IRB, Oral History, and Cowgirls

The IRB, Institutional Review Board, was created in response to many incidents over the past century. The Tuskegee research conducted in the 1940s, the Nuremburg trials of 1947 which resulted in the first platform for interrogational codes of ethics.  These events led to the creation and implantation of the IRB in 1971. “The IRB is charged with reviewing plans that protect your participants. The IRB ensures that human subjects do not bear any inappropriate risk and have properly consented to their involvement.” 1

To conduct any oral interview with human subjects, one must ascertain CITI, Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative, training. From personal experience, the training required is grueling. The online course consists of supplemental and required models. In the required model section, there are eleven subsections with quizzes: Belmont Report and CITI Course Introduction, History and Ethical Principles, Defining Research with Human Subjects, The Federal Regulations, Assessing Risk, Informed Consent, Privacy and Confidentiality, Populations in Research Requiring Additional Considerations and/or Protections, Conflicts of Interest in Research Involving Human Subjects, Unanticipated Problems and Reporting Requirements in Social and Behavioral Research, and Oklahoma State University module. In the supplemental model section, there are twenty-four quizzes and tests from Role and Responsibilities of an IRB Chair to the Native American module and from the Consent and Subject Recruitment Challenges: Remuneration to the Cultural Competence in Research. Having just started this training, it is very intensive, time consuming, as well as all-encompassing to supply the trainee with the rules, regulations, stipulations, and guidelines for interviewing human subjects. 2

In creating this site concentrating on the sport of barrel racing. I felt it important to include an oral interview of a woman on the OSU Rodeo Team. Initially, I contacted the OSU Oral History Lab and started CITI IRB training. After taking multiple quizzes and tests, I was informed that the courses I took was a refresher course for someone already who had received IRB training. At first I was disappointed since I had contacted a young woman on the Rodeo team and established a time to conduct an interview. After contacting Sarah Milligan at the Oral History Lab, she informed me that she, who has the IRB training and certification, would sit in on the interview. With this, I met with barrel racer Jesse Henderson on Monday, November 23rd.

I created a question list consisting of over thirty questions from what’s your name? to how long have you been barrel racing? I emailed the questions to Jesse and Sarah so they would have a “heads up “of what would be asked. On Monday morning, Sarah said the questions were fine but suggested that I didn’t live by the questions and let the interview develop more into a conversation. Jesse showed up at 10;30, we set the equipment up, and we began. Jesse answering questions intelligently and with great conviction for the sport of barrel racing. As the interview continued, I took Sarah’s advice and let Jesse’s answers create my questions. The interview lasted an hour with all three of us leaving very pleased with the results.

I received an email around noon stating that I could transcribe the interview myself which would speed up the process. I am currently in the process of transcribing. Sarah stated that after this process is complete, the transcripts would be sent to Jesse who would have two weeks to look over the interview then once she signed off, I could upload video and or audio of the interview.

The entire process was very educational for me to acquire the knowledge needed to conduct oral interviews. Sarah also informed me that the video would be uploaded onto the Oral History Lab’s archive which would allow other to view and appreciate for years to come.




Book Review: Debates in the Digital Humanities

Gold, Matthew K., ed. Debates in the Digital Humanities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.


In the book, Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold, the key issue in the emergence of the field of digital humanities, how it applies to academia, struggles within the field itself, and the perceived future of the discipline. In the introduction of the book, Gold professes that the field of digital humanities has progressed and, “bears the marks of a field in the midst of growing pains…as it expands from a small circle of like-minded scholars to a heterogeneous set of practitioners” (x-xi). Gold expounds that the current field not only sees division and varied opinions between academic scholars involving methodology but also within the field itself. This division involves those who perceive the use of digital tools to create a new community of well-connected scholars and those who envision that digital humanities is most, “powerful as a disruptive political force that has the potential to reshape fundamental aspects of the academic practice” (x).  Within the book, Gold presents essays and blog post articles by scholars at the senior, mid-career, junior and graduate levels as well as digital humanists creating an amalgam of information pertaining to the digital humanities.


