When I started as a postdoc at Guelph, I was assigned two courses: the Introduction to Digital Humanities, and an unknown course in the History Department. I asked the Chair of the History Department what might be popular with students, and found that they had been asked by students to run an oral history course. I was thrilled at the opportunity to develop my own oral history course. I’d been a longtime follower of the History Harvest courses run out of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and used them as inspiration for teaching my version of HIST 3450 – A local, digital, oral history. Each semester, students work with the public to collect their memories and turn them into a digital repository of contextualized histories.

For my most recent offering of this course, I created a repository and website for the collection of oral histories that were being created by the students. Using the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory’s platform, the interviews, transcripts, photos, and contextualizing research for each student project will be displayed on their own pages, so they can point to them for future education and employment opportunities. I will guide the students in design, presentation, and metadata for the collection. If given the chance to teach this class in the future, the On the Record website will grow and continue to become a more well-rounded community history of Guelph.