Spoken Web Project

Michael O’Driscoll


The SpokenWeb consortium includes 13 university and 3 community partners, and over the next seven years will build a nationally networked archive of literary and creative audio recordings through a program of digitization, technical advancement, protocol development, cultural research, and pedagogical innovation. Concordia University professor Jason Camlot founded SpokenWeb in 2010, out of a project developing a web-based digital spoken word archive of a Montreal poetry reading series from 1966-1974. Across the country, as other researchers were beginning to deal with their own audio archives, the project grew into its current iteration as a multi-partner, North America-wide effort.

An important feature of this SSHRC Partnership Grant is the development of innovative training experiences for students and postdoctoral researchers. University of Alberta professor Michael O’Driscoll and his team see many opportunities to create and improve the ways digitized archives can be accessed, indexed, and shared, enhancing critical engagement with this innovation of literary audio materials. This seven-year project will also train a generation of young scholars interested in literary audio performance and technology.

SpokenWeb has also partnered with two Montreal-based literary organizations that have an archive of audio tapes but no access to the technology or the dollars to facilitate their preservation. As a pilot project, O’Driscoll says the team will investigate how SpokenWeb can best support these community-based organizations, and how, over the span of the project and beyond, engage other community partners who want their own stories told through preservation and access.

For more information, please see: https://www.ualberta.ca/arts/faculty-news/2018/august/a-new-frontier-of-literary-engagement

SpokenWeb: Conceiving and creating a nationally networked archive of literary recordings for research and teaching

Funding: $2,499,514.00 over seven years

Project Director: Jason Camlot, Concordia University

UAlberta Co-Applicants: Michael O’Driscoll (English and Film Studies), Geoffrey Rockwell (Digital Humanities/KIAS) and Sean Luyk (Digital Initiatives Projects Librarian)

UAlberta Collaborators: Cecily Devereux (English and Film Studies) and Geoffrey Harder (Associate University Librarian)