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Commercialising Testimony Software and TLSTranscription

"Testimony Software represents a major breakthrough for those in the business of communicating important human stories"

Dr Jeffrey Cohen
former Director of the
Sydney Jewish Museum
International museum consultant


TESTIMONY SOFTWARE has been developed by Dr Bob Jansen, Chief Scientist at Turtle Lane Studios, an innovative company committed to improving public communication through technology.

Aimed specifically at organizations seeking to communicate complex ideas to the general public, TESTIMONY SOFTWARE provides a breakthrough in multi media presentation. Ideal for use in museums, galleries and historic sites, this software allows visitors to gain information first hand from specialists and eye witnesses.

All communities have important stories and histories to tell and TESTIMONY SOFTWARE allows diverse communities to preserve, share and celebrate their culture. It brings communities together and can strengthen cultural tourism. It can build on the important educational and cultural initiatives being undertaken around the worls by co-ordinating and then sharing information.

In developing TESTIMONY SOFTWARE, Turtle Lane Studios has drawn on the expertise and industry of Green House Graphics, a multi media company specialising in developing educational products in a digital environment and Museum Planning Services Australia, an experienced museum consulting firm.


TESTIMONY SOFTWARE allows your organization to draw together oral history and film material, graphics and object data into one communication medium, a powerful DVD. An index of available topics in the story or other available stories is presented to enable the viewer to navigate to a relevant part of the current story or other available stories in the collection.

TESTIMONY SOFTWARE provides purchasers with a unique technology that allows them to

  • tell their stories in a simple engaging manner to a world-wide audience;
  • tell stories that can be published through the Internet, an organizations Intranet and via CD ROM/DVD;
  • ensure stories that can be published singly or built into a collection;

TESTIMONY SOFTWARE provides the purchaser with;

  • An innovative authoring tool which provides a simple, yet elegant, interface to the development of Testimony stories;
  • A complete display solution linked to a content maintenance database facilitating simple publication of new stories as required;
  • A comprehensive solution that will assist staff in managing existing stories and develop new stories, re-using available content as required;
  • The capacity to transfer your stories into this new environment. Staff can maintain these stories as required.
  • Enable staff to develop new stories using new and existing material.

The TESTIMONY SOFTWARE architecture has been developed over a number of years.

Many stories have already been produced for you to sample including the Stories of the Holocaust project for the Sydney Jewish Museum [go to Stories of the Holocaust page], a conference for the Australian Computer Society, a conference and related documentation on information technology and Australia’s cultural industry (The Digital Environment: New Technology and Australia's Culture, a free CD ROM available from the Federal Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts), a session on digital libraries for the Australian Libraries and Information Association and a walk through an art show of Australian artist Yvonne Boag.

How your organization can acquire TESTIMONY SOFTWARE

TESTIMONY SOFTWARE can be utilised by a wide variety of organization, with varying degrees of expertise of Information Technology. To maximise the value of the software, clients can access three levels of service.

1. Organizations with a comprehensive IT department and support staff can purchase a license to use Testimony Software and develop their own content.

2. Organisations with a limited IT capacity but a great deal of content such as film footage and historic images can commission us to prepare a ready to use DVD/CD in their Multi Media Studio

3. A full project management service can be provided to assist you develop your DVD/CD

Advantages of TESTIMONY technology over other systems

1. Completeness

Each interface element runs in synchronisation with the story. Thus, the transcript automatically scrolls in time with the story teller, images flip up to illustrate the topic under discussion, indexes scroll to show those links relevant to the current part of the story, etc.

Viewers can choose to commence the story at a certain topic, a certain image, an index entry, a specific point in the transcript or using the movie-slider in the video.

Experience indicates that users find this combination of content elements, all working together in synchronisation, to be a very engaging interface. It maximises their enjoyment, the communication opportunity and longer-term recall.

2. Provisions for Disabled Access

Our story architecture facilitates access to the stories for disabled people through the use of the transcript for hearing-impaired people and the use of alternate layouts for other impairments. Stories can also be mounted on touch-screen systems.

3. The Content Maintenance Solution

The content maintenance solution is based on a central archive of story content elements and a set of files per published story. The archive will be the central development place for stories and content elements as well as the index of all content used in all stories.

The archive will store: text files for transcripts, table of contents and indexes; image files for images; and video files for audio and video movies of storytellers.

4. Internet Access

Testament stories can be accessed from the Internet.

The delivery system allows for accessing content by URL. By invoking the correct URL, content will stream off the Intranet into the story browser.

Examples of Products

  • Yvonne Boag, Art Catalogue

A catalogue for a major exhibition of Yvonne Boag's work at the Sir Herman Black Gallery and Australian Galleries in Sydney, Australia. The catalogue contains internviews with Yvonne, a critical review of the work, descriptions of the work by Yvonne and introductions to the exhibitions by the directors of the galleries involved. [Show Art Catalogue page]

  • Stories of the Holocaust

We have already developed Stories of the Holocaust in concert with the Sydney Jewish Museum. Stories of the Holocaust is a CD ROM showing how TESTIMONY SOFTWARE can be used to publish testimonies from the Holocaust survivors. [Go to Stories of the Holocaust page]

  • The La Perouse Museum

The New South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service has commissioned us to produce a museum interactive explaining the voyage of the French explorer, La Perouse, in his exploration of the eastern seaboard of Australia. TESTIMONY SOFTWAREis the underlying environment for this kiosk system. [More details]

  • Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts, Tenterfield

Tenterfieold Shire Council commissioned us the develop an interactive kiosk for their School of Arts museum. This was developed using TESTIMONY SOFTWARE's flexible layout capabilities. [More details]

  • The Peggy van Praagh Story

A demonstration of our TESTIMONY SOFTWARE system developed for the National Library of Australia. [More details]


A brochure describing TESTIMONY SOFTWARE is available for download or browsing on-line [ Download PDF brochure (1,5Mbyte)] [ Browse on-line]


Demonstration versions of both the authoring tool, TLSTranscription and the browser, Testimony Software, are available for your download and review. [go to demonstration download page]

For further technical information and a free example of TESTIMONY SOFTWARE contact

attendonline [contact details]

Testimony Collection Screen
Stories of the Holocaust - a demo CD is available from attendonline [Contact us]
Laperouse Museum Interactive Kiosk main menu [more info]
Peggy van Praagh main menu [more info]

"The single most interesting story I saw at Open Publish was by Bob Jansen on Electronically Publishing Oral Histories. This presented his work on building an interface for capturing and presenting information in a narrative (storytelling) form.

This was a compelling and thought-provoking demonstration. It's really good to see that there is still some true innovation in the field of information delivery and I can see a lot of application for this approach in a corporate environment"

James Robertson
Step Two Design
Gerti Skalsky's Testimony
Tafe NSW - The Sydney Institute [more info]
Laperouse Museum Kiosk [more info]
A catalogue for the Interchange art exhibition [more info]
An art catalogue for two exhibitions of Australian artist, Yvonne Boag [more info]
The Tenterfield Oration, a museum kiosk developed for the Tenterfield SHire, Sir henry Parkes Museum of Art [more info]

Page last updated Thursday, 22 January 2009