Challenges of the 21st Century
Archivists and oral historians acknowledge the communication gap between their worlds. When archivists do not know the oral historian's intention and oral historians do not understand how to prepare materials for an archive, the oral history suffers, as does the historical record. Currently, there are neither standard guidelines for unaffiliated oral historians to prepare their oral histories for archives, nor for archives to evaluate an oral history collection for acquisition. As collections grow in size and visibility, so do demands for their use. Not only do users who come into the archive expect high-quality sound, video, and full-text transcript, but potential users around the world expect the same, from their home computers. Information providers are actively discussing whether the protocols for permission to use, informed consent, and interviewer privacy are the same or different as the access to collections shifts from a physical archive to an online environment.