History Truck: Home Drive


History Truck: Home Drive will be an online repository of thirty second to two-minute oral history clips from the Philadelphia Public History Truck.  This archive will be organized by neighborhood, beginning with East Kensington in April-May 2014.  The clips will be tagged by topics and Philadelphia places and events to help people orient or search for listening.  Ideally, participants would be able to search by these tags from a search engine.

Aesthetically, Home Drive could be a digital storytelling tool in which the audio connects with visuals including photography, archival reproductions, and video.  For now, Home Drive will focus on making important and diverse oral history audio from Philadelphians available to the larger online public at no cost.

Home Drive will be an online-accessible “home” version of the truck for researchers and listening audiences.  The full recordings of the oral history work are being deposited into the Special Collections Research Center of Temple University Libraries.  Oral histories are being edited currently with Audacity and will be stored on soundcloud or Amazon S3 depending on cost and capability (further research needs to be done on this issue).

As far as design, in an ideal world, the schematic would be playful and interactive complete with small, moving cartoonized versions of the history truck’s current logo.  This plan is currently beyond my capability, but I am keeping larger ideas in mind when building this repository in case funding for website development and construction become available.


As a sub-proposal, I would like to acknowledge my continued interest with translating the truck’s physical spatial history component into an online project.  More details regarding this idea will become available closer to the exhibition’s opening.

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