New Roots/Nuevas Raíces
Reviewed by: Maggi Delgado
Review started: February 15, 2021
Review finished: April 11, 2021
Data and Sources
- Edited audio interviews
- Field notes
- Demographic data from the Latino Migration Project
- The data have been recorded, edited, digitized, categorized, mapped and visualized, organized in two lists, and transcribed
- Website powered by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with support from the Latino Migration Project, Southern Oral History Program, the University Libraries, and the National Endowment for the Humanities
Digital Tools Used to Build It
- Information not prominently displayed on site
- The site features bilingual content in English and Spanish. Some of the content includes a mix of English and Spanish terms and phrases. For example: “Welcome to New Roots: Voices from Carolina del Norte!” This is reflective of the mixture of cultures, traditions, and languages within the featured community and the audience.
New Roots/Nuevas Raíces is all about archiving the oral histories of Latin American migrants in North Carolina. This bilingual site is a product of the collection of over 200 interviews conducted since 2006. These primary sources are the firsthand accounts that showcase the demographic changes in North Carolina over the past 20 years.
The website is simple, clean, and easy to navigate. Muted hues such as blue, white, and yellow-green let the information and data be the focus of the site. Though simple, the project’s information has been processed and presented in various ways. On the first page, the audience is welcomed in both English and Spanish with options to start exploring the data through either visualization or a list of resources. The main page also includes a welcome video that summarizes the work by New Roots/Nuevas Raíces. From this page, audiences have the option to search through the audio stories through either a map that categorizes the interviews by North Carolina county or by the country of origin of the interviewee. Users can also listen to the interviews according to an alphabetized list of interviewers like María Silva Ramírez and Laura Villa Torres or by the year of the interview. The site offers not only a resource list, but also a themed dictionary, and a blog with photos, upcoming events, and recent news.
The unique aspect of this project is the various ways through which a user can obtain the narrative. Once on an interview page, you can listen to the audio recording of the interview, you can also read the transcribed interview and field notes, as well as download these as a PDF file. This gives the audience a choice as to how they would like to experience the narrative, as well as transparency by being able to explore the field notes and metadata provided by the team.
My favorite aspect of the site is the themed dictionary and the theme categories. I don’t live in North Carolina; I’m not familiar with the culture, nor the interviewers or the organizations involved. Therefore, as mere explorer of this project, I like having the option to choose the “theme” or the story I want to listen to. For example, I can choose to listen to narratives about religion or narratives about workers’ rights and unions. I can then navigate by the dictionary section and learn more about these terms and how they relate to the individual’s story.
Giving the audience many entryways into the content is a great way to maintain interactivity, exploration, and curiosity throughout the otherwise minimalistic yet impactful project site.