The book is divided into six sections: “Defining the Digital Humanities,” “Theorizing the Digital Humanities,” “Critiquing the Digital Humanities,” “Practicing the Humanities,” “Teaching the Humanities,” and “Envisioning the Humanities.” Each of these section include essay written by professionals in the field of digital humanities. At the end of each section, there are blog post articles as well. This is a unique characteristic of the book incorporating and providing essays created in the traditional academic methodology as well as articles created via internet blog posts. At this point in the process of the book, Gold provided In section one, “Defining the Digital Humanities,” authors such as Matthew Kirschenbaum, Tom Scheinfeldt, and Lisa Spiro present informative essays describing the development and implantation of digital humanities. In her article, “This is Why We Fight”: Defining the Values of the Digital Humanities, Lisa Spiro argues in favor of collaborative work on the part of scholars. According to Spiro, the digital community promotes and welcome, “the advancement of knowledge, the improvement of research quality in…disciplines, the enrichment of knowledge, and…collective patrimony, in the academic sphere and beyond…” (23).

Section Two, “Theorizing the Digital Humanities,” includes articles by Stephen Ramsay and Geoffrey Rockwell, and blog posts by Gary Hall. In their article entitled, Developing Things: Notes Towards an Epistemology of Building in the Digital Humanities, Stephen Ramsay and Geoffrey Hill describe and discuss issues concerning credit for digital works. As opposed to traditional academic research, where as one single individual researches and writes pertaining to a subject, the digital humanities encourages and promotes collaborative work involving many authors within many fields providing background knowledge and feedback conducive to creating a more complete creation. According to Ramsey and Hill, “there have been both passive and active attempts to address these issues by providing guidelines for the evaluation of digital works” (76). The authors posit that the new age of members in the digital humanities community such as scholarly editors, literary critics, librarians, academic computer staff, historians, archaeologist, and archivist,  embrace this methodology and appreciate the cooperation of a collective effort.

In the third section, “Critiquing the Digital Humanities,” includes articles by Tara McPherson and George H. Williams as well as blog post articles by Bethany Nowviskie. Essays within this section, deal with the limitations of digital humanities from racial biases presented in McPherson’s article, Why are the Digital Humanities So White? Or Thinking the stories of Race and Computation, to the gender oriented blog article by Nowviskie, What Do Girls Dig? Within this blog essay, Nowviskie states that data-mining emerged as a “gentlemen’s sport “in the humanities. She poses a question via the internet pertaining to data-mining asking: What do Girls Dig? She then prints the messages verbatim of twenty-two people who responded. The author states that the instant feedback was gratifying and expounds that for a blog post to be successful, “a little attention to audience and rhetoric can go a long way towards making applications and results of digital methods” (240).

Section four, “Practicing the Digital Humanities,” provides essays and blogs discussing such topics as careers in digital humanities, digital publishing, social contracts of scholarly publishing, and the evolution of the field of digital humanities.  In his article, Electronic Errata: Digital Publishing, Open Reviews, and the Futures of Correction, Paul Fyfe discusses the benefits of digital editing. Fyfe asserts that the new era of digital editing provides active instantaneous feedback whereas the person providing the critique accepts authority in their evaluation since the communication between the creator and editor is constant.

Section Five, “Teaching the Digital Humanities,” includes essays and articles pertaining to using digital humanities in higher education, the role of teaching and learning the field, and collaboration on digital projects. In their essay, Looking For Whitman: A Grand, Aggregated Experiment, Matthew K. Gold and Jim Groom discuss National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) grant pertaining to creating a digital forum to discuss the works of Walt Whitman. The project focused on five college course taught on Walt Whitman in an attempt to see how groups consisting of students and faculty could, “share collaborate, research, and converse, out in the open through a rich infrastructure of social media” (406). The success of the project created a newfound interest and respect for the collaborative digital humanities pedagogy.


