The Oral History Society (OHS) describes oral history as the recording of people’s memories, experiences and opinions, so it’s no wonder we find oral history transcription a real privilege!  It is fascinating to listen to life story interviews and transform them into written words, ready for future generations to read and learn from.

The role of the oral history transcriber is to ensure the interviewee’s life story is accurately transcribed into text, thereby producing a transcript that can be securely archived and referred to for years to come.

Oral History - Stories matter

Business Friend has provided oral history transcription services on many projects; from large projects run by museums and archives, with hundreds of hours of recorded life stories, to smaller projects run by local communities and independent historians.  Oral history researchers have a particular skill in ensuring the interviewee feels relaxed as they chat about their lives and are often able to bring long-forgotten memories to the forefront.  We appreciate how important it is for these memories to be accurately transcribed as they can often help shape tomorrow’s society by providing vital information on past lives to future researchers.  We take great pride in using our listening and research skills to ensure people’s life stories are meticulously transcribed.

Quite often, oral history projects are focused on a particular area or topic, for example, a city or an industry. During the transcription process, we thoroughly research place names, street names, industry acronyms and jargon, and any other project specific terminology, to ensure a high-quality transcript is produced from the interview.  It is also important the interviewee’s emotions and tone are captured, for example, if a particular story makes them laugh, or perhaps cry, to really bring their tale to life for future readers.

To aide ease of reference, our oral history transcription service includes timestamps every 10 minutes, with the option of adding extra timestamping if required, for example, at every speaker change.  We also offer both an intelligent verbatim service and full verbatim service, so your transcript can capture every hesitation, um and er, or it can be cleaned to keep only those that are relevant for ease of reading, whilst not losing the context of what is being said.

Confidentiality is an important factor when working on oral history projects, these are people’s personal life stories after all!  Business Friend’s Privacy Policy provides information and reassurance that we adhere to strict confidentiality practices, and our File Transfer service uses military grade 128-bit AES encryption, although we can accept files from other sources if required.  We can also password protect documents before returning them to you.

For further information on how to use Business Friend’s audio transcription service, please see How We Work.  To receive a quote for transcribing your oral history interviews, please use our Quote Request Form or Contact Us with your requirements.  You can also use our Transcription Quote Calculator (below) as a useful guide.

Our method of working is simple and effective:

Contact Us

Please Contact Us to discuss your project particulars, such as type of transcription services required, templates and deadlines, to receive an accurate quote. Our standard rate table is available to view here.


We will provide you with a password to upload your recordings straight to Business Friend via our secure encrypted upload facility.

Confirm Receipt

We will contact you to confirm receipt of your sound files and track lengths.

We Get To Work

We’ll get to work on your transcription following your brief provided in a timely manner.

Job Done

You will receive your transcript in a Word document via email within the timeframe specified, password protected if required for extra security.

Invoice Sent

We will invoice you for the works provided for payment via BACs, cheque or PayPal.