Museum of Croydon - Oral History Transcription Volunteer

Oral History Transcribing Volunteer.                                       Museum of Croydon

Role Description

Volunteer working with the Museum of Croydon’s oral history collection of over 500 recorded voices. Oral histories can have a powerful impact on visitors. This project will involve transcribing oral speech into written speech. Transcriptions increase accessibility to collections, together with summaries and the recordings themselves they create an important resource for academic research, museum displays to family and local community history. This project will give you the fantastic and personal experience of hearing first-hand accounts of events and experiences and memories that must be safeguarded for future generations.

Tasks Involved

  • Carefully follow the Museum’s Oral History transcribing guidelines.
  • Listen to audio recordings of individuals and groups; some of which are not yet on open access.
  • Create summaries and list key themes of the audio. Complete Museum’s transcription template and learn more about best practice in transcribing.
  • Capture not only words but speech patterns (e.g. colloquialisms) and emotion (e.g. laughter). 
  • Work and schedule your time independently while keeping your Volunteer Supervisor informed of your progress. All hours volunteered will need to be logged via Better Impact.
  • Keeping data private and secure. Highlighting to staff any oral histories that contain information of a sensitive nature, and therefore access must be carefully given if placed on open access.
  • Share your experiences volunteering with us or on specific oral histories for our Social Media and Blog posts (if/when required).


       •       Good communication and a friendly approachable attitude.  Excellent organisation and to         complete tasks independently. Great attention to detail and patience in listening to audio which is time-consuming and repetitive.

       •       Experience of Microsoft Office, including Microsoft Word

  • Experience of listening, using or working with Oral histories in the Heritage Sector is desirable, but not necessary.
  • Ability to acknowledge when additional help and/or training needs to be sought, discuss with volunteer supervisor.
  • An interest in history and working with historical collections.




Time Commitment and Access

As this is a remote volunteering offer the time required for this role will be dependent on your availability and the needs of transcribing our collection in a timely manner of which a discussion with the volunteer supervisor to agree the time commitment will be required.

Access to your own computer and software that allows audio to be listened to is required. 

Please note that this role does not have to remain remote in the future. It is currently remote due to the current changing situation with COVID 19, so there will be flexibility in future work patterns.

What you will gain

  • Practical and valuable skills in how to transcribe oral histories to Museum and Heritage standards. Invaluable access and immersion in people’s stories and memories.
  • Experience of volunteering with a Museum collection’s team, knowledge and experience gained of working with a unique collection.

Support and Training

  • Full induction and training. (If volunteering remotely this will be done online)
  • Ongoing support through Collections Access Officer.
  • Travel expenses reimbursed up to the limit of £13.10 per day.
  • Full staff support during the working week Monday to Friday 9-5

How to Apply

Please select this role at the website and complete an online application form on Better Impact. Details of a referee are also required on this application form to whom the Museum can approach for a reference. We will then contact you regarding your application within 2 working days.