In the last section, “Envisioning the Future of the Digital Humanities,” essays and blog articles are presented discussing the future of digital humanities in the academic realm. Works relating to application, resistance, and cultural criticisms of the field present an overview of what is in store. In her article, Beyond Metrics: Community Authorization an Open Peer Review, Kathleen Fitzpatrick discusses the utilization of online peer-review as opposed to traditional measures. This method creates a relationship between author and review whereas on going communication provides instantaneous feedback. Implementing this method supports positive rapport between the author and review where the reviewer has more of a stake, and in some degree, gains a sense of authorship therefore provides feedback that is more positive.

In Summation, the book provides the reader with the pros and cons of the digital humanities. From presenting artifacts relating to the creation and implantation to what lies ahead for the field. According to the authors in the book, the emerging academic field of digital humanities has hit many speed bumps over the last few years. Initially, resistance from traditional academics and scholars in fear of losing control and autonomy to division amongst digital humanist and what they perceive for the future of the field. For Gold, the truth is that digital humanities is here to stay and for the academic world, those that embrace the rising discipline will have a better opportunity for success in the job market, in the workplace, and in the community as a whole. The book is an excellent read for any person interested in the evolving field of digital humanities.

  2. Editor Matthew K. Gold discussing his book. 7mK8j8/maxresdefault.jpg

Librarians, Archivist, And Historians: Thank You


In researching Women in Rodeos from the “dark period” of 1929-1949, there is little evidence and or documentation pertaining to this subject. I contacted local newspapers as well as libraries in search of such evidence. In Lawton, Oklahoma, the LO Ranch was formed in 1936 and began having yearly rodeos where woman partook. I, through a google search, was impressed that for a measly $12.95, I could research their digital archival holdings. After purchasing this, I realized that the archives only dated back to 1985.  I then contacted the Lawton Constitution where as I was directed to contact “Shirley, the night person,” who was in charge of the archives.

That evening I called and talked with Shirley who has been at the paper for 20 years and works Monday-Friday from 5:30-12:30 PM. She stated that she could manually search the archival microfilm if I would give her key words as a period to search. I am still waiting on those results…..


I also contacted the Amarillo Tri-state Rodeo and Fair where women partook in this event in 1947. I was directed to the Amarillo public Library and talked with their archivist Cindy Wallace. Cindy is a seasoned veteran in the library and field of archival holdings there at the library. I told her I was looking for information pertaining to this event. She, that night while on her dinner break, dug through newspaper microfiche and found vital information pertaining to this this event as well as photograph depicting women at the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo.

In this information age with the notion of everything becoming digitalized, computerized, and cataloged on the internet. I was thoroughly impressed with the respect and diligence these women had in searching for my information. One day the librarian, newspaper historian, and archivist may not be needed but for today, their job is in NO way threatened.

Thank You women for your help!


  1. The Amarillo Sunday News-Globe, Amarillo, Texas. Sunday, September 21, 1947. researched by Cindy Wallace, Reference/Genealogy Amarillo Public Library, Tuesday November 10, 2015.
  2. Ibid.

Vinyl Records: Scratching the Surface of Digital History Archive

In the 1930s, RCA launched the first commercial long-playing vinyl record of 33 1/2rpm replacing the heavy shellac 78 gramophones first envisioned at the turn of the century. With the 78s, after each play, the record player needle needed to be replaced and records weighed 220 grams. The new vinyl records weighed 110 grams and provided smoother playback—with less surface noise, and the diamond needled were good for thousands of play.

The new improved vinyl records caught on across America, recording companies such as Columbia, RCA, Brunswick, Victor, Okeh, Cameo, recorded the sounds of America: Big Band leaders such as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman; Texas Swing such as Bob Wills and Spade Cooley; and African American Jazz and Blues artists such  Louis Armstrong and Robert Johnson.

According to the NEH project article, “War Vinyl and Print: Music for the Troops During World War II,” The war birthed the record craze during the 1950s to the 1980s. During the war, families at home could record message for their husbands, fathers, and sons on “V-Discs” to be replayed on the battle lines half way across the world. These 78 gramophones could only hold six minutes of time. The USO as well as other government agencies created motivational records of popular music and sent them to the troops to keep them motivated and to uplift their spirits. (1).

soldiersontriptonormandy (2).

