Anna Samuels interviews Lauren Eisenhart for the Third Alternative Oral History Project. Students Sophia Olson interviews Grant Stoner for the Third Alternative Oral History Project.

Digital History Lab

Digital History LabDigital history is an exciting new format of disseminating history to the public and scholars using web-based mediums and platforms. The Digital History Lab brings tools and essential skills training to graduate students earning a traditional or public history M.A. in the History Department at Duquesne University.

Our lab has state-of-the-art hardware and cutting edge software that students and faculty are utilizing for course projects and community outreach. The lab features five Mac and Dell computer stations. Four of these double as oral history transcription stations, and two are designed to handle special projects.

Graduate students in Dr. Alima Bucciantini's Museum Exhibits and Management course also learned how to use SketchUp, a digital modeling program. These students designed and installed a new exhibit on Spiritan Life at Duquesne for the Student Union's Africa Room.

The lab has been critical in training a new generation of oral historians. Students in Dr. Jennifer Taylor's graduate course Speaking to the Past: Oral History in Methodology and Practice curated the Third Alternative Oral History Mobile Oral History Interview StationProject on Scalar during the fall 2017 semester. The oral history excerpts featured in Sound Cloud files on the site were captured using the lab's four mobile oral history interview recording stations, which include Tascam DR-100MKIII recorders.Two students also created the mini-documentary on the website's homepage using the lab's Lumix and Canon cameras and editing software. The latest transcription software and pedals from Express Scribe allowed students to produce professional transcriptions. 

Transcription foot pedals allow audio playback when transcribing oral history interviewsThis equipment and software expedited the tedious task of each student transcribing their one to two-hour oral history interviews for permanent deposit into the archives at Duquesne University's Gumberg Library. Students are also able to use the lab to work on community projects, such as providing transcription services for South Side Voices: Stories on Carson.

The lab was made possible by funds provided by the history department and the Wimmer Family Foundation. The Digital History Lab and oral history interview room are located on the 6th floor of College Hall in the History Department of McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts. Departments or institutions interested in utilizing the lab or hiring graduate students trained in its equipment and software should contact Dr. Jennifer Taylor at Questions and lab and interview room tour requests should also be directed to Dr. Taylor.