Institute for Oral History News
Updated BUIOH Style Guide Now Available!Nov. 6, 2013
BUIOH Editor Michelle Holland recently completed an update of the official BUIOH Transcribing Style Guide. This twenty-page guide is now online and available for download here.
Since 1970, editors at the BUIOH have developed these guidelines for transcribing oral history interview recordings. The style guide provides rules for spelling and punctuation useful in converting speech to written language and deals with elements common to the interview setting, including false starts, breaks in thought, interruptions, nonverbal sounds, and unintelligible speech.
No transcript captures the whole essence of a recorded exchange between interviewer and interviewee. Nevertheless, the transcript provides a useful format to access information of historical interest covered in an interview. Various editors, including the interviewee and interviewer, may manipulate transcripts before they are made available to researchers in an archive or library. Accuracy in creating the first draft transcript is therefore very important to the final edited outcome. The BUIOH encourages open use of its editorial standards to help develop these quality textual representations of the spoken word.