LaBudde Special Collection Transcription: Learning from One and Many Voices

Coming back to work on transcriptions for LaBudde after having worked on transcriptions from interviews I had conducted for the LatinxKC project has been a little bit of an adjustment. It is interesting looking at the interviews now from the perspective of having finished the oral history class as opposed to my thoughts while I was taking the class. I remember the frustration of trying to hear and sort out many voices as opposed to just one voice, but I have now come to see the place for different approaches. Having read about the therapeutic benefits of a group interview, I can see why someone might choose the more informal round table method as a way to preserve history. I can also see the benefits of a monologue and removing some of the external sources of intimidation which might threaten to question a person’s memory. One of the primary take aways I had from the oral history course was the importance of memory and finding how events felt and were remember for individuals and communities. I have noticed that one benefit of a relaxed group is that the group self corrects some of the flows in memory in such a way that it allows for the speaker to preserve their memory of the event in a less threatened way. Although the little group may correct each other on the dates, the shared community of the group, particularly in the lesbian round table interview I’m working with, seems to be very conscious and sensitive towards the feelings and memories of the other group members. Yet, I have also found that self correction occures for individuals without the group, such as in the monologue I have transcribed. The difference is that a group self correcting often becomes chaotic and the very corrections the group wishes to impose can be lost within the jumble of words, laughter, and jesting which are usual benefits of such groups. The individual on the other hand, when self correcting, is limited to their own conflicting recollection, and although more understandable, the corrections can still result in relatively jumbled and uncertain conclusions. What the monologue style confession does give is a free flow of what the narrator finds important. I say confession, because with the existence of the microphone, the narrator is still very aware that they are speaking to other people and wants to please those listeners. They must do so, however, without those listeners being there to give supportive listening cues or to directly participate in the guiding of the conversation. So, in some ways, the monologue is the most authentic confession of the person’s memories and values of what was important. But in other ways, the lack of a living person and the smile or nod of their head, can leave narrators monologueing to expectations which are not even there.

The group interview, in contrast, would appear to have the greatest level of interruptions, tangents, and outright questioning of the narrator’s memory. Yet, the comfort of having friends and a shared sense of support and community in the group interview of the lesbian round table allowed the speakers to question each other without fear. Thus, despite the frequent outbursts of laughter and side comments, the group is comfortable and most members are able to reflect on the events and what it felt like to them.

On a more critical note, I do not believe I would prefer to conduct either of the interview forms I’ve been transcribing. The monologue, while therapeutic and potentially more comfortable for the speaker, holds potential pitfalls in the assumption that the narrator will no longer be nervous with the living person being removed and the cold inanimate judgment of the tape recorder remaining. Yet, if I had gotten an interview with the narrator (which was the case of the monologue) then a monologue might allow the narrator to speak and contradict me in a safer nonconfrontational format. This is a worthy benefit, especially if there were conflicting memories and perspectives of events and places between the interview and the monologue’s account.

I also do no believe I’d want to do the group interview either, but for different reasons. Although the group interview could be more comfortable and allow for womens voices to be presented in a more natural and freeing way, the difficulty of hearing such voices can be a problem. Although the group interview provides a great sense of the group’s relationships and community, as well as still effectively conveying key points if the narrators’ views, it can also lose the particular views and memories of some of the individual members. The group reflection allows for sparked memories to be added to the narrative and a weaving of stories and fragments into a group sense of shared experience. The individual strands and story treads which contribute to the overall weave are visible, but can be lost in the blending of so many stories and threads. I have noticed that some of the quieter narrators in the group interview tend to be overtalked and some individuals with differing perspectives can be ganged up on by more vocal or forceful speakers. Some of the softer spoken narrators can be lost in the midst of background jesting or bombastic laughter. While creating a great sense of the group and allowing a format which sparks recollections, reflections, and additional details to stories, the different individual perspectives and memory of events can be lost in a group interview. Most of this is because the additional details and freedom to jump in create overtalking. More importantly, the round table group interview was so comfortable that it allowed some narrators to jump in late in the recording, or suddenly appear on record when they had silently been participating the whole time. The increase of influencing factors and visual cues present in the round table makes an audio recording confusing to listen to. Without a visual recording included with the audio it is, at times, nearly impossible to know who and what is being talked to or about. Individual interviews with each person would have allowed for much deeper and complete interviews in many ways, esoecially for the more timid speakers. Again, the group interview does provides a sense of the groups memory and also allows for contributions to each other stories by the narrators in ways which cannot be discounted. Yet, without individual interviews, I can’t help but wonder if the stories told by the group are those the quieter members would have told on their own, or if the stronger members of the group, with the best of intentions or without even knowing it, guided the group into a memory distinctly imprinted with their leadership.

