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Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing

katlaughing 01 May 00 - 01:07 PM
MMario 01 May 00 - 01:23 PM
Robo 01 May 00 - 02:30 PM
katlaughing 01 May 00 - 03:06 PM
katlaughing 01 May 00 - 03:22 PM
Bert 01 May 00 - 03:44 PM
MMario 01 May 00 - 04:25 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 01 May 00 - 04:48 PM
KathWestra 01 May 00 - 04:52 PM
MMario 01 May 00 - 05:02 PM
wysiwyg 01 May 00 - 05:04 PM
Joe Offer 01 May 00 - 05:22 PM
SDShad 01 May 00 - 05:24 PM
Frankham 01 May 00 - 05:42 PM
Billy the Bus 01 May 00 - 07:22 PM
katlaughing 01 May 00 - 07:55 PM
Sourdough 01 May 00 - 07:57 PM
katlaughing 01 May 00 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Jake 02 May 00 - 01:33 AM
Sourdough 02 May 00 - 02:48 AM
JenEllen 02 May 00 - 03:18 AM
katlaughing 02 May 00 - 11:04 AM
Clinton Hammond2 02 May 00 - 11:23 AM
Sourdough 02 May 00 - 01:43 PM
katlaughing 02 May 00 - 02:21 PM
Clinton Hammond2 02 May 00 - 03:06 PM
Sourdough 02 May 00 - 04:04 PM
Robo 02 May 00 - 04:32 PM
katlaughing 02 May 00 - 06:27 PM
JenEllen 03 May 00 - 01:49 AM
katlaughing 03 May 00 - 02:08 AM
GUEST,Lyle 03 May 00 - 09:29 PM
katlaughing 03 May 00 - 09:43 PM
Gervase 04 May 00 - 06:27 PM
katlaughing 04 May 00 - 06:57 PM
Micca 04 May 00 - 07:42 PM
katlaughing 11 May 01 - 09:45 PM
Bert 11 May 01 - 10:21 PM
katlaughing 11 May 01 - 11:30 PM
katlaughing 01 Jun 01 - 01:21 PM
DougR 01 Jun 01 - 01:28 PM
MMario 01 Jun 01 - 01:30 PM
katlaughing 01 Jun 01 - 01:37 PM
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katlaughing 01 Jun 01 - 02:10 PM
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Subject: Oral History to Book - How much editing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 May 00 - 01:07 PM

The encouragement of you all in the HearMe sessions has inspired me. I am finally entering my dad's oral history and my granddad's poetry into my computer. Hopefully, I will produce a book with those, vintage pictures of early pioneer days in Colorado, and a bit of my own poems and writings about being a modern-day *pioneer* on the prairie of Wyoming in the early days of my marriage.

Anyway, my question is this: how much is it *kosher* to edit an oral history/storytelling for print? My dad has a wonderful Colorado drawl; uses a lot of colloquial expressions which are easy to understand the definition of and I do not plan to change any of that. But, there are also a lot of "ands", run-on sentences etc., because, after all, he was recording this as a *talking* Christmas gift to us kids and had no idea it might someday be published.

I would like to edit a bit, but not lose the flavour and not run aground of anyone like you lot whom I consider to be a fair representation of my target audience.

So....whaddya think?


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: MMario
Date: 01 May 00 - 01:23 PM

kat - it would probably be a lot of extra work, but I would say do it twice...once a verbatim transcription ... the second an edited version. Possibly do both at once in a double column format? (I've seen this done with other transcriptions)

And present it as exactly that...original and edited version.

Though the originals may or may not not conform to "correct" or "accepted" usuage of language, it would help preserve some sense of your dad as a storyteller. And by including both versions, it would allow anyone who wants to reinterprete to work with the original material.


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Robo
Date: 01 May 00 - 02:30 PM

Kat . . . It can be a tough go. A couple of thoughts: Keep in mind that having the original tape is an incredible treasure. Protect it at all costs. It preserves the story as well as the teller in a natural state. Publishing the text of that material present a certain challenge, as reading the material is a different experience than hearing it. Where the ear can be forgiving, the eye is a less indulgent filter. You may well have to tighten up the language/text and grammar somewhat to improve the flow and prevent extra words and tangents from getting in the way of the story and the information being shared. As an editor, I find the challenge is to preserving the speaker's style, tone and expression while maintaining/improving the readability of the message. It may take several slow edits, starting with cutting some of those 'ands' and such and dividing up some run-ons. Good editing will enhance the experience, not detract from it. You don't want to polish away the speaker, but you do want to ensure the story shines.

Good luck with this project; I'm sure you'll find it very worthwhile.

--Rob-O


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 May 00 - 03:06 PM

Thank you both. When I get a paragraph done, I think I'll post it here, as an example, original and edited. I'd be interested in what you think.

Thanks very much. The stories have been a part fo my life since I can remember; it is wonderful to share them.

Oh, Rob-O, I do treasure the tape and have sent out several copies to friends and family. My favourite story about it is my son's. He and his friends were on a joyride to Boston, skipping high school, unbeknownst to me(!), and listening to tapes along the way. He put on his granddad's tape and they suddenly were spellbound, listened to the whole thing and loving it. This was in 1987; they were a bunch of dyed-black hair, pierced-everything punk rockers; toughies who melted at the stories and frquently requested another *listen*. I knew I didn't have too much to worry about at that point with my son.:-) And, it sure made his granddad's day.

