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Oral History @ VT: Formatting

This guide brings together resources relating to conducting and transcribing oral histories, and includes the best practices for collecting oral histories and donating them to Virginia Tech.

Formatting

Each oral history will have three versions of the transcript: Draft, Audit Edit, and Final Edit. Each version should be created by a different person so that as many errors as possible can be identified and corrected.

  • File names
    • Include the collection number, the name of the narrator(s), the date of the interview, and an indication of the transcript version.
      • Example
        • Draft: Ms2019-001_DoeJohn_2019_03_02_dr
          Audit Edit: Ms2019-001_DoeJohn_2019_03_02_ae
          ​Final Edit: Ms2019-001_DoeJohn_2019_03_02_final
  • Heading
    • At the beginning of the transcript, list the collection number, narrator name(s), interviewer name(s), and date of the interview. Also list any other persons that may be heard or seen in the interview.
      • Example
        • Ms2019-001
          Narrator: John Doe
          Interviewer: Steven Jones
          Videographer: Max Stevens
          Date: March 2, 2019
  • Header
    • Beginning with page 2, include the collection number, last name, and page number in the header.
      • Example
        • Ms2019-001; Doe; Page 2
  • Transcription information
    • Below the heading, enter your name and the current date next to the type of transcript you have completed.
      • Example
        • Transcribed by: Steven Jones, March 10, 2019
          Audit Edited by: Max Stevens, March 21, 2019
          ​Final Edited by: Daniel Smith, April 2, 2019
  • Initials
    • Use a speaker's full name the first time they speak.
    • Afterwards, use the first letter of the speaker's last name to indicate who is speaking.
      • Example
        • Steven Jones:     Today is March 2, 2019 and…
          John Doe:             I didn't mind so much growing up in…
          J:                            And what did your parents do…
          ​D:                           They were farmers for years before…
    • For hyphenates, use just the first initial of the name.
      • Example
        • Steven Jones-Smith:     Today is March 2, 2019 and…
          John Doe-Raimi:             I didn't mind so much growing up in…
          J:                                         And what did your parents do…
          ​D:                                        They were farmers for years before…
    • If there are multiple speakers with the same last initial, use their first and last initials together.
      • Example
        • Steven Jones:      Today is March 2, 2019 and…
          John Johnson:      I didn't mind so much growing up in…
          SJ:                           And what did your parents do…
          ​JJ:                           They were farmers for years before…
    • If there are multiple speakers with the same first and last initials, append a numeral in sequential order to each set of initials.
      • Example
        • Steven Jones:      Today is March 2, 2019 and…
          Sally Johnson:      I didn't mind so much growing up in…
          SJ1:                         And what did your parents do…
          ​SJ2:                        They were farmers for years before…
  • Marking the transcript's end point
    • At the end of the interview, type [End of interview] in brackets
      • Example
        • J:      Well, I thank you so much for your time.
          D:     It was my pleasure!
          ​[End of interview]