Testimony Indexing Completed

By Christy Bailey-Tomecek - September 9, 2021

On September 4, 2021, the Fortunoff Archive reached a major milestone when it finished time-synchronizing virtually all of its testimonies to their indexes. These indexes were created by archive staff and student workers, in which they summarized the content of the testimonies and broke them into segments by approximate runtime. Originally, these were given to researchers as paper documents. However, using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) program, student workers and archive staff members matched up these segments to the exact part of the testimony, allowing for more accuracy than what the paper documents could provide. Once these index files are synced in OHMS and put into the archive’s access system, Aviary, researchers can jump directly to the part of the testimony they wish to view. Researchers can also search the text across all indexes in Aviary to find relevant testimonies, making the research process more efficient.

The indexing project started in 2015, first under the supervision of Project Archivist Rebecca Hirsch, and later under Project Archivist Christy Bailey-Tomecek. Over the course of six years, 61 student workers, 5 staff members and 4 vendors worked on over 9,285 hours of testimony in 17 languages. As a result, 4,032 testimonies are now more accessible to researchers. We deeply thank those who worked on the project.

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