Rockhurst High School Archives Unpaid Internship

Rockhurst High School Archives is taking applications for 2 unpaid summer internships. The Archive Interns will work closely with the School Archivist on some of the following projects: processing & cataloguing the collection, collection care & conservation, subject file creation, and school newspaper digitization project. In addition, the Archives Intern will assist with research and development of two digital exhibits being planned for the schools new Learning Commons & Sports Hall of Fame.

About: The Rockhurst High School Archives documents the history of Rockhurst from the time of its founding in 1910 to the present. The Archives collections encompass a wide array of media and subject matter. Paper-based collections include publications, curricula, class lists, office records, oral histories, scrapbooks, event programs and photographs. Videotapes, audiotapes, slides, photographs and a variety of three-dimensional artifacts also provide documentation on the history of Rockhurst High School.

Length: 40 hours from June 5th-August 4th. Beginning & ending dates are flexible and the internship may extend into the fall semester if desired.

Position Requirements:Applicant must have experience working in an archive or museum with historical collections and must be enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate history program. Please e-mail your resume to Tim Reidy at treidy@rockhursths.edu. The deadline for applications is May 15th. This is an unpaid internship position.

Collection Intern

The Wornall/Majors House Museums

6115 Wornall Road

Kansas City, MO 64113

816-444-1858

www.wornallmajors.org

SUMMER INTERNSHIP AT THE WORNALL/MAJORS HOUSE MUSEUMS

COLLECTION INTERN

The Wornall/Majors House Museums is a non-profit that preserves and interprets two of Kansas City’s most significant antebellum landmarks – the John Wornall House Museum and the Alexander Majors House Museum. The Museums engage the Kansas City community by bringing history to life through innovative, hands-on programs and experiences. The houses, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, feature hands-on tours, field trips, summer camps, adult education programs, and more.

 About the Internship

Our interns experience many facets of museum management. We value our interns and go the extra mile to make sure you receive a learning experience that fits your career goals.

The internship runs through the summer and may extend into the fall if desired. This is an unpaid position for college credit. The internship will focus on the John Wornall House’s collections. Throughout the course of the internship, the intern will research collection items using museum records and outside sources, and update collection records in Past Perfect. 

Responsibilities

  • Examine museum collection records
  • Conduct research to determine validity of records
  • Conduct research to obtain new information
  • Update collection records in Past Perfect
  • Update Past Perfect to reflect latest inventory
  • Other tasks as assigned

Requirements

  • Familiarity with research methods
  • Basic proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Ability to discern importance and validity of information
  • Genuine interest in the history of the area and of the Civil War
  • Background in museum studies, history, or library science preferred.

Schedule

The intern will work 15 hours a week at the John Wornall House Museum for a minimum of 8 weeks. Beginning and ending dates can be flexible and the internship may extend into the fallsemester if desired. In addition, the intern may be asked to participate in special events and field trips. These hours are not required and may be substituted for a regularly scheduled shift.

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter to:

Sarah Bader-King, programs@wornallmajors.org

Summer Camp Manager

6115 Wornall Road

Kansas City, MO 64113

816-444-1858

www.wornallmajors.org

The Wornall/Majors House Museums

SEASONAL POSITION AT THE WORNALL/MAJORS HOUSE MUSEUMS

SUMMER CAMP MANAGER

ABOUT THE CAMP

Camp Wornall/Majors introduces children to what daily life was like on the frontier 150 years ago through interactive activities and experiences. Campers will have the opportunity to travel through history, from Native American communities through the Civil War. History will come to life for children as they interact with reenactors and participate in story-telling about the Underground Railroad, the Battle of Westport, the Pony Express, and more. They will also have hands-on opportunities to learn how to create various items that were integral to pioneer life: everything from paint, granola, rope, ink, and fabrics. Camp Wornall/Majors is for children who have completed kindergarten through age 12.

