chapter  3
10 Pages

Collecting Oral Histories

Greene's and Meissner's work has literally brought the backroom secrets of archives out of the closet and onto the discussion table. Greene champions an approach to curating collections that favors More Product Less Process (MPLP). Backlogs refer to materials in a repository for which the turnaround time from acquisition to access is unacceptable. Repositories have different priorities in approaching backlogs. In many repositories technology problems keep oral histories in the back room. This chapter addresses types of situations that keep oral histories from public view. According to film archivist Dan Streible, the migration of the term from a colloquialism among archivists to federal legislation to actual preservation practices to copyright reform has had significant impact for archives. Beginning in 1999, the Orphan Film Symposium gathered film scholars and archivists to discuss oddball moving images, such as industrial films, advertisements, and oral history interviews. The purpose of archives is to collect and preserve documents to make them available to public audiences.