Oral history projects involve the collection of people’s experiences and memories about events and trends. Advancements in audio technology have improved the quality of recordings for oral history projects. These audio files can be easily edited archived and backed-up and you can pick out interesting file for radio broadcasts, museum exhibition, and so on. This makes you wonder whether transcription of oral history projects is necessary at all. The answer is yes – if you want your oral history project to ensure a useful record for the future.
Here are the many reasons why you should consider digital transcription of these audio recordings:
- When your interviews are transcribed and archived, you get a good, fully searchable guide to them.
- You can easily locate specific information from a collection of transcribed files stored on a computer. If you only had audio recordings, you would have to listen to each of them till you find the information you need.
- Preparing a play, documentary or book is possible only with written information and impossible by just listening to the audio.
- Analysis of written information is an integral part of historical research.
- The project content can be easily made available to the hearing impaired through transcription as also to people with no access to the recordings.
If you have a collection of oral histories to transcribe, a company offering educational transcription services can help. If you are a researcher using interviews and case studies you may need to run your work through a qualitative data analysis package, and a professional transcription company can ensure quality transcripts for you to work with. They would have an expert team of transcriptionists that can provide you with non-verbatim edited transcripts or full verbatim transcripts that include every utterance (which would cost more) in minimal turnaround time. Established companies offer educational transcription services with a free trial and at affordable rates.