Contents: About the Digital Collection | Credits | Migration | Tech

About the Digital Collection

The Latah County Oral HIstory Collections consists of audio interview recordings and transcriptions for over 300 interviews conducted during the mid-1970s. This collection is a digital representation of the Latah County Oral History Collection (MG 415), which is held by the University of Idaho Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

In order to provide enhanced access to this collection, the Digital Initiatives Department employed an open-source plug-in called the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS), which was created at the University of Kentucky. OHMS provides additional layers of access by connecting the audio and transcript files of a digitized oral history on a single page, and by providing real-time searching of keywords in transcripts and indexes there as well. OHMS synchronizes transcribed text with timestamps in the audio and provides a viewer that connects search results of a transcript to the corresponding moment in the audio file.

In the course of preparing this collection, hundreds of cassette tapes were converted to digital audio files, and the typescript transcripts for over 300 interviews were scanned and made full-text searchable. To do this, staff and student assistants created complex XML files that included full-text transcripts for many of the interviews, as well as original timestamps and synopses for most interviews, which were originally provided by the transcriber. Each interview was then described using the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus for keywords and subjects, as well as tagged locations that were later connected to Google Maps via latitude and longitude coordinates. These subjects and locations are now fully linked and searchable through the website.

For more information on the OHMS plug-in, see “OHMS: Enhancing Access to Oral History for Free” by Doug Boyd.

hand drawn map depicting Latah county showing towns and main roads
We transferred a number of different original items into digital surrogates, inlcuding the map above, and over 300 audio cassette tapes, which took over a year to digitize.


Editor: Devin Becker

Digital Production Managers: Kevin Dobbins and Erin Passehl-Stoddart

Student Assistants and Interns: Nate Sirdofsky, Elisabeth (Izzy) Martin, Elizabeth Biancosino, and Katrina Burch


In December 2023, due to changing repository platforms and new development processes, the original LCOH site was migrated. This version of the site is a transition that updates the data and web markup, and will be enhanced in the near future with new features to better support this unique oral history content.

Technical Credits - CollectionBuilder

This digital collection is built with CollectionBuilder, an open source framework for creating digital collection and exhibit websites that is developed by faculty librarians at the University of Idaho Library following the Lib-Static methodology.

Using the CollectionBuilder-CSV template and the static website generator Jekyll, this project creates an engaging interface to explore driven by metadata.

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Technical Specifications
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