Grant awarded for LGBTQ+ Audio Archive Mining Project

A UWM team consisting of library and IT professionals and a scholarly expert in LGBTQ+ studies has been awarded a $50,000 grant as part of the Mellon-funded Collections-as-Data initiative for the LGBTQ+ Audio Archive Mining Project. Drawing on the UWM Archives collections of of historical and contemporary LGBTQ+ materials, The LGBTQ+ Audio Archive Mining Project will use machine learning tools and data analysis and visualization to build and process text datasets extracted from a variety of AV materials in these collections, including collections of oral histories, local television news and radio broadcasts, and LGBTQ+ community cable programming. The aim of the project is to aid in better understanding the contents of these collections, and enhance discoverability of previously unrecognized topics, relationships, and patterns that shed light on the history of the LGBTQ+ community in Milwaukee and the Midwest. This project is especially exciting because it will enable us to use machine learning technologies to better understand our past – something that is all the more important in the case of communities whose histories have often been hidden, such as the LGBTQ+ community. This will open up new audiences for our archival collections, and give students and the community an opportunity to use our collections in ways that simply weren’t possible in their original formats.The project kicks off this month (January 2020) and concludes in April 2021. The team joins a cohort of four other projects representing a variety of collection topics, formats, and approaches. More information on the Collections-as-Data initiative can be found here: https://collectionsasdata.github.io/part2whole/cohortone/