Monday, September 17, 2012

Pass the Word

Many of you have answered previous questionnaires the Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC) have sent out over the last few years about oral history collections in your library. First off, thank you for helping us get a better handle on what is out there, and second, we now
have a system for you to better advertise and communicate about them. The website Pass the Word is now live and ready to be populated with oral history content from across the state.

We would like your oral history collections to be included on the site. In fact, you might already have Oral History collections on Pass the Word. A 1991 printed Guide to Oral History identified over 25,000 interviews at 41 repositories, including some libraries. If your organization has oral history collections listed in the Guide or were added as an addition in the 2001 online version of this guide, these records have already been added to the website and are waiting to be claimed by their respective owners. One more thing to think about, we have been talking with many of you in the last few years about early county oral history collections that were collected in the last 1970s- mid 1980s - many of those original collections ended up with the KOHC, with libraries maintaining access copies - we would love to have these access collections pointed to through this website as well. The goal is for people to be able to find and access collections,
whether the interview is available online or in-person.

This site can allow your patrons to easily locate and access these recordings. A centralized database allows patrons and researchers from all over to search for Kentucky's oral history collections and resources. This interactive tool offers more than just information about oral history collections. It highlights projects that have grown out of these collections, such as books, documentaries and school programs. The site provides a meeting point for oral historians to share current project information or queries. Content can be added and edited by the librarians and archivists charged with caring for each individual collection, thus facilitating continual updated access to oral history collections. Pass the Word represents the next phase in KOHC's commitment to facilitating access to Kentucky oral history collections.

Now it is time to explore and become familiar with the site. First check out the site from the patron side <>  and then consider registering for a user account by going to if you have oral histories in your collection. After you have registered with the website, I will email the User Guide to lead you through the steps of importing your oral history collections to the site and assign any legacy records that might belong to your institution.

Please let me know if you would like some face-to-face time getting started with this. I am happy to visit you and do some training for you and any staff, volunteers or assistants that might help with this project. Our goal is to help you become familiar with the process of creating and managing content on the website along with assuming ownership of your own collections content on the site - new and old.
Please feel free to contact (502-564-1792, extension 4458) with any questions.

Pass the Word was funded through generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kentucky Historical Society Foundation.



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