I hadn’t expected the transcription assignment to be as tedious as it was going in. Although I did not expect it to be over with quickly, I hadn’t realized how difficult it would be to pick up on individual statements when two people were talking at the same time. I suppose this was partially because of the lack of visual cues to differentiate between statements, however whenever two people would talk at the same time I found myself having to listen to the tape five or six times slowed down to copy down their statements correctly. I went into the assignment with the intention of copying down everything that was said, syllable for syllable, however after realizing how annoying the constant “like, um, and like” statements were to transcribe, I reasoned that they would be just as frustrating to read. I solved my dilemma over the order to write concurrent statements by simply writing entire statements from each person during overlap, except in the cases of direct interruption, wherein I would use a dash to mark the interruption. I was upset at my occasional need to use brackets to mark words [incomprehensible] however there were a few phrases that were simply beyond my powers as a listener to understand. The interviewers I transcribed seemed to be very inexperienced, in my opinion, as they had trouble organizing their questions, and obviously did not go into the interview with a clear cut idea of what they were going to ask, although the interviewees seemed eager to answer their questions, and they were helped immensely by Edith (the third interviewer/indexer) as well.


The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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