Within her recent book, Sounds of War, Annegret Fauser posits the Army relied heavily on the “V-discs” to promote recreation and cohesion amongst the troops. For her book, Fauser accessed 20 archival collections to provided vital information of how records and the messages they projected aided the war effort.

Today, vinyl records have seen an upsurge in collecting and appreciating the outdated nostalgic technology. With such internet sites as Ebay, Musicstacks, and Collectorsfrenzy, anyone can research and purchase relatively cheap vinyl records.  In addition, with record companies such as Crosley, RCA, and Ion, good quality record players can be purchased. The Ion Company now offers record players that can record directly to mp3 format for computers, and other modern electrical devices. Many Universities, museums, and, state and federal agencies, such as the Washington State Digital Archives and the BBC Archives, are transferring 33, 45, and 78 records to digital format.


Anyone who visits a local record store, purchases an old record, and a $30 record player can partake in this modern archival transformation. For me personally:  I’d rather put Brubeck under the needle.



Book Review: Clio Wired–Quit Living in the Past!

Rosenzweig, Roy. Clio Wired, The Future of the Past in the Digital Age. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.

Roy Rosenzweig, 1950-2007, was one of the leading professors of history to appreciate the importance of online resources for preserving, conserving, cataloging, retaining, archiving, and accessing history through internet archival holdings. Rosenzweig realized that historians are way behind other professions and disciplines, such as librarians, archivists, and social sciences in embracing the digital revolution of the modern age. In 2001, he coauthored, The Presences of the Past, Popular Uses of History in American Life, where he concluded that a person’s personal perception of family, local, and national history has profound implications for anyone researching, interpreting, or presenting history. In this work, he alluded to the fact that the digital era must be embraced to ensure that history is preserved and archives for posterity. He also wrote, Who Built America?, the same year and released the two volume work in CD-Rom form as well as an online version as a teaching tool for educators.

Within, Clio Wired, The Future of the Past in the Digital Age, posthumously published, Deborah Kaplan organized eleven previously written essays of Rosenzweig into a comprehensive book detailing the importance of the digital age and how imperative it is for future historians to embrace.  The book is divided into three subgroups. The first subgroup, Rethinking History in the Media, includes three essays: Scarcity or Abundance? Preserving the Past, Web Lies? Historical Knowledge of the Internet, and Wikipedia: Can History be Open Source? In this first section, Rosenzweig discusses the issue of new forms of digital media made accessible via the internet. He posits that modern historians are faced with a major paradigm shift in creating history with many incorrectly believing that the centralized problem with storing information on media has virtually short life span.  According to Rosenzweig, “acid-free paper and microfilm last a hundred to five hundred years, whereas digital and magnetic media deteriorates in ten to thirty years” (9). With this in mind, traditional historians have dragged their feet in creating and archiving history in digital forms. Rosenzweig states that internet sites catering to history such as the Internet Archive, Library of Congress, and the National Research Council have aided in erasing this digital misnomer and replacing it with the idea of accessible knowledge created to inform and educate professionals as well as the public. In the last essay of this section, Rosenzweig discusses the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Rosenzweig discusses the pros and cons of the online resource as providing broad amounts of information about many different topics but anyone could access and manipulate the information provided. Since 2007, Wikipedia has adjusted their accessibility only allowing people to rewrite entries by providing accurate citation making this online resource easily accessible as well as more historically accurate.

