chapter  1
16 Pages

Curating Oral Histories in the 21st Century

The transcript and the other voice-to-text tools play an important role in curating oral histories. This chapter explores four voice-to-text tools that may be used in conjunction with each other, combined, or adapted to enhance discovery at the interview level and sometimes within the interview. Transcription is expensive, requires a great deal of skill, and some argue that digital storage and editing technologies replace some of the benefits of a transcript. Transcribing is a skilled task that requires patience, concentration, and attention to detail. It takes an experienced transcriber six to eight hours to transcribe a single recorded hour. A transcription project is a complex undertaking that requires planning, allocation of resources, skill, and money. Because of the cost and labor involved, transcription is most successful if organized outside the general workflow as a separate project. Transcribing can be done within the archives or it can be outsourced to a professional individual or agency.