Oral History Transcriptionist - Lyle Organizations and Churches

NOTE: This position is closed as of September 2016 and we are currently reviewing candidates. Thank you for your interest!

The Mower County Historical Society is seeking the services of an oral history transcriptionist to assist with an oral history project that focuses on the history of organizations and churches in the small town of Lyle, Minnesota.

This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical Society from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund. As such, the project must be carried out in accordance with the provisions outlined by the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants manual.

NOTE: This position is closed as of September 2016 and we are currently reviewing candidates. Thank you for your interest!
Closing Date: September 2, 2016
Contact: Mitch Helle, mitch@lyle.mn 507-281-2382

Applicants shall submit one copy of their application via email no later then September 2, 2016. Clearly mark the proposal Oral History Transcriptionist RFP. Incomplete submissions and submissions received after the closing date will not be accepted.

About Mower County Historical Society
The Mower County Historical Society (MCHS) was founded in 1947 and tasked with the mission of identifying, collecting, preserving and disseminating the history of Mower County. From this beginning, MCHS has developed into a historical center comprising 17 buildings (one of which is on the National Register of Historic Places), an artifact collection of more than 15,000 items, and an archive and research library holding both official records and private papers related to the county's history.

Project Description
Lyle is a small community (population 551) south of Austin in Mower County on the Minnesota-Iowa border. The first settlers to Lyle came in the late 1850s and the City of Lyle was established in 1870. Lyle is a primarily agricultural community with a number of farms that have been in the same families for as much as 150 years. Despite its small size, Lyle still operates an independent school district and hosts a number of events that showcase civic pride such as the Lyle Cancer Auction fundraiser and the annual Fourth of July celebration. The City of Lyle will celebrate its sesquicentennial in the year 2020.

This project is the first of three phases to fill gaps in recorded Lyle history through an oral history project. This first phase will focus on organizations and churches in the Lyle area and their impact on the community.

Scope and Qualifications
The transcriptionist will work with the interviewer to transcribe the oral history interviews and prepare them for public availability. The project expects to produce 10 interviews of approximately 2 hours a piece. Five interviews have already been recorded and the remaining 5 are scheduled to be recorded in the next month. Both audio and HD video recordings will be provided to the transcriptionist in common consumer formats via either FTP or mailed USB drives. Computer equipment will be available at MCHS in Austin, Minnesota for transcription or the transcriptionist may provide their own computer equipment if they choose to work remotely but it must adhere to the project standards. The transcription portion of the project should be completed by the end of October and the entire project must be complete by December 1, 2016. There may be the opportunity for additional interviews if there is money left in the budget toward the end of the project.

Specific duties include:

  • Working with interviewer to exchange files in mutually-acceptable formats
  • Producing a verbatim full text transcription of each interview in a Microsoft Word document
  • Formatting all transcriptions according to oral history standards as outlined in guidelines from the Minnesota Historical Society Oral History Department and the Community Oral History Toolkit by Quinlan, MacKay and Sommer.
  • Accurately spelling place and person names, and transcribing difficult to understand passages of audio
  • Clarifying with the interviewer all questions about the interview or subjects
  • Editing the verbatim transcription based on feedback into the final transcription which will be delivered in Adobe PDF format.

The ideal transcriptionist for this project has the following qualifications:

  • Good communication skills in both written email and phone conversations
  • Excellent typing and word processing skills using Microsoft Word
  • Good command of the English language including grammar and spelling
  • Attention to detail and desire for perfection
  • Ability to work efficiently with remote team members
  • Experience working with large electronic audio and video files
  • Previous oral history transcription experience
  • General interest in history

Application Instructions
Proposals should include:

  • qualifications
  • required wage
  • identification of the two spelling mistakes that were intentionally added to this job posting

After the submission deadline, Mower County Historical Society will review all proposals and decide on the successful candidate. At it's discretion, MCHS may elect to conduct interviews with the candidates or request transcription of a small sample.

NOTE: This position is closed as of September 2016 and we are currently reviewing candidates. Thank you for your interest!