About this Project
Recordings in the Washington University School of Medicine Oral History Project date from 1959. The bulk of the original recordings were made in the 1970s and 1980s. Renewed interest in the project in the fall of 2005 resulted in the resumption of recording oral histories.
The original reel-to-reel and cassette audio recordings were converted into uncompressed WAV files using Cool Edit audio software. These digital audio files were created at a sample rate of 44.1 kHz, at a bit-depth of 16-bit. The original analog recordings are stored in the Archives of the Becker Medical Library. Uncompressed WAV file copies of these recordings are housed on one of the library’s servers. Access copies of these oral history interviews are made available as compressed MP3 files.
Transcriptions of the interviews were completed over the years by various Library staff members. In the late 1990s, under the direction of Mabel Purkerson, the bulk of the transcriptions were completed. However, in some instances, only paper copies of transcripts were available. These transcripts were scanned using OmniPage OCR software to create digital versions (Word files). Transcripts of all interviews have been re-checked for accuracy and corrected as needed. Copies of all transcripts are available in the Archives of the Becker Medical Library.
In concert with the release of the Oral History Project web site, we are actively pursuing candidates for oral histories. New interviews are being conducted; additional oral history recordings and transcripts will be added to the project’s web site as they become available. We welcome nominations for oral history candidates – potential candidates include faculty, staff and alumni of the Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine and Nursing, as well as family members, friends and others associated with Washington University. We can arrange individual or group interviews, on site or off-campus. To submit a nomination or if you have any questions, please contact Philip Skroska.
Assistance for this project was provided by Cathy Sarli, Donna Arnold, Jonathan Eberle, and Bill Kaufmann.
Oral History Project Directors: Paul Anderson and Philip Skroska
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