2 Week-long camps take place 9 AM – 4 PM at the Alexander Majors House (8201 State Line Rd., KCMO 64113) Monday-Thursday, and at the John Wornall House (6115 Wornall Rd., KCMO 64114) on Friday.

Dates: June 12-16, July 10-14

3 One-day camps 9 AM – 5 PM, 2 at the Alexander Majors House, and 1 at the John Wornall House.

Dates: June 8, June 26, July 18

JOB DESCRIPTION: CAMP MANAGER

  • The Camp Manager is responsible, in conjunction with the Camp Director, for overseeing the supervision, coordination, and evaluation of Camp Wornall/Majors including:
  • Preparing daily camp activities
  • Leading group activities and lessons
  • Enforcing rules, regulations, and administration of camp programs and activities
  • Supervising volunteers and junior counselors
  • Other duties as assigned

REQUIRMENTS

  • Two years of college with a major in education, history or non-profit management
  • Availability for all sessions of camp plus additional time to prep for camp as needed.
  • Must pass an NCSI background check.
  • CPR/First Aid certified, or willing to obtain certification, paid for by Wornall/Majors.
  • Preference will be given to individuals with relevant experience in history or education

Compensation: $8/hr.

To apply send resume to:

Sarah Bader-King, Director of Public Programming and Events

programs@wornallmajors.com

Almost done!

Hello all!

My last post I talked about how I am almost finished with entering the entire collection into the museum’s collections management software. I can safely say that next week that will finally be finished. It is a bit relieving finally getting this task accomplished. When I first came to the American Royal almost two years ago, I had no idea the amount of work that was needed. After my first couple of weeks I quickly knew that I could not complete the task within the ten weeks I was initially hired for. I was working off a Microsoft Access database that was created in 2003 and was horribly outdated and was missing over 400 entries. I decided the only way to accomplish this task thoroughly was to go through each file individually and to ignore the Access database. Now I have entered just over 500 artifacts and when I am finished it should be closer to 525.

When I am finished with this I will start writing the action plan and organizing the collections storage areas available to me now. The end of the semester is quickly approaching, but everything is finally coming together.

Thanks for reading!

Philip Bland

Unpaid Internship Opportunity at The Institute of Black Invention & Technology

The Institute of Black Invention & Technology, Inc. is looking for an unpaid curatorial intern for the Fall 2017 semester.

Title: Curatorial Intern

Reports to: Sandra Lamb, Director of Programing

Status: Unpaid Internship

Time: 1 academic credit hour, 40 hours for the semester

The Institute of Black Invention & Technology, Inc. was founded in Amherst, MA by Carroll and Sandra Lamb. It became incorporated in 2005 as a non-profit corporation. The Institute is a traveling museum which highlight the accomplishments and achievement s of African American men, women and youth who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, math and science.

Position Summary: The Curatorial Intern will work with the Director of Programming in assisting with research and development of current and upcoming exhibitions and programs. the intern will also assist in maintaining reports on all artifacts and data entry regarding the collection. this internship will allow the student to earn valuable experience and knowledge in a non-traditional museum setting.

Position Requirements:

  • Ability to commit 40 hours for the semester
  • Computer proficiency–Windows Application

If interested, please contact Dr. Enríquez at enriquezs@umkc.edu

Before getting into the weeds of preparing for the move there are a few loose ends for me to finish. First, I need to complete digitizing the collection records for the museum, which has been a year and a half process so far. This is important to the move for two reasons. One, I am updating the collection as I go through this process, something that has not been done for awhile. Because of a lack of sufficient staffing, a few items have been misplaced simply because it was not recorded when an item was moved. Also, the collections will be searchable and it will much easier to look up a specific object or to create lists. I am hoping to finish this project within the next month so I can start working on the action plan for the American Royal and start offering suggestions on collection storage based off of current needs.

During this entire process I am also organizing the collection storage areas and addressing collection storage issues that need to be addressed immediately. This includes new storage materials and finding space for collection storage at the current location. This will also help get a better idea of what will be needed at the new facility.

