Groundswell Practitioner Support Network Chat, June 6

I am co-facilitating a chat concerning the ethics of oral history online archiving. Please register through Groundswell if you're interested!

What are the benefits and risks of publicly available online archives for oral history interviews?

The internet can be a valuable tool in connecting the public to oral histories like never before, but like any tool, it has potential for misuse. During this chat, we hope to explore the practical and ethical issues behind the development and use of online archiving for oral history work. As oral historians, we can share key considerations we’ve had in developing an archive or concerns about what it takes to develop one in the future. As organizers and activists, we can reflect on how online archives influence and impact our ongoing campaigns and movements. As visitors to online archives, we can talk about our experiences in interacting with successful (or not so successful) online archives, and what we can take away from that.

Questions we will explore include: How can we make a more interactive and engaging online archive? What problems have we encountered in building or maintaining an online archive? What are the most important factors to consider in crafting interview release agreements for online archiving? If an interviewee did not agree to online archiving at the time of the interview because the method did not exist then, is it unethical to put the interview online? Can existing websites, such as Wikipedia, be a good repository for oral histories?