ABOUT THE SITE
- To provide an introduction to the sit-down strike for those
students or members of the general public who are unaware of the
history of this momentous event in American history.
- To provide an immediacy and personal touch to this historical
knowledge through the use of digitized audio files, which contain
the actual voices of former sit-downers reminiscing about their
- To make a site that was usable on several levels of interactivity,
with information and sound files accessible through several different
galleries, a Flash-generated map, a timeline, and various search
- To preserve the interviews done by Leighton etal. in a form
that was relatively permanent and easily accessible.
The site has been designed around the general idea of providing
diversified, nonlinear access to digital audio content. Users can
choose from a number of different modes of presentation, including
map , and a user-friendly, yet very accurate search
engine. Whatever the direction the users take, they should always
be able to quickly access the audiovisual content of the site. However,
each distinct mode of presentation tells the Sit-Down Strike story
from a different perspective. For example, the site map focuses
on the location of strike events, while the timeline offers a temporal
Digital audio technology
Matrix has used modern digital audio technology to build this website.
We have developed a set of custom
methodologies for the acquisition, processing, and delivery
of acoustic speech signals. These methodologies are a result of
2 years of vigorous research by a group of audio engineers, historians,
speech scientists, and computer programmers.
The original analog cassette recordings were restored and digitized
at 96 KHz/24 bit by means of high-quality stand-alone A/D converters.
The delivery copies (downsampled to 22 KHz/16 bit) were processed
with a variety of DSP techniques to reduce noise, increase dynamic
rannge and maximize volume. The PCM files were encoded with the
RealAudio G2 psychoacoustic codec at the 16 Kbps bitrate.
The technologies we have developed are freely available to other
educational and academic organizations.
Most of the site content is dynamic. We have used the following
KORA - all of our metadata is stored in a Kora database
PHP - all of the site's dynamic content is created with PHP
Flash - the interactive Site Map was designed with Flash and ActionScript
Metadata and system architecture
Matrix has used the METS
standard for metadata encoding and storage. METS is a flexible metadata
schema for encoding descriptive, administrative, and structural
metadata for analog and digital objects associated with a digital
library. MATRIX has collaborated with the Library of Congress, Harvard,
Berkley, California Digital Library, University of Virginia, NYU,
and MIT in the development of the METS schema. All of our metadata
is stored in a MYSQL database that provides the functionality of
METS and the XML Schema Language as well as the ability to easily
produce METS XML files in the future.
The site is served from an Apache web server running on a Linux Debian machine.
Best pracitices in the acquisition, processing, and delivery of
acoustic speech signals (PDF)
Matrix audio digitization methodologies (PDF).