Transcribing Oral History

Oral history coverTranscribing and Editing Oral History

Submitter: Finally tackling a long-overlooked section in my small academic library yesterday and found this one. I was amazed that the 33 1/3 record was still in the back until I looked at the usage and realized no one has touched the book since the mid-90s when our records were computerized. I showed my 12 year-old the record, and she had no idea what it was, but then, neither did our 23 year-old circ specialist. You know it’s time to weed when even the archivist says, “Hey look, a typewriter!”.

Holly: Anything with a vinyl record needs to be considered for weeding, for sure. A small academic library probably doesn’t have much use for this book, although if you have an archivist on staff, they should at least be consulted before weeding something like this. Well done, submitter! The person on the cover, and their spectacular collar, are a nice companion to the typewriter (which is a fancy one for 1977!)


  1. A 23-year-old didn’t know what a record is? Well now, I guess it’s time for me to jump into my coffin and close the lid!

    1. I found that odd too because many current artists are releasing their albums in vinyl.

  2. this is mostly famous for its soundtrack – right up there with the harder they come

    1. That is the best soundtrack ever!!! When vinyl went out (only temporarily as it now seems), I bought it on CD, too. Smashing!

  3. Yes, it needs to be weeded… but… my bigger concern is for the child and adult that don’t know what records are! All I can ask it,

  4. And they say vinyl is making a comeback! Apparently it hasn’t come back far enough.

    The typewriter looks like a Selectric I. Very nice. Interchangeable typefaces on round balls that looked like golf balls. Always wanted one, but they were expensive.

    {Expletive deleted), I feel old! And the “expletive deleted” should give me away; that phrase came into the language when I was in library school.

    1. Boy, are you right. Expensive’s the word! I saved up for one and loved it, I used it intensively until the computer took over, and loved THAT (no more corrections to make…) but the stupid ink-ribbon printer was a big step backwards compared to the Selectric typeface.

  5. I’m 21 and many people my age know what records/vinyl are. They’re actually coming back into popularity.

  6. I had that haircut and those glasses in 1977! And used that typewriter as a student worker in my college library! Memories…

    1. I still look best with that haircut! (Proud member of the class of ’77 here.) But the glasses were round wire-rims, “like John Lennon.”

      There should be a more modern book on this subject, possibly involving video editing. After all, how are the kids going to know about “records” if we don’t have oral histories? I bewilder them even now with my talk of rotary phones and only one TV set on campus.

  7. I wonder if in the oncoming years, as technology like what’s in this book gets more obscure, we will see a flood of resources on how to use outdated tech. Especially anywhere with extensive archives, we might see a lot of things on how to read Dictaphone cylinders/belts, microfilm, etc.

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