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Timecode Outlines for Interviews

There is an ongoing debate amongst oral history practicitioners about the value of creating transcripts for oral history collections. The Oral History Association has an excellent wiki article on this debate.

Queens Memory considers each oral history recording an important historical record and has a policy of creating timecode outlines instead of transcriptions for our interviews. Timecode outlines summarize the topics discussed during the interview with their corresponding timecode “in” points. The timecode outline along with edited audio clips (generally one to three minutes in duration) are accessible on the public QM site. Full interviews are available upon request to researchers who can use the timecode outlines and a digital media player in the archives reading room to jump to sections of interest within the interview.

QM template for oral history interview timecode outlines

Sample of a completed timecode outline for oral history interview with Carol Lee Whiting.

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