Thanks, again,

kat


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 May 00 - 03:22 PM

Here's an example of the unedited:

G.L. Hudson speaking, "Then, after two or three years, I'm not sure how much, he moved by wagon train to Leadville, Colorado. On the train, on the way in the train, he met my grandmother, on not the best of circumstances; he'd lost his hat, was burned black as an Indian and she thought he was a halfbreed; and, some ruffian type was fixing to kill some kid just for the thrill of it or whatever ruffians did at that time and he moved in and stopped him. Wasn't necessary to kill him, of course; when he knew he was up against somebody besides a kid, why he backed off. But she thought he was more or less of a tough guy, which I guess was right. They saw very little of each other for the rest of the trip up the Arkansas to Leadville."

Tentative edited version: "After two or three years, I'm not sure how much, Grandad Hudson moved to Leadville, Colorado by wagon train. On the way in the train, he met my grandmother, in not the best of circumstances. He'd lost his hat and was burned black as an Indian. She thought he was a halfbreed. Some ruffian type was fixing to kill a kid just for the thrill of it or whatever ruffians did at that time. Granddad moved in and stopped him. Wasn't necessary to kill him, of course; when he knew he was up against somebody besides a kid, why he backed off. But Grandma thought he was more or less of a tough guy, which I guess was right. They saw very little of each other for the rest of the trip up the Arkansas to Leadville."

Comments welcome. Thanks a bunch!

kat


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Bert
Date: 01 May 00 - 03:44 PM

FWIW, I kinda like the original, you can almost hear him speaking. Cleaning it up seems to remove some of the color.

Of course that might not apply to all of it.

It's gonna be a GREAT Book, though, whichever way you do it.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: MMario
Date: 01 May 00 - 04:25 PM

I also prefer the original, though I can see how it could be confusing. I still think a double column format might be appropriate. Where is Art? I would think he would have a great deal of practical expertise to put forth here...


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 01 May 00 - 04:48 PM

kat: Your book calls for a Coloradian dictionary to be produced in conjunction. Or you could put an explanation in the index for the words that would be difficult for foreigners to interpret. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: KathWestra
Date: 01 May 00 - 04:52 PM

Kat -- I'm voting for the original, too, and for the same reason. Editing removes some of the color and edge of the original narrative. What's wonderful about ORAL history (as opposed to traditional history) writing is that it does let the voices shine through, and gives you the feeling that you're sitting in the room with the person being interviewed.

I'm not sure I like the double-column suggestion. That would feel to me like the original speaker somehow needed translation, or wasn't communicating well enough on his own.

A hybrid alternative might be to use square brackets in instances when you want to clarify who's being talked about. Like "Then, after two or three years, I'm not sure how much, he [Grandpa Hudson]moved..."

Kath


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: MMario
Date: 01 May 00 - 05:02 PM

Kath- I think you've hit it on the head! I withdraw my suggestion.....*grin*

the brackets could also be used if you wanted to use "dialect" spelling for a particular word that wasn't particularly obvious, or for colloqualisms not readily evident.


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 May 00 - 05:04 PM

kat,

I dunno much about poetry editing so this is about your dad's material only, which seems to be your present focus.

Having done this type of editing from people's written memories, my first question would be, what are you planning to do with the material once done? This should guide the depth and type of editing you do.

Another question would be, what were the speaker's intentions in telling the memories? This, properly considered, should lead not only to his overarching purpose for beginning to tell them, which can be one guide to you. But also, what do you think HE thought was the point or moral or significance of each of the recollections he shared? These should guide you in the structural edits, the rearrangement of whole paragraphs, to bring his purposes or perspectives forward.

You see, we take in what we hear very differently from how we take in what we read. As a reader, I need all the help an editor can lend, to make my reception of the writer's heart as clear and untrammeled by stoppers as possible.

I believe that your stewardship over this material has many layers to it, and that if you can sort them out, you will see how to best handle the material. You are a recipient of the stories, the person transcribing them, the editor, and the person inspired to now transmit them to others. These are four separate hats, which you can wear, but they bear separate thinking.

If I were doing the edit job, for example, I would ask you as the person receiving them (and now responsible for them) what you, as someone who knew this man well, think his central themes and purposes were. And then after determining what you as the transmitter of them sees as an outcome for them, I would edit them to fit those two requirements. And I would do it as objectively and compassionately as possible-- good ruthless editing is partly like sculpture in marble. (You take away everything that is not the horse, and try not to break anything!) What you leave is the power and individual voice that reaches the reader. In your own writing, I am sure, you do this for yourself. All of us who write have gotten pretty good at ruthless reworking of our own first drafts. We have to-- why else go over the material in multiple (boring!!!) drafts if not to fine tune the power and passion that prompted the writing to begin with?)

A spoken memoir is a first draft, precious and historically important to preserve, but not the same thing I as a reader want to sort out. I'd buy it as a heavily edited book with the tape (CD) included.

I am about to get back a set of materials from the widow of the man I most recently worked with. If she has been able to find all of his stuff, there should be his original with the editmarks I gave him, plus his corrected version after considering my suggestions. Shall I send you a sample?

In brief, focus on what the meaning of this project is, objectively as well as to you. And then trust your heart on what to do, and get practical help for any parts that are not the right hats for you to wear.

And go for it!!!!

~Susan~


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 May 00 - 05:22 PM

I think I prefer the edited version, Kat. I think you did a wonderful job of clarifying the muddy parts without detracting a bit from the tone and content of the original. I suppose a scholar might prefer an unedited transcript - but I'm a reader, not a scholar. The second version works much better for me.

I suppose the most successful oral history author of recent times is Studs Terkel. His books are very readable, so he must do a great deal of editing - but the personalities and stories he presents come through loud and clear. Take a look at some of his work, and I think he'll help you a lot in your project. I'd recommend his My American Century. It's a sampling of the best of his oral history work. And if you follow the link, you'll find the price is great.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: SDShad
Date: 01 May 00 - 05:24 PM

kat--

Add my voice to the chorus of those who prefer the original. Kath makes good suggestions about things like brackets to insert clarifiying words, too. I'd say