Accessibility is Everything151003_hands_close

My biggest priority with oral history work is accessibility.  In this era of easy distraction, it is highly unlikely that someone would make the time to listen to several hours of audio recording or even read several hundred pages of a transcript. With this in mind, I have developed a novel series of indexes and transcripts that I have used with both my family history and grant funded projects. The vast majority of my clients have opted for these written tools in addition to the audio recording.

Topic Index

I have developed two types of indexes: a topic index and a sentence index. The topic index divides the recording into topics, just like chapters divide a book. Instead, of a page number, there’s a time stamp so that you can easily find what section of the recording to listen to. Each topic covers approximately 5-10 minutes of audio recording. Sample topic index.

Sentence Index

The sentence index incorporates the topic with a 1-3 sentence summary that gives further detail to the content covered in that section of the recording. As a whole, the sentence summary offers a good overview of the content covered in the project. Sample sentence index.

Beyond offering a good summary of the interview, both types of indexes allow the oral history to be accessed in parts. For instance, a grandchild specifically interested in their grandfather’s service during World War II can use an index to easily find and listen to that section. Perhaps several years later, they might decide they want to listen to the section detailing their grandparent’s marriage and they can just as easily access that.


Indexes can be easily added to transcripts. Here both the audio time stamp and the page number is included so that the oral history is accessible in both mediums.

For pricing details or a sample transcript, contact me at