NDF- 2017 has ended

Kia ora koutou, welcome to NDF2017! The livestream is available from 8.45am on Tues 21st November.

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Wednesday, November 22 • 11:00 - 11:25
Capturing Community Memories: The Upper Hutt in the 1960s Online Oral History Project

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As one of its contributions to last year’s 50th anniversary celebrations of Upper Hutt being officially declared a city, the public local library initiated a major oral history project to document life in the municipality during the 1960s. In a rare gesture of support by local authorities in this country for the significance of capturing oral histories of this kind, the Upper Hutt City Council allocated money from its anniversary celebration funds to employ a professional oral historian for a year to undertake these interviews. From the outset this oral history project was conceived as something that would be exclusively accessed online, with all the interviews being made available in full through the Upper Hutt City Library’s Recollect platform heritage website. Taking this approach raised certain issues which differentiated this project from more traditional oral history projects where interviews are typically accessed within an archival setting, with perhaps selected excerpts posted online. Included amongst the aspects to be discussed in this paper will be concerns about handling sensitive content and guarding against privacy breaches when making material of this kind available in full on the internet. Also looked at will be questions of how to arrange this content for an online platform in order to allow for easy navigation, link the individual interviews of the project together as a whole, provide users with direct access to passages within a recording, and make available supplementary material such as photographs. One important enhancement was to edit together selected passages from individual interviews that shared a common theme, add relevant images from the Library’s Heritage Collections, along with music and voice-overs, and in this way create short films around topics like childhood or the youth music scene in Upper Hutt at this time. As well as being available online these short films were also an important component of a ‘pop-up museum’ about the 1960s that the Library held. Using a raspberry-pi mini computer, a cheap audio-visual display unit was constructed enabling pop-up museum visitors to view a particular film to watch by pushing a button. The oral history project proved a big popular success with locals, generating much interest and discussion about Upper Hutt’s past and giving a sense of recognition to interviewees that their memories were important community knowledge.


Reid Perkins

Heritage and Research Coordinator, Upper Hutt City Library
Reid Perkins is the Heritage and Research Coordinator at Upper Hutt City Library where he oversaw the implementation of a Recollect platform heritage website in 2012. He has worked as a researcher on projects investigating the use of interactive websites by New Zealand cultural heritage... Read More →

Wednesday November 22, 2017 11:00 - 11:25 NZDT
Rangimarie 1, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa 55 Cable St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011