Foundational Thinking

The Idea

One person’s experience is equivalent to a book.

Colorado is starting an initiative to create a digital repository dedicated to the preservation of individual stories. The concept is simple: One person’s experience is equivalent to a book. A story is told. We can apply the principles of library science to the audio recording, to reveal its content and facilitate connections between that single story and a larger body of knowledge. To accomplish this, audio must be represented—or reiterated—through different modalities: transcript, abstract, key words, subject headings, etc. Additionally, item-level metadata must be articulated and affiliated with the original sound file.

These steps are time-consuming and labor intensive, but they allow access to the recording as well as the ideas contained within the audio. Metadata elements populate a cataloging record that can be shared among consortium libraries, and a Web-based platform presents and distributes interviews.