Skip to main content

TIAS 515 & THIST 437 "Doing Community History" - Honey: Prepare Your Oral History

Recommendations for Recording Interviews

  • Borrow an digital voice recorder from the IT Help Desk in Walsh Gardner 108.  If possible, get a recorder that has a stereo microphone. 
  • If unfamiliar with digital audio recorders, please receive training in how to use it to record conversation.
  • If using a Olympus recoder, set the microphone sensitivity to Conference Mode.
  • Conduct the interview in a quite room with minimal background noise.  Please avoid busy public places, such as restaurants or cafes, that may generate disruptions.Consider reserving a Library Group Study Room if you need a quiet location to meet your interviewee.
  • We do not recommend using microcassette recorders.  Also, due to the complexity and size of digital video files, we prefer not receive video recordings.
Loading ...

Transcribing & Exporting Audio Files

  • For doing manual transcriptions, considering downloading the free audio-editing software Audacity and using the the transcription toolbar.
  • There are a number of fee-based services online that offer transcription tools, such Transcribe which costs $20 for annual license.
  • Transcription software and foot pedals may be borrowed from Media Services, which will make the transcription process much easier and more efficient.
  • Download the audio file from the digital video recorder to a flash drive, your home computer, or your student H: drive before beginning to work on it.  Please follow the following naming convention when you do so: [interviewee_last_name]recording[number].
  • Olympus Digital Audio Recorders record in Windows Media Audio (.wma), a proprietary format that must be converted into a WAV (.wav) format before being given to the Library.  If you need assistance doing this, please contact Justin Wadland or go the Multimedia Lab and ask for Paul Lovelady.  If you would like to do this on your own, please see these instructions on how to convert these files to the preferred format.

Guidelines for Physical Storage

Please use the provided templates for table contents, essay, bibliography, and transcripts.  Print out your final project and place it in the three-ring binder Make sure that both release forms are included in the project.  Avoid using any adhesives (such as masking tape or glue) when putting together the materials for your project.

To deposit your materials in the Library, please set up an appointment with Justin Wadland.  Bring with you a a hard copy of the project in a three-ring bider and a thumbdrive with all of the computer files (i.e. the papers, interview recording, and any images.)  Before saving the materials, please make sure the documents are in the appropriate formats described below and save them according to the naming conventions.

If you need help with this process, you can make an appointment with Justin Wadland.

Quick Guide to Preferred Digital Formats

The original materials created for the Community History Projects will be stored in the UW Digital Collections, as well as upon disk. 

The formats desribed below are based on preferred formats for long-term storage.  This guide provides step-by-step instructions for converting audio, text, and image files. 

Please see the detailed guide for more information about required formats for digital materials for guidelines.

Type File Format
Text (essay, transcripts, etc.) .rtf (Rich Text Format)
Audio (recordings of interviews) .wav (WAV) 44.1 kHz 16 bit PCM
Images (such as portraits or scans) .jpg (JPEG) min. 3000 pixels on the long-side

If you need assistance converting you project to the required formats, please make an appointment with Justin Wadland.