Facebook Pixel Manuscripts & Folklife Archives Typescripting Project | Western Kentucky University

About the Project

To further our goal of making our historic collections more accessible, Manuscripts & Folklife Archives seeks volunteers to:

Transcribe audio recordings such as interviews and oral histories; and/or
Typescript handwritten materials such as letters and diaries.

A transcript is a conversion of spoken words into text, while a typescript is a conversion of a handwritten document into a typewritten one.

In both cases, the transcript or typescript should be an unedited reproduction, so far as possible, of the speech or handwriting.  For spoken words, this means reproducing the speaker's exact language, grammar and speech patterns.  For a handwritten document, it means reproducing not only spelling, punctuation and grammar, even if it is incorrect, but also the layout of the document: for example, line and page breaks, interlineations and abbreviations.  In other words, the objective is to type exactly what you hear or see.

Where the speech is unclear or the handwriting is illegible, the transcriber/typescripter indicates so by the use of square parentheses: for example [inaudible] or [illegible].  Where the transcriber/typescripter is unsure of a word, a question mark in square parentheses [?] is added after the word in question.

Click here to see a sample transcription from an audiotape
Click here to see a sample typescript of a letter

How to Volunteer

E-mail mssfa@wku.edu and let us know of your interest.  The links on the right hand side of this page will give you an idea of what kinds of materials we have available for this project.  We will then send you a CD of an audio recording, or scans of handwritten documents to transcribe or typescript.

Create your transcript or typescript, save it in Microsoft Word, then e-mail it to us.  All transcripts and typescripts, including the copyright thereto, become the property of WKU's Special Collections Library.

Thumbnail of page from George Sargent diary

Page from the diary of New York businessman George H. Sargent, November 12, 1852, written during a visit to his sister in Kentucky (click on image to enlarge)

Thumbnail of George D. Harris letter

Letter of 2nd Lieutenant George D. Harris of Franklin, Kentucky, July 4, 1918, written while serving in France (click on image to enlarge)

Thumbnail of Samuel Starling letter

Letter of 2nd Lieutenant Samuel M. Starling, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, July 22, 1863, written to his daughters about the pursuit of Confederate guerrilla leader John Hunt Morgan (click on image to enlarge)

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 4/20/22