Libraries take collections global

Article image - Libraries take collections global Library Manager Claire Campbell and local historian Sherry Morris explore local history using the newly launched Amplify online platform.

Wagga Wagga City Library is helping bring local oral history collections out of the archives and into the world in a new partnership with the State Library of New South Wales (NSW). 

Important historical interviews on topics such as the 2012 floods and the 2WG Women’s Club 1930-1960 have been transcribed as part of the Amplify Oral History Project. 

Library Manager, Claire Campbell, said, “Our community can get involved now by joining digital volunteers from around the world in the important task of transcribing these oral histories so that more people can discover the amazing stories our communities hold.” 

Wagga Wagga City Library, Central West Libraries, Ryde Library Service and Wollongong Libraries are the first public libraries in Australia to use the State Library’s innovative online tool called Amplify, which allows anyone to search, listen to and transcribe local audio collections. 

The transcriptions will be available for editing in the same way as the TROVE National Newspaper collection, with the community able to learn how to make corrections to the transcripts to help enrich the important cultural records. 

State Librarian, Dr John Vallance, said, “Amplify will give communities unparalleled access to their local histories.

“Over 400 hours of oral histories that document the lives and experiences of local people and events across history, including our recent history, are just waiting to be explored and transcribed. 

“Many of the oral histories held in these public library collections have never been made available online before.” 

The State Library plans to extend the program across all NSW public libraries in the future, which will see the release of thousands of little-known and important stories from communities across the state.