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A Verbal History of Erie Community College: Technical Notes & Contact

In 1982, former Erie Community College President, James E. Shenton created audio recordings of his memoirs charting the creation of the college in 1946. This presentation allows you to listen to his recordings & read the related transcript documentation.


Matthew Best's picture
Matthew Best
Office: D115B
Dry Memorial Library
SUNY Erie Community College
North Campus
6205 Main Street
Williamsville, NY 14221
North Campus (716) 270-5262, Remote office (716) 245-4764

Special Thanks

This project would not have been possible without the kind assistance of the following people.

Jane Ashwill
Margaret Barrey
Katherine Hill
Edward Holmes
Lynnette Mende
Joseph Riggie

Curator's Notes

I began the digital reproduction of James Shenton's A Verbal History of Erie Community College in 2010 and completed it in 2011. From the onset of the project I was convinced that Mr. Shenton's memoirs served as the gateway to researching Erie Community College's past and providing context to its archive collection. To date much of the college's archives have not been digitized, but this project offers a good example of the possibilities. I was able to digitize the audio and text by utilizing readily available equipment, free or low-cost software, and standards-based practices described in web-sites such as the invaluable Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative.

In its current state, this oral history project has potential to be improved. I look forward to input from visitors who may have related anecdotes, editorial suggestions, or additional resources they would like included.

Matthew M. Best, Erie Community College Librarian
August, 2011.

Technical Notes

During the reproduction, the six analog master audio cassettes were played through an RCA SCT-510 Stereo Cassette Tape Deck with a line-in audio pass-through to a Microsoft/Intel High Definition Audio Device installed in a personal computer consisting of an Intel Pentium Dual-Core CPU E2200 (2.20 GHz, 2Gb RAM, Windows Vista Enterprise).

The audio was digitally recorded with Audacity Digital Audio Editor v. 1.2.6. Digital master recordings were created with sample rate of 96kHz, 24-bit bit depth and exported in WAVE (.wav) file format while maintaining the initial sample rate and bit depth. No editing, effects, or filtering were applied to the digital master recordings. The WAVE files are available from this project's SUNY Digital Repository page. Production recordings were derived from the digital masters. The production recordings were lightly edited to remove or reduce extraneous noise and silent passages that are present in the original analog recordings. The production files were exported in MP3 (.mp3) file format at 128 kbit/s (CBR) Mono. The MP3 audio files are presented in the Audio and Transcript tab and are also available at this project's SUNY Digital Repository page.

The text of the original outline and transcript were digitally scanned using an Epson Perfection 3490 PHOTO scanner. The scanner resolution was set to 300 dpi and a 12-bit bit-depth. The page images were exported in black and white using TIFF (.tif) file format. Optical character recognition was performed on the page images using ABBYY FineReader 10 and exported in Portable Document Format (.pdf) file format. The PDF image files are presented in the Audio and Transcript tab and are also available with the original TIFF images at this project's SUNY Digital Repository page.

Additional information about the creation of this digital project can be found by reading the following case study:

Creative Commons License
A Verbal History of Erie Community College by James E. Shenton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

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