An oral history project involves the interviewee recalling and speaking about an event and an interviewer recording the recollections to create a historical record. Quality digital recordings of interviews helped with advancements in the audio technology supporting easy archival and back up. However, there were limitations such as the deteriorating sound quality of the tapes, the costs of storing and preserving tapes, and the chances of the play-back equipment becoming obsolete. Researchers and students prefer a well-written document of the audio content to discover and learn about the past.
That is how interview transcription of oral history projects became a reliable solution. In addition to being a good asset for future reference, transcription of oral history projects offer a lot of benefits
- While handling digital recordings, a time consuming search is needed to locate specific content; this is overcome by the written record.
- The hearing impaired and people who don’t have access to recordings could easily retrieve the project content via transcripts.
- Oral history transcripts could be efficiently used as a superior basis for future documentaries or books.
- It is an excellent guide to the interviews with full search convenience.
- There could be some parts of the interview which would be tough for the listeners to understand. The transcribed report would help them acquire essential information easily.
- Unlike audio records, digital transcripts allow search with keywords and phrases.
Creating oral history transcripts is time consuming task, especially when there are several interviews to transcribe. Moreover, they would also need to be edited afterwards. By entrusting the task to an experienced transcription company, students and researchers can get transcripts that are accurate, consistent and easily understandable. An established company would be able to provide transcription at affordable rates.