Abstract

This essay explores content management challenges facing oral history in the digital age. We offer a fluid, variable model for evaluating curatorial choices and options in particular situations, asserting that usually the best-practice question has only one answer—it depends. We then apply our curatorial model to a broader range of digital-age issues, from transcription to open-source software. We suggest the limited value of, or necessity for, posing either/or choices. We argue against deferring action while waiting for the perfect technology to emerge. Our basic advice is: you can only steer a bicycle when you’re riding it, and the only way to ride it is to start pedaling.

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