"I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge"
-The winter's tale, William Shakespeare
The State Library of New South Wales defines oral history as :
"...the recording of people's unique life experiences in an interview format.'This year, the Wagga Wagga City Library was chosen to participate in a pilot project run by the State Library of New South Wales , to make our oral history collections accessible to the public via the online platform Amplify.
We had two collections, the Wagga Wagga floods 2012 interviews, and the 2WG Women's Club interviews, ready to be converted and uploaded to Amplify. On Tuesday 11 November , our very own Amplify collections were launched , with illustrious guests attending, including historian Sherry Morris (who conducted the floods oral histories) and James McTavish, who was the SES Regional Control Officer at the time of the floods, and much beloved by Wagga for his leadership and work during the crisis.
The tradition of the Amplify cookie (started by Orange Library at their Amplify collection launch, as one of the participating libraries) was observed, and everyone had an opportunity to try out the Amplify website.
Another star attendee was the articulate and witty Evelyn Patterson, who was in the unique position of being interviewed for both projects. Evelyn worked at 2WG during the heyday of the Women's Club and she also survived the 2012 floods (and had memories of other floods in Wagga Wagga from the 1950s onwards.)
The culmination of six months work behind the scenes, the Wagga Wagga oral history collections on Amplify involved library staff converting audio files, listening to hours of recordings, creating accurate summaries, finding photographs and resizing them to fit the software requirements, making records and collections in Amplify and then transferring all the data to these records to be published online. Two of our colleagues at the Riverina Regional Library made all the mp3 files and photographs available through the library catalogue, to complete the picture.
People from anywhere in the world, at any time, can contribute to Amplify by listening to and correcting the audio transcript in real time, online. You don't need to log in (although you can create a free account to record your editing) and there are instructions for listening, editing and correcting on every oral history.
The Wagga Wagga City Library is looking forward to making more collections available in the future- with such an easy and fun way to contribute to our collective histories, Amplify is sure to keep growing throughout the years to come.There are also many other interesting collections available, from the New South Wales State Library, and our project friends Orange Library, Wollongong Library, and Ryde Library. You don't have to confine yourself to the Wagga collections.
Here is a link to our Amplify web page:
If you would like a demonstration of how to use Amplify, just pop down to the library and ask our friendly staff ,who will be able to help you.
Left to right: Sherry Morris, Historian, and Claire Campbell, Wagga Wagga City Library Manager, at the Amplify launch, November 11, 2018