The Making Cancer History® Voices Oral History Project
Unique Among Biomedical Institutions
MD Anderson’s Historical Resources Center and the oral history project [OHP] were started in the late nineties to preserve the institution’s history and collect some of the background that historian James Olsen, PhD needed to write Making Cancer History .
Documenting the past produces information relevant to understanding the institution’s present and future; however the value of the collection can only be realized by putting this rich resource to use for that purpose.
The goal of the oral history project is to collect interviews with institution builders and leaders, create easy access to the collections and mechanisms for finding content, and explore ways to put the collection to use.
Our oral history project is now unique in the world. History doesn’t just happen in the past. History is being made now. Therefore we interview those individuals who can comment on how MD Anderson finds its way through challenges and into the future.
About the Oral History Project Database
At the HRC, we are committed to providing users with easy access to our collections. Our aim is to help you find the content you need quickly.
All interviews are:
- Divided into chapters with descriptive titles
- Summarized, so you can scan for relevant content
- Coded for database searching [with a meme-based coding system]
What is a Meme-Based Coding System?
Our coding system identifies meaning units not keywords so you can locate content on specific topics even when related words are not mentioned during the conversation (e.g. Leadership, Innovation, or History of Patient Care). The meme-based system gives you more access to the rich content in interviews.
Please scroll down for more detailed information on the features that will help you search the interview collection.
Why create an OHP?
Stephen Tomasovic, PhD, a co-founder of the HRC, explains.
At a Glance:
Institution builders, leaders, researchers, clinicians, donors, key staff members
130 interview subjects, 400 interview hours. More added each year
Listen, read transcripts, search content via two databases
HR, Faculty and Academic Development, Development, Strategic Communictions, Creative Services, Emergency Medicine, Rice University.
The Navigation Materials include a series of increasingly detailed summaries of content that provide an easy, Wikipedia-style entrée into an interview.
General description of interview subject and content
Table of Contents:
List of chapter titles and chapter codes to describe general content
Chapter Summaries with codes:
Abstracts of each chapter. A list of codes give more information about the chapter’s focus.
The entire interview conversation is presented with chapter divisions, codes, and time stamps.
Two Databases for Searching
Used to browse interviews. Click on chapter links and listen to the audio as you read the transcript.
Used for advanced searches with the coding system.
For an introduction to ContentDM click here
For an introduction to basic searching with Topic Codes click here
For an introduction to advanced searching by topic click here
A Two-Tier Coding System to Identify Content
Each chapter has a Chapter Code that identifies the main focus of the conversation.
Each chapter also has multiple Story Codes that further describe specific topics touched on within the conversation.
The coding system can be used:
- As a description of the content in a chapter
- As a search tool when using ContentDM
- As a search tool you are working with text files (Navigation Materials, transcript). Enter a code in the Find box in Word.
For a PDF of the coding system click here