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"Designing an Oral History Search System." I. Walker. M. Halvey. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2016. Download PDF (BibTeX) ILS

This research provides an exploration into designing an oral history search system. Oral History is increasingly being enhanced and accessed via new technologies and mediums. The intended aim of this study is to conduct a U.K based assessment of oral history technology and to identify the most important features that should be available in any oral history search system or archive, and to offer a set of design recommendations. To investigate this, a literature review and five focus groups were carried out across different areas. These included: BBC Scotland, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, The Scottish Oral History Centre, The Public, and History Graduates from a selection of Scottish Universities.

Through qualitative research and thematic analysis, this study found that, 'ethics, consent and control', 'accessibility and engagement', 'publicity and awareness', 'and innovative technologies' were the four major themes to emerge from an analysis of the findings. These are further explored in this dissertation and broken down into sub themes and examples. This study established that there is limited understanding of oral history in the digital age, numerous interests, ethical concerns, lack of publicity and several key attributes that those designing an oral history search system or archive should strive for.

However, the findings identified that further exploration into sampling selected technologies on different user groups is required in order to develop software that would benefit the field. This study has been successful in the validation of previous findings, identifying important features of any oral history search system, and offering a selection of design recommendations. However, it is clear that the field is still in the preliminary stages of development and there is scope to develop further innovative platforms and projects in relation to designing an oral history search system.