The five most popular links on the site as of May 2005 were:
- Individual Interview List Oral History Project, Columbia University. Oral History Research Office
- North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories, Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Ellis Island Oral History Project (Also worth investigating is the Ellis Island page for passenger searches.)
- Voices from the Days of Slavery: Former Slaves Tell Their Stories, U.S. Library of Congress. American Folklife Center
- Eisenhower Administration Project, Columbia University
- Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive: Oral Histories, California Digital Library. Online Archive of California
During the same time period, January 2004–May 2005, the top five interviews were:
- UNIVAC Conference (1990), Charles Babbage Institute: Center for the History of Information Technology, Oral History Program
- Saullu Nakashuk (1996), Interviewing Inuit Elders: Life Stories
- Burroughs B 5000 Conference (1985), Charles Babbage Institute
- Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy (1981), John Sherman Cooper Oral History. Kentuckiana Digital Library
- Baugh, Haywood (1992), African American Richmond: Educational Segregation and Desegregation
The sixth most popular interview was Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964), Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History. A few other interviews I found interesting on the diverse list included: Eleanor Roosevelt Press Conferences Group Interview (1989, #8 on list), Women in Journalism Oral History Project; David Rieff (son of Susan Sontag and Philip Rieff, 2003, #18), Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley; and Alice Paul (1972, #75), Suffragists Oral History Project, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.
While recognizing the educational, scholarly, and historical value of In the First Person, I’m also intrigued by the range of voices the database makes available for creative projects, especially with regard to database narratives presented as digital art, e-literature, and soft(ware) cinema. I’m interested less in data mining such a public resource than in selectively using its contents to assemble rich databases that lend themselves to innovative applications vis-à-vis individual or collective life stories. A related approach that also interests me involves the construction of personal multimedia databases as source material for autobiographical and biographical narratives (whether “real” or imagined). In other words, one model taps into public databases for source material, and another model taps into private archives, although these categories are fluid and allow for all kinds of intermixing. Please feel free to recommend relevant sites.