Digital Humanities and the Rutgers Oral History Archives

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The Digital Humanities include the collection of information via means utilizing modern technology to support the teachings of traditional topics. A site that was discussed in the presentations that supports this idea would be the Guantánamo Public Memory Project. It is a collection of audio, video, and print interviews of people who spent time on Guantánamo base. The site also includes a fairly comprehensive timeline of information about the base from the late 19th century up to the present day. The site allows users to search through these interviews and learn more about history, a process that incorporates and mirrors my working definition of Digital Humanities.

Similar in structure to the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, the Rutgers Oral History Archives is another site that incorporates the use of Digital Humanities. This site was established through Rutgers University’s School of Arts and Sciences as a database for approximately 700 interviews with men and women veterans of war. The interviews are conducted orally and then transcribed and published to the site where they can be searched through and accessed for research. My mother’s father, Frank Gimpel, is a graduate of Rutgers University and a veteran of World War II. He was interviewed for this project, and being able to read his interview about his time at Rutgers and his experiences in the Army was an enlightening experience for me. Excerpts from his interview were featured in Tom Kindre’s book The Boys from New Jersey, and his photograph can be seen in the bottom right corner of the photo above.

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