The ‘Miami Hockey Coaches’ interview was made into a perfectly good, perfectly wonderful DVD. So why does the university keep sending me damaged tapes?

Oh. My. Gosh. You guys? Can someone please call the naysayers back in? I’m excited, I think you’re going to be excited, and I think they’re going to be excited too.

You know how the graphic I created on my latest post showed that if an archive number was assigned to an Oral History Project recording, then that recording had definitely been made into a DVD? What’s more, the archive number was assigned by the university archivist AFTER the DVD had been pronounced good and great and free of glitches? It was deemed to be a perfectly good and wonderful and awesome DVD.


As I said in my latest post, I’d recently submitted a public records request for the screenshots for accession number msv00110 in ArchivesSpace, a tracking database used by University Archives, hoping to find out if that number was linked to the tape that I’d surmised was the hockey coaches. Today, I was told that the university doesn’t use the msv numbers for its tracking on ArchivesSpace. 

OK, fine. Whatever.

That’s when I started searching the only other numbers I knew—the archive numbers, which, as I’ve just described here and in other posts, are the numbers that were assigned to DVDs.

The archive number that I deduced must have been assigned to the hockey coach tape was 10F-4-129 because it coincided with the timing in which the hockey coach interview had occurred and the number was missing in the archive numbers posted online for the Oral History Project. 

Think of that for a second: The archive number 10F-4-129 had been assigned to a perfectly good and wonderful DVD by the university archivist, but the title wasn’t listed anywhere online.

If you go to the Special Collections ArchivesSpace page and type 10F-4-129 in quotation marks, nothing will come up. We knew that would happen. But if you type in 10F-4-128 (again in quotes), do you know who pops up? The Marching Band Directors. (You need to click on the “Miami Stories Oral” link and do a command search for the number.) And if you type in 10F-4-130, up pop the Village of Oxford Mayor and Chief of Police. Those two titles probably sound familiar to you since we’ve discussed them before.

According to the latest version of the Progress Log that I have, when the Miami hockey coaches were interviewed on May 19, 2009, the only other interview that was being converted into a DVD at that time were the Marching Band Directors, whose tape had been sent to Digital Initiatives on May 6, 2009. Nearly all other preceding interviews had been converted to DVD and given an archive number by then. The day after the hockey coach interview—May 20, 2009—the Village of Oxford leaders were interviewed. So, again, the archive number for the Marching Band Directors is 10F-4-128 and the archive number for the Oxford officials is 10F-4-130. All of the other numbers after 10F-4-130 are taken by the other interviews, most of which happened after May 20. The Miami Hockey Coaches archive number has to be 10F-4-129, which means that it was made into a good and wonderful and glitch-free DVD. 

So again I ask, why is the university sending me beat-up tapes if there was a perfectly good DVD made? 

It makes me wonder what was actually on that DVD.

14 thoughts on “The ‘Miami Hockey Coaches’ interview was made into a perfectly good, perfectly wonderful DVD. So why does the university keep sending me damaged tapes?

  1. BTW, is there any evidence that an abnormally fast roadrunner was being chased by a coyote with a large magnet on campus in 2008? If so, I think this cartoonishly villainous case has been solved!

    via GIPHY

    via GIPHY

  2. Keep going! I enjoy your updates so much. You never know when a “conspiracy” might turn into a fact.

  3. I attempted to double check the Wayback Machine to see if 10F-4-129 was ever posted online (wouldn’t have played any videos/audio, but it would have screen capped the web page) but no luck there. Also the Special Collections has 10,000 archived pages on that site, so that was fun. (I also tried a general search for Miami Ohio Oral History Project, which pulled up a. Lot. Of. Porn.) I was wondering if it was possible to pin down how recent this omission of the hockey interviews may have been, which would have lead me to a completely different conspiracy theory, but seems likely it’s never been posted.

    1. Thanks, Julie! I tried the Wayback Machine too, plus a couple other options. Google has a way to determine the date when a web page was published, plus I tried reading source code, etc. Nothing. I have a theory on what may have happened, but I can’t say it out loud right now. You probably saw that I’m seeking the DVD #10F-4-129. I have another public records request that I plan to submit as well. I don’t want to give it away right now, but it could help provide an important answer. There’s something else in the works too. Sorry to be so evasive, but I’m trying not to show all my cards. Stay tuned.

      1. I understand! I’ll email you my speculations later…don’t want to start any irresponsible rumors, and I broke a thumbnail so it hurts to text and type😝

    1. Right? There are other signs too that I can’t discuss, at least not yet. This morning, I submitted a public records request for a copy of the DVD that was assigned archive number 10F-4-129, be it the Miami Hockey Coaches recording or another recording. We’ll see what happens.

  4. Is it possible that (despite policy) numbers were actually preordained to correspond with the scheduled interviews? It was a special celebration – maybe of a larger magnitude than the University was used to – so maybe this was a unique set of circumstances? So many possibilities…including human error (but I do hope you’re on the right track and answers will be revealed)!

    1. Hi Deb! I’m glad you asked that question. According to the Program Associate’s Handbook’s sequence of events (here’s the link), the archive numbers were only assigned after the archivist had received the DVD. So on page 2 (which is marked page 9, since it’s part of the larger handbook), see steps 14-16. In step 14, they pick up the DVD copies from Digital Initiatives, in step 15, they check them for defects, and in step 16, they give a DVD to the archivist (whose name was Bob Schmidt) who assigned the archive number.

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