Equipment and Budgets /
DOI link for Equipment and Budgets /
Equipment and Budgets / book
This chapter covers two of the most discussed areas of oral history project planning: equipment and budgets. Equipment is a topic about which oral historians have many-and strong-views. While important for all oral historians, equipment decisions, which also are part of budget decisions, can take on added importance for tribal projects. Equipment decisions are often thought of in the present tense. But they are part of the future as well. As David Henige has written, recordings offer an opportunity to preserve information, now and for the future, that could otherwise be lost.1 Choosing equipment that the project or tribe can continue to support is important, as is thinking about maintaining future access to the recorded interviews. Information collected by ethnologists on wax cylinders in the early 20th century provides a striking lesson here. The wax cylinders, the cutting edge of technology at the time, contain priceless indigenous information. But this technology now is obsolete. Because of the fragile nature of the recordings, the information on them is at great risk. Although this is an extreme example, it illustrates the need to carefully think about the future of technology, the future of indigenous oral history recordings, and the ability to support continued access to recorded information to the best of everyone’s ability. Oral historians are in the midst of what many call the digital revolution.2 The result is rapidly changing equipment and media speciﬁcations. This chapter includes information about technology guides as well as planning processes that can provide the basis for informed equipment decisions.