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OSA 051-W22| SALT: Learn how to turn archival materials into compelling stories!

OSA 051-W22| SALT: Learn how to turn archival materials into compelling stories!

2/16, 2/18, 2/23, 2/25, 3/2, 3/4, 3/9, 3/11. Wed + Fri 12-2 PM EST

Maximum Enrollment: 12 LBS

Course Description





In this four-week course radio producer and oral historian Galen Koch will teach students how to bring audio archives to life. Students will have access to a rarely-heard archive of Salt recordings conducted in Eastport in the 1970s and 1980s. The interviews are the source material for the 1983 print issue of “Salt: Journal of New England Culture” and include Eastport residents talking about sardine factories, herring fishing, and changes to the working waterfront. Using these interviews, participants in this workshop will learn techniques to transcribe and assess content and how to identify and create a cohesive narrative from compelling audio shorts.


The course will also explore the nuts-and-bolts of creating exhibits, from virtual and in-person platforms and technologies, to where to find funding and how to work with community partners. We will discuss some of the ethical concerns surrounding the use of archival material, including how to contact participants and organizations for permission and how to create standard release forms. There will be opportunities for participants to share about archival or oral history projects that they may be working on, or would like to pursue. 


This four-week course culminates in a virtual exhibit, curated and created by students, to be built on the Maine Sound and Story website. This will include a public launch event for the community to hear stories, view the exhibit, and ask students questions about their process.


This class is great for anyone interested in digging into archives, curating exhibits from archival materials or creating audio installations or multimedia exhibits. 


Students should come to this class with some audio editing knowledge, and should be able to upload/edit/export an interview with a digital audio workstation of their choosing. Students do not need to be able to transcribe but will be required to download and use the software Inqscribe. 


Zoom Schedule:

Wednesdays + Fridays 12-2 pm

Feb 16, 18

Feb 23, 25

March 2, 4

March 9, 11





Students may use any platform to edit audio but must use InqScribe for transcription work. It is a free software (free indefinite trial) so it’s accessible.


Students must be able to cut/edit audio in audio software and export final audio edit. 

 Galen Koch

Faculty: Galen Koch is an audio producer, sound artist, and writer based in Portland, Maine. After graduating from Skidmore College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, she began working as a freelance journalist. Galen has produced stories for BBC World Service, NPR's Morning Edition, The New York Times, and various nationally-syndicated podcasts. In 2017, she founded the community storytelling project The First Coast and began documenting the lives of coastal Maine residents. 


As part of her work with The First Coast, Galen teaches radio storytelling at the College of the Atlantic and produces the podcast “From the Sea Up” for the Island Institute. She continues to work through those partnerships to create audio exhibits and immersive sound installations in rural Maine fishing towns. In 2021, Galen founded Maine Sound and Story, an online database of Maine oral histories, which will launch in 2022.

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