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Digitizing Appalachia: Creating Family and Community Memoirs through Digital Technology Jennifer Sias ~ Marshall University

Digitizing Appalachia: Creating Family and Community Memoirs through Digital Technology Jennifer Sias ~ Marshall University.

Dec 23, 2015



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  • Slide 1
  • Digitizing Appalachia: Creating Family and Community Memoirs through Digital Technology Jennifer Sias ~ Marshall University
  • Slide 2
  • Family Histories and Memoirs Appalachian family and community stories are important; they pass down a familys or communitys history, values, triumphs and tragedies lessons for future generations. Most often, the oral tradition has served as the vehicle of preservation and transmission. However, some family and community histories have been preserved through the written word and through recorded audio. Now the digital world offers new and dramatic ways to preserve the stories of our Appalachian family and community members. This session will focus on using various digital technologies to preserve family and community stories to advance our Appalachian cultural heritage. Through digital storytelling, we can create and preserve memoirs of our Appalachian kin and community elders. The presenter will share examples of digital storytelling from her own practices and from her students projects, which focused on the stories of veterans and became a part of the Veterans History Project sponsored by the Library of Congress.
  • Slide 3
  • What is digital storytelling? Definitions Simply - using one or more multimedia tools to tell a story
  • Slide 4
  • What equipment can be used to create a digital story? Any or all of the following: Digital Video Camera/Camcorder Digital Camera Film Camera Use scanner scan photograph prints and other objects Ask photo processor to create a photo CD Digital Audio Recorder Microphone connected to computer Play audio from regular cassette and record quality will be less than perfect but at least you will have it!
  • Slide 5
  • Types of Video Camcorders Analog Mini DV Disc based Flash memory Hard-drive built in camera
  • Slide 6
  • Analog Camcorders VHS-C, Super VHS-C, Hi*8 Fading from the market
  • Slide 7
  • Mini DV Digital Video Digital camcorder dominates Mini DV tape format is most popular, but some digital video cameras store their recordings on dvds. Newer cameras use flash memory or store on the cameras own hard drive Top brands: Sony, Canon, JVC, Panasonic Prices range from a couple hundred dollars to over $1000 Mini DV tapes = 60 minutes Playback On camera screen/viewer hook camera to TV or VCR/DVD player to watch on TV screen Download to computer for editing and burn a DVD Going the way of the steam engine?
  • Slide 8
  • Disc Based Record direct to DVD Hailed as more durable and you can skip easily to specific scenes or parts (think cassette tape vs CD or VHS tape vs DVD) Compatibility issues
  • Slide 9
  • Flash memory based Camcorder Records to a small card, such as an SD card
  • Slide 10
  • Hard-drive based Camcorder Saves to the cameras internal hard drive Pros Easier connectivity to computer Dont have to buy tapes or dvds Cons Overall cost Storage space If a tape breaks, you can buy another tape for recording. However, what will you do if the cameras hard drive fails? Image quality might not be as fine as MiniDV at the moment
  • Slide 11
  • Digital Video Camera Accessories Tripod a must Also, if you buy a new camera, find out if it has an image stabilizer External microphone lavalier/lapel mic Lighting
  • Slide 12
  • Editing Software PCs Windows Movie Maker MAC iMovie and iDVD Final Cut Studio contains Final Cut Pro
  • Slide 13
  • What if I dont have a digital video camera? Images Use a regular digital camera for still shots Gather together old photographs and scan them
  • Slide 14
  • Audio Record a family member telling a story Use a digital voice recorder, such as an iPod voice recorder then download audio file to computer Regular cassette play it next to your computers microphone and record/save to computer
  • Slide 15
  • Putting together your digital story Make a storyboard to help you organize your narration and images Story Introduction Grandma as storyteller told ghost stories Grandma told story of old woman who had to smoke outside
  • Slide 16
  • Memories of others video or audio tape them Photos Video of the subject Audio of the subject Your own memories be the narrator What makes a digital story?
  • Slide 17
  • Grandma was a storyteller Wishes and regrets Rick Braggs influence Mailed questionnaires and started interviewing family members Video Memoir of Grandma Johnson
  • Slide 18
  • Grandma Johnson Introduction to Video Memoir
  • Slide 19
  • My HON 396 Storytelling Students Veterans History Projects Major project select a veteran (any 20th Century war) interview veteran record audio of interview(s) take notes during interview transcribe the audio interview write a narrative journalism story prepare classroom presentation
  • Slide 20
  • HON 396 Spring 2005 Tell Me a Tale: The Culture of Storytelling in Oral History, Narrative Journalism and Literature Student presentations
  • Slide 21
  • How do I start? Start small Define your subject Think memoir, not biography or autobiography Write! Gather your pictures & scan them Gather videos if you have them Shoot your own videos if you can Take still shots with digital camera or film camera Storyboard
  • Slide 22
  • Interviewing What questions should I ask? Veterans History Project suggested questions Interviewing tips: Share questions ahead of time Select a quiet, well-lit, comfortable environment Make sure you have a microphone and tape! Test before launching into interview Ask open-ended (rather than yes/no) questions Start a question with tell me about
  • Slide 23
  • Editing At work I use Windows Movie Maker At home I use iMovie and iDVD on my iMac Will need lots of hard drive or external hard drive for movie Be aware of copyright issues Burn a dvd
  • Slide 24
  • Questions? Thank you! Jennifer Sias, M.S.L.S. & M.A. Associate Professor, Information Literacy Librarian Marshall University Libraries, Drinko 136 304-696-6577