Thanks for reading!

 

Moving a Museum

Hello, my name is Philip Bland and I am the Collections Intern at the American Royal Association. Most people know the American Royal for its barbecue contest, livestock shows, or horse shows and few know that the American Royal has its own museum. For the past year and a half I have been working under the Director of Education, Kristie Larson, to help digitize the museum’s collection catalog and implement some best practices in collection storage. This semester though, we are pivoting from addressing current needs to looking towards the future.

Last October, the American Royal Association announced the relocation of its events and offices to a brand new facility located in Kansas City, Kansas. With it, the American Royal plans to incorporate an education center in addition to its current museum. With the prospect of a brand new museum at a new location, one of the first questions posed to me was how do we move the collection? This semester I will be working on developing an action plan for how to move/store the collection to the new museum. Also, I will provide a list of collection storage needs and options for the new museum. While working on this plan I will be reaching out to other museum professionals in the area that have also recently gone through moves or facility upgrades that required their collection to be moved and/or stored.

I am excited to take on a project that will expand my knowledge of collection management and also provides an opportunity to network with other museum professionals in the Kansas City area. I hope to pass on some of the knowledge to you as well throughout the process.

Philip Bland

LaBudde Special Collections Transcription: Learning to Hear

Today I began two transcriptions which, though similar in focus, couldn’t have resulted in more diverse work experiences.  One was an individual monologue about the gay scene in Kansas City since the 1960s.  The other was a round table discussions of the different experiences of a group of lesbians in Kansas City.  While the monologue flowed fairly smoothly and demanded more focus on grammatical form, due to the narrators use of pauses and vocal delivery, the round table require more nuanced attention.  With frequent interruptions, laughter, and joking among the narrators as they seamlessly flowed off of and into each others conversations, I found myself needing to stop and learn the narrator’s unique voices.  While the first project demanded I try to understand the rhythm and meaning of the narrator’s delivery (to know what should be a period or comma), the other demanded I listen for distinct voice markers.

In both cases I needed to hear the individual quality of the narrator’s voice, but in different ways.  I couldn’t simply type out what I heard.  In the monologue, without first hearing the narrators rhythm and broader topic, I could very easily structure the statements incorrectly.  In the round table interview, the general lack of names being given before speaking and the boisterous free-flow of conversation, left me confused without better context.  Though both required topical context, the round table drove me to become familiar with the voices themselves.  In both transcriptions I needed to start orienting myself a few minutes into the recording, not at the beginning.  This was a new experience compared to those stories I had heard since childhood which start at, you guessed it, the beginning.  I needed to not only hear the rural style to “Pat’s” Midwestern voice as opposed to the higher pitched, New Jersey fast pace of Giselle’s voice; but I also needed to hear the more nuanced differences between the rich tones of Sue’s Davenport voice  and Bev’s Kansas City voice.

The longer I listened, over and over, I started to hear the vocal tones of different laughs and the patterns of different speakers.  I began to become familiar with their voices, to know them.  I began to really hear them.  Sometimes foreign to the historical voices of monographs and journal essays, the recordings brought be into a more challenging and more personal type of history.  It was challenging, disorienting, and a little unsettling.  But it was also beautiful.  The struggle to discover the voices of the historical agents was present, just like in other forms of research, but in new ways.  It wasn’t enough to hear the narrator’s voice, to get their words, but I had to discern their voice for its distinct qualities.  It wasn’t enough to know the words and actions of the historical agent, but what makes them different from other historical agents.  Today was a wonderful example of literally learning to hear the voices of those in the past who I had never heard before, and I can’t wait to hear what they will say next.

LaBudde

GLAMA

Latino Museum Studies Program Fellowship at the Smithsonian

The Latino Museum Studies Program is looking for graduate student applications for their Summer 2017 Fellowship in Washington, DC. During this all-expenses paid 5-week fellowship, students will have a unique opportunity to meet and work with Smithsonian professionals, scholars, and other professionals in the field of museum studies.

For more information visit http://latino.si.edu/Education/LMSP.

To apply, go to https://solaa.si.edu/solaa/#/public. Applications are due on March 15, 2017.