Last year, DPLA partnered with Pop Up Archive, a platform of tools for organizing and searching digital spoken word, to offer exclusive discounted services to DPLA partner organizations. Founded in 2012, Pop Up Archive has made almost five million minutes of sound searchable. Much of that audio is housed by libraries, universities, and historical societies that comprise the over 2,000 partner institutions of the Digital Public Library of America.
One year after announcing our partnership, we are excited to join Pop Up Archive in highlighting some of the ways that their team has worked with DPLA partners to automatically transcribe, timestamp, and provide team editing interfaces for audio collections.
Duke Divinity School
In 2014, Duke Digital Collections Program Manager Molly Bragg and University Archivist Valerie Gillispie set about digitizing the Duke Chapel recordings in response to divinity students’ requests to access the collection’s sermons, which date from 1946 to 2002. Since then, their team has digitized and made available 1400 audio/video items and 1300 printed manuscripts.
Duke uses Pop Up Archive to transcribe sermons with the goal of tagging and making them searchable by speaker, themes, and Biblical references. The university also uses the transcripts to create closed captioning files for hearing-disabled people. After revising transcripts with Pop Up Archive’s editor, student workers export the time-stamped transcripts as WebVTT files, which display as captions on Duke’s web video player.
The Duke Chapel Recordings web archive allows students to analyze sermons for theological and rhetorical components. It also serves as a historical resource, documenting Duke campus life and world events surrounding the sermons. “An archive of sermons offers [students] a relational time-machine, a gateway to the past where a preacher’s words reach out in a handshake, introducing their time, and place,” says Adrienne Koch, Project Director at Duke Divinity School.
Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University uses Pop Up Archive to transcribe oral histories that relate to WFU’s Center for Global Programs and Studies. Study abroad is a particular focus of the WFU student experience; about three-quarters of the student body spends a semester in another country.
Archivists at WFU’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections & Archives capture first-hand accounts from American and international students, professors, program heads, and administrators about their experiences in other countries, in Winston Salem, and their view of the global Wake Forest’s future.
Collections archivist Stephanie Bennett says: “By using Pop Up Archive, we are able to generate transcripts that our student assistants edit. These will provide improved accessibility to these illuminating — and fun! — interviews once they go online.”
San Francisco Public Library
The San Francisco Public Library is in the midst of its first user experience service design project. The project is being undertaken by the Magazines and Newspapers Center in order to improve services and patron access to the SFPL’s rich collection of materials. One of the methods involves conducting interviews to explore patron expectations, pain points, and aspirations when they visit the library. The interviews are 30-45 minutes long, and “it’s a challenge to take detailed notes, so recording the interviews is a must,” says Andrea Davis, a librarian at SPFL. “We’re not going to listen and transcribe over 10 hours of tape by ourselves — we don’t have time.”
SFPL uses Pop Up Archive to search through transcripts of their user interviews — for example, searching for the term “parking” to find the point in an interview where a library patron discussed looking for parking near the library. They also use Pop Up Archive as an online tool so staff working on the project can share access to the interviews. “We go through and pull out the nuggets, and are planning a team listening party where we can all hear the library patrons in their own words, to build empathy and get the flavor of someone’s emotions,” Andrea says.
“Pop Up Archive has been a fantastic tool and we’ve utilized it for more than our original intent,” Andrea says. In SFPL’s next stage, they plan to map physical user journeys within the library, using the voice memo app on their cell phones to record interactions as they happen. They plan to experiment with Pop Up Archive to edit transcripts of the audio “trail” in order to add research and observation notes. “This whole project is new for the library — to do service design and research this way,” Andrea says.
Interested in learning more about the work of Pop Up Archive and how you can improve access to audio collections at your institution? Join us for a special workshop webinar:
Making Audio Collections Accessible, presented by Pop Up Archive and Duke University Libraries
Tuesday December 6, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00pm Eastern
Anne Wootton, Co-founder and CEO, Pop Up Archive
Leda Marritz, Pop Up Archive Community Manager
Molly Bragg, Digital Collections Program Manager, Duke University Libraries
Valerie Gillispie, Duke University Archivist
In this one-hour workshop, presenters from Pop Up Archive and Duke University Libraries will share an inside look at their collaboration on the Duke Chapel Recordings project, in which they are transcribing and making searchable a collection of audio and video sermons in order to expand access, use, and discoverability of this collection. Along the way, presenters Anne Wootton and Leda Marritz of Pop Up Archive will introduce best practices for audio collection accessibility including transcription and searchability. Molly Bragg and Valerie Gillispie of Duke University Libraries will also share a behind-the-scenes perspective on their project, including their goals and approach to the project, questions encountered along the way, how they have worked with partners in and outside of the library, and plans for next steps. This workshop is open to all and interested members of DPLA’s partner network, including hubs and contributing institutions, are strongly encouraged to attend.
Want to learn more about Pop Up Archive? Visit popuparchive.com and learn more about discounted services available to DPLA partners.