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AudiAnnotate for Increasing Access to Historical Audiovisual Collections

7/21/2021 @ The Association for Computers in the Humanities

The AudiAnnotate project facilitates annotating archival audiovisual (AV) collections to accelerate access to, promote scholarship with, and extend our understanding of a diverse range of bygone timeframes, cultures, and contexts. Following the tenets of minimal computing, we use the newest IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) AV standard, GitHub public code and document repositories, and freely accessible AV presentation platforms (Universal Viewer) to produce, publish, and sustain shareable W3C Web Annotations for individual and collaborative AV projects. This panel demonstrates projects where interpretations have been made more discoverable and usable, opening up conversations about the AV medium and accessibility in areas such as race, gender, and cultural studies.

Panelists and Presentations

Tanya Clement

Introduction to AudiAnnotate

Jason Camlot

The first presentation will compare two distinct audio recordings of the same event: “Warren Tallman’s Retirement Speech at UBC Nov 27, 1986”. Each recording comprises segments produced in different times and spaces. The presenter will describe how Tallman’s comments upon sounds from these differing segments represent disruptive, microgeneric, audio-textual interpolations. The process for annotating this recording is a primary method that includes parsing, describing and theorizing complex sonic entities that influence higher-level, critical textual analysis.

Zoe Bursztajn-Illingworth

This presentation investigates poetic voice and address on screen in Sarah Colangelo’s 2018 film The Kindergarten Teacher. Annotating scenes from the film for AudiAnnotate shaped the presenter’s dissertation chapter “Right Voice, Wrong Body: The Kindergarten Teacher, Poetic Address, and Voice as Possession” by allowing them to observe how the film’s form reveals poetic voice as dialogic and public as opposed to a monologic, private utterance as lyric theory often proposes.

Bethany Radcliff and Kylie Warkentin

This presentation introduces a lesson plan around a publicly-accessible 1964 recording of a Civil Rights activism event in the John and Barbara Beecher Collection at the Harry Ransom Center. While this recording highlights the voices of community activists, it also includes racist slurs, descriptions of imprisonment of Black highschoolers, and testimonies from concerned parents. The presenters consider how to empathetically present this audio without replicating oppression, practicing trauma-informed pedagogy.

Michelle Levy and Kate Moffatt

During Mavis Gallant’s reading of her 1982 New Yorker story “Grippes and Poche” at SFU in 1984, she deviates from her script to explain the French references in her Parisian story to her Canadian audience. Her proofs also deviate from the print version of the story. The podcast team for the two-episode Gallant series of the SpokenWeb Podcast created a resource for listeners that further explores the asides and deviations that characterize Gallant’s live reading.

Janet Reinschmidt

The final presentation explores annotations for Camille (1921), Salome (1923), and Girls About Town (1931) for a Master’s thesis on reception studies and queer interest in early Hollywood film. During the annotation process, the presenter’s perception of silent and early sound film shifted as they re-watched scenes dozens of times for minute details easily overlooked by audiences. The presenter will discuss how this process brought them closer to the editing techniques and industrial shifts of a hundred years ago, and discuss integrating hypothesis to add another layer of annotations to an AudiAnnotate project.