Integrating digital audio and print in Orson Welles on the Air

December 6th 2017 @ 12:00pm to @ 1:00pm
Hazelbaker Hall (E159)
Herman B Wells Library
1320 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405
 Digital Library Brown Bag Series logo

Presented by: William G. Cowan, Library Technologies and Erika DowellLilly Library.

Indiana University's Lilly Library acquired a large collection of the papers of Orson Welles in the late 1970s, and with it nearly six hundred recordings of his iconic series First Person Singular, Mercury Theatre on the Air, and Campbell Playhouse, as well as more obscure gems, mostly originals cut directly from the broadcasts as they aired. And yet the collection guide listed only "tapes," reformatted from the unmentioned originals. The presentation will discuss how the discs were 'rediscovered,' the problem of multiple formats in traditional archival descriptive practices, and IU's project to digitize and make publicly available the original disc recordings.

The Orson Welles on the Air project has digitized the discs and associated scripts. In creating the publicly available web site, the project team used Omeka, an application that the group had a lot of experience with, but this time faced a new use case that required the integration of audio and image interfaces. Omeka has a plugin that works with the audio in Media Collections Online (Avalon Media Systems), but how to integrate the scripts? And how to handle playback of radio programs spread across multiple files/disc sides?

Using standard plugins for Omeka, we were able to create a web site that would allow audio playback while simultaneously allowing the user to page through images of the script. In this presentation, we will demo the new site and show how we added the linked audio and print pages.

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Contact Info

Wells Library W501
1320 East Tenth Street
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405
Michelle Dalmau
Michelle Dalmau - Head, Digital Collections Services, Associate Librarian
(812) 855-1261