StoryMaps: Opportunities for Multi-Modal Oral History Engagement Through Times of Uncertainty

Lauren Kata, Taylor Hixson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The NYU Abu Dhabi Memory Project is a community-wide oral history project that launched in 2019. These oral histories are helping to create an accessible University Archives for a young institution. 10th anniversary celebrations that would have included a variety of programming were paused, pivoted, or canceled due to Covid-19 pandemic impact and response needs.

What was meant to be macro became micro. Interviewing for the project continued, but we pivoted to remote, and to smaller, targeted outreach, mostly centering on “spaces.” From 2020 through 2021, 75 interviews were recorded. In Fall 2021, the team began exploring ways to curate and disseminate stories from the interviews and share them with the community. This is the origin story of The NYUAD Map of Micromemories (

This poster details how an archivist and a geospatial librarian came together to spatially activate an oral history archive on a small scale using what we imagined would be a manageable, accessible, self-guided engagement platform. Over time we began to see that providing an opportunity for our community members – after many semesters operating remotely and in isolating circumstances – to engage with stories about the spaces they individually walked by every day could also have value.
The poster highlights the experience of prototyping with geospatial tools–Leaflet, ArcGIS Online, and StoryMaps–and designing with longevity and sustainability in mind. The prototype was disseminated in spring 2022 using QR codes around campus as well as on the Memory Project page.


ConferenceOral History Association Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titleOHA Conference 2022
Internet address


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