User Guide

This section of the site provides an introduction to searching the online archives and working with your search results. Questions and suggestions about any aspects of the site's design and function are always welcome.

A.1. SEARCHING -- Keywords

A Search box is provided at the top right of each screen on the Island Voices site. You can use this box to search for place names, dates, or for topics of interest. You can also search for people by name, but note that the alphabetical name index under the "People" tab (see A.2 below) is a more efficent way to locate interviewees. 

TIP: When searching for a phrase, using quotation marks will generally yield better results (e.g. "trout fishing").

Note that verbatim transcriptions of these interviews have never been done, including on this site: the cataloguing for this project has focussed on noting the key names, places, dates, and topics dicussed in each interview, and it is this information (formally referred to as "metadata") that is being searched, rather than a complete transcript of each interview.

A.2. SEARCHING -- "People" Index

The main organizing principle of Dutch Thompson's recordings and, thus, this online archive of his work, is the names of the people interviewed in each recording session (although spouses or relatives were occassionally interviewed together, most recording sessions were "one-on-one"). The arrangement is reflected under the "People" tab found in the top menu just below the Island Voices workmark on each screen on this site. 

If you were searching for an interview with Mary Redmond, for example, you would select "People", then "R" in the alphabet at the top of the "People" screen, and then click on her name as it appears in the index ("Redmond, Mary").

Note that this alphabetical name index only refers to interviewees; for individual names mentioned in the interviews, Keyword searching, as outlined in A.1 above will generally be more effective. For mentions of Joseph Gallant, for example, type "Joseph Gallant" in the Search box (or "joseph gallant" -- searches are not case-sensitive).


B.1. SEARCH RESULTS -- Result List

Whether you use keywords or the "People" index, your search will often yield more than one result, in which case you will be presented with a Search Results list. You will first be shown how many results were found (22, in this example) at the top of the screen. You can then scroll down to see the results, which are presented in sets of 10.

We hope that we will soon be able offer options for sorting the order in which longer result lists are displayed (by date or by interviewee name, for example); at present, however, we can only display results in a "default" order which reflects the sequence in which they were first entered into our archive. Your patience as we work to address this is appreciated. 

The search results appear as a series of blue-framed boxes: each box represents a brief catalogue description for a recording which matched your Search. To see more information about any result of interest to you, and to listen to the accompanying audio recording, click on the Interviewee Image or the Recording Title (where no photograph of an interview is currently available, a generic microphone image from the Island Voices wordmark is used).


B.2. SEARCH RESULTS -- Catalogue Records

Once you click on an Interviewee's photograph or the Recording Title appearing next to it, you will be presented with a full catalogue record describing the interview recording. Most elements of the catalogue record are self-explanatory, but here are a couple of points to keep in mind:

- Interview Dates are recorded in YYYY-MM-DD format (1994-07-14 = July 14th, 1994). This refers, of course, to the date on which the interview was recorded, and is not to be confused with the Time(s) Discussed information noted in the lower right of the record, which describes the historical era/years discussed in the interview itsef.

- Playing time refers to the total duration of the interview recording, in Hours:Minutes:Seconds (01:03:32 = 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 32 seconds).


C.1. INTERVIEW RECORDINGS -- Playing a Recording

 Links to the digital audio file containing the interview are found in the Audio box at the top left of the catalogue record for that interview. Simply click on the play icon (right-facing triangle) that appears both in the middle of the interviewee photograph (or the generic microphone image, if no photo is available), and on the left side of the gray bar below each image.

The audio file should load and begin playing automatically: you can expect that the file will take up to 30 seconds to load, but if you are still not hearing anything by this point (and you are sure the sound/volume settings on your own computer are correct), please contact us. Assuming playback begins as normal, however, you can use the buttons just indicated to pause playback, and click them again to resume playing.


C.2. INTERVIEW RECORDINGS -- Using "Recording Details"

The "Recording Details" listing appearing below the Audio playback box can help you "fast-forward" to content of particular interest to you in a recording.

The number at left in the gray bar below in the interviewee image shows the duration of audio playback from the start of the recording in minutes and seconds: in the example below, the interviewee has been speaking for 9 minutes and 8 seconds. The number at right represents the total duration of the interview: this figure should match the "Playing Time" noted in the catalogue record (though there may sometimes be a few seconds' discrepancy). To move forward or backward in the interview, simply click and drag the vertical black "slider" that appears on the line running between the two numbers. In the example below, we have used the slider to advance to the 9 minute, 8 second point of the interview to hear interviewee Greta Grigg discuss home remedies.