The second section of the book, Practicing History in New Media, Teaching, Researching, Presenting, Collecting, consists of five essays: Historians and Hypertexts: Is It More Than Hype?; Rewiring the History and Social Studies Classroom: Needs, Frameworks, Dangers, Proposals; The Riches of Hypertext for Scholarly Journals; Should Historical Scholarship be Free?; and Collecting History Online.  In this section, Rosenzweig discusses the horizon of broadening education through internet accessibility in the classroom.  He believes that expanding technology in the classroom will promote active learning at any level of education. CD-ROM scholastics, online videos, web channels such as the History Channel, PBS, and Discovery Education, provide accessible material to supplement lessons. He also discusses the importance and impact of collecting history online. To prove the importance of this, Rosenzweig uses 9/11 as a case study. He states that the online archives created by a mass conglomerate of historians, archivists, libraries, and historical societies was a hallmark project. Within this archival record, stories, photographs, reflections, artworks, and other forms of media were procured and presented for public access. Rosenzweig exclaims that this digital archive created by amateurs and professionals caused an explosion for online collections. He ends this essay by proclaiming that professional historians still need to adjust their mindset in realizing that even though the record is not a tangible document, presenting a facsimile via the internet allows more access for anyone interested.

The third section, Surveying American History in New Media, consists of three essays: Brave New World or Blind Alley? American History on the World Wide Web; Wizards, Bearcats, Warriors, Hackers: Writing the History of the Internet; and The Road to Xanadu: Public and Private Pathways on the History Web. Rosenzweig presents a discussion off the creation of the World Wide Web and with the concept of the “History Web”.  Archives and libraries have set the precedents for organization of historical information on the Web and “narrative presentations of history organized by museums, commercial ventures, and armature enthusiasts,” have aided in organizing the mapping of the “History Web” (158). Rosenzweig ends the book by challenging professional historians to embrace modern technology as well as digital applications and the notion of presenting history on the internet via digital archives, websites, and other forms of media. This, he believes, will help produce a more knowledgeable academic community, strengthen and promote new relationships between professionals as well as amateur historians, as well as create a pathway of communication between the academic and public realm of the scholarship.

In summation, the book is well written and presents information in a professional manner from creation of the Web, programs and sites catering to history, and what needs to be addressed to be successful in the future, Rosenzweig argument is clear: historians need to quit living in the past! He uses his previous knowledge of teaching and implementing technology in his classes to show how embracing the digital age is a necessity. Even though the book was published a short time ago, many of the aspects have already been addressed and improved, such as with Wikipedia and the creation of personal websites catering to specific history presenting academic blogs to not only teach but learn as well.  In reading this book, I could not help but imagine many aging curmudgeon professors who seldom check email let alone create a personal web page who may not embrace these avenues of digital history. Nevertheless, I digress, for those in the new age that do, there seems to be no limit to what will be created for the future.


Carpe DM

In looking at different sites that utilize the ContentDM, I found the Metropolitan Museum of Art site very interesting. Within their extensive Thomas J. Watson Library digital collection, there is over 900,000 volumes. Their mission is:

“It is The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s central research library, and its mission is to support the research activities of the Museum staff; in addition, it serves an international community of scholars. Holdings reflect the Museum’s encyclopedic collections, with emphasis on European and American art, architecture, and decorative arts, ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek and Roman, Asian, and Islamic art, as well as an extensive collection of clippings and other ephemera relating to the Museum’s history.”1

The site was easy to maneuver through and was easily accessible data banks and collection subcategories. As many sites today, in keeping up with modernity, there were links to Facebook as well as Pinterest. Of all the pages of books and manuscripts that I looked at, all were well copied and presented, one could also search key words and or topics for many of them. The accessibility of the site and the primary documents was comforting and I was amazed by the printing/copying of such documents and books. If I were ever to go to New York, I would want to personally see this collection just from the pure fact of researching and accesdsing it via the internet.



National History Day: How to Create a National History Day Website

This website was created to help students make a National History Day website for a yearly contest. The site is jam-packed with useful articles, videos, references, etc. and guidelines to fulfill for the contest. It details how to create a documentary, discusses interviews, exhibits, and other avenues for which students can show-case their work via a website creation. This site hits on many important aspects for creating a site and useful information that many may take for granted or overlook.

