oral history migration and transcription
November 17, 2015 at 1:46 pm #134220AnonymousInactive
We have about twenty-five oral histories on audio tape that need to be digitized and transcribed. I’m looking for recommendations of good vendors to do this work, preferably all-in-one rather than sending them out separately for the digitization and transcription.
November 20, 2015 at 4:20 pm #134224Sara AndrewsParticipant
Sorry for the delayed response. I contacted a few people about this on Wednesday – including our emerging technologies staff member who runs our in house audio lab. We have done some of our oral history transcription in house but we have also sent some out to third party vendors.
The staff I spoke with both told that they don’t know of any vendors that provide both services together – but that once you have the digital file providing that file to the transcription services is rather easy – usually directly through a website with no sending of physical media. They also said that if one vendor was offering both services, since they are pretty unrelated, that the digitization vendor would probably be hiring a 3rd party vendor to do the transcription and that you would probably be paying more for that service than if you managed it on your own.
As you may have already found here is one list of vendors that digitize audio: http://www.lib.umich.edu/files/audio_digitization_services.pdf
I also discussed the various types of transcription services that are available and we have utilized here. Basically there are two types of transcription that have differing costs – items that are transcribed by computer software and audio that is transcribed by human beings. The software variety requires a fair amount of clean-up on the back end, and has a lot to do with how clear your audio files are.
We have used Pop Up Archive as a software based transcription service: https://www.popuparchive.com/
And Automatic Sync as a human transcription service: http://www.automaticsync.com/captionsync/
Both of these have different payment models and different advantages.
Please let me know if you have further questions – or if anyone can submit the name of a company that offers both service – please do.
Library Preservation Specialist
Wisconsin Historical Society
November 20, 2015 at 5:59 pm #134226AnonymousInactive
Hey, this is great information! Thank you so much. We also have about six VHS-C tapes that need to be migrated – any successes with migrating analog videotape?
November 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm #134236Sara AndrewsParticipant
We have – we are associated with the University of Wisconsin – Madison – and their Communication Arts program has a service that provides VHS transfer for us. We have also worked with the Bay Area Video Coalition https://www.bavc.org/ and Scene Savers http://scenesavers.com/index.html
The thing is you want to know what you are asking for as far as formatting and whats worth it quality wise. We had to work out what we going to do for our preservation master and what we needed for our access copies – some places also save a copy that in between those two extremes.
There’s some good guidelines here: http://www.carli.illinois.edu/sites/files/digital_collections/documentation/guidelines_for_video.pdf
But this is a somewhat undecided quetion and it depends on your instituions exact needs.
November 24, 2015 at 11:51 am #134237AnonymousInactive
Yes, I definitely hear you about knowing what you want. About five years ago, I transferred into a park and discovered that they had just digitized all of their oral histories but did not contract for uncompressed copies of the files. They only requested DVDs and then only requested one DVD. Some of the disks were already scratched and unreadable. At some point, all of that migration will have to be done over again. So I have some pretty strong ideas about what we want to get out of the migration process!
November 30, 2015 at 9:12 am #134238Quinn Morgan FerrisParticipant
In addition to the excellent list of vendors and recommendations that Sara has already provided, I wanted to pipe up and mention the services of George Blood (website here). The University of Virginia has used him in the past for outsourcing reformatting projects, and I have personally corresponded with him regarding a personal project of digitizing my father’s old dramatic audio books. Just to point out that he seems to be both able and willing to work with you on your specific needs!
Hope this is helpful!
November 30, 2015 at 1:56 pm #134239AnonymousInactive
Hi Quinn! Thanks for the info!
December 1, 2015 at 1:26 pm #134248Maggie WesslingParticipant
I would add another resource you might consider if you have some even older audio formats like wax cylinders and lacquer discs: NEDCC in Andover, MA. They have specialized equipment that allows for digitizing without actually playing the original. Check out their website: https://www.nedcc.org/audio-preservation/about
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