University of Cincinnati. (See http://drc.libraries.uc.edu/handle/2374.UC/695985)

This archive holds over seven hundred recorded readings and lectures given under the auspices of the University of Cincinnati Department of English and Comparative Literature and the U.C. Libraries since 1951. Material includes readings and lectures on poetry by those who have served as George Elliston Poet in Residence, among whom are Robert Frost, Denise Levertov, Louise Glück, Thom Gunn, and C.D. Wright. Other major figures, including Czeslaw Miłosz, Derek Walcott, Seamus Heaney, and Rita Dove, are also represented, as are many prose writers and a wide range of poets at various stages of their careers.

We’ve completed the ‘raw digitization’ phase of creating wav and mp3 files from analog reel-to-reel and cassette tapes. We are now interested in adding value to these recordings — identifying individual poems as tracks, adding closed captioning layers, providing the ability to text searches, and textual analysis of the spoken words.

I’m hoping to use this time away from the ‘day job’ to be submersed in the best practices for digitization, description and preservation of audio archives, as well as to learn more about developing technologies.

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