For this year’s contest, they are focusing in on fallen heroes of WWII for the main theme and are working in conjunction with Roy Rosenzweig. In this article, the rules are explained as well as a brief summary of past contests, and explanation of the NHD. This site is full of important information and articles on “how to”create a historical website for this specific contest but it is also very useful for others interested in the topic as well.

Website Link:

Article Link:

Click to access ABMC-Press-Release-2015.pdf


Editing Geronimo’s Wikipedia Page

Wikipedia has been around for over a decade originally allowing anyone and their dog the ability to edit pages. At one time, Wikipedia had George Washington as a rock star, Abraham Lincoln as being 7 feet tall, and George Bush having in his possession Geronimo’s skull…. Over the last few years, Wikipedia has gained control over their site and now stands with a little clarity in providing solid information pertaining to important people and events.

Last week, I had the privilege of editing Geronimo’s Wikipedia page with relative ease. For one, a person has to open an account with Wikipedia and once edit entries are uploaded, the true editing process begins. Initially, I added three bits of information for which I knew was accurate without citing specific documentation; within 5 minutes, I received notification that the entry was removed due to that fact. Later, I received notification that one of the entry was correct and was added with no citation.

For the other two, I went and found a book citing the information I previously stated and reloaded it and placed proper citation. If Wikipedia keeps this editing up, they may actually transform themselves into a reliable site for historical information.


Is Barrel Racing a REAL Sport?

Growing up in SW Oklahoma, I have partook and attended many rodeos. From the opening ceremonies to the bull-riding, each event is exciting for both participant and spectator. For many year women have been expected to live up to some social norm having different expectations in the home and publicly as opposed to men.

Women within the rodeo setting can be rodeo queen and or partake in barrel racing….For that point, is barrel racing a REAL sport?

According to local barrel racer Cassidy Teague, who also breeds and trains barrel horses:

“Of course it’s a sport. It’s actually more competitive than “normal” sports like professional basketball, football , or baseball. Unlike those sports, in the sport of Barrel Racing and Rodeo in general. the competitors don’t get paid unless you win. Professional athletes get paid just for showing up. Weather they have a good or bad game. No one pays our entry fees, traveling expenses, horse expenses, etc…”1.

Cassidy sums up the pure skill. dedication, determination, and efforted needed to pursue the sport of barrel racing.

In talking with Jesse Henderson who completes with the OSU Rodeo Team and is a professional barrel racer, she informed me that most athletes compete with inanimate objects whereas barrel racers deal with a 1200lb animal. Each day, the horse and rider may not see eye-to-eye and the stubbornness of the animal must be taken into account.

With these young women’s professional opinion in mid, there is no way that barrel racing is NOT a sport. If you don’t agree, please go jump on a horse and see how long it takes you to circle three barrels….


  1. Interview, Electronic Correspondents, “Interview of Cassidy Teague.” October 12, 2015.

Hello world!

Growing up in SW Oklahoma, I acquired a “taste’ for history and artifacts byway of my grandparents who were avid bottle diggers and collectors. During the spring ans fall months, we would travel to dump-sites in the area and dig up soda, mason, medicinal, extract, beer, condiment, bitter, etc.. bottles. We would return home, clean, and look up the bottles in my grandpa’s bottle reference books. For me, touching a tangible artifact gave me a connection with the past and ingrained he the importance of the past that is taken for granted by most.

My Freshman year of high school, I had an Comanche Woman as an Oklahoma History teacher and her knowledge of the past from a Native American perspective peaked my interest not only the historical narrative of the relic but from individuals who experienced it as well.

I received a BA in history from Cameron University, an MA from OU in Museum Studies, attended an Archaeological Field School in Arkadelphia, AR, as well as partook in digs put on by Leeland Bement from OU in Elk City, OK.  I am currently a  PhD student at Oklahoma State University with my general field being American History; major, Native North America; and minor, Public History.

My current research revolves around Native American soldiers at Fort Sill who served from 1891-1898. This website pertaining to barrel racing will accommodate a modern and local take on the sport. Through narrative, oral-interviews, and videos, hopefully you will be educated while being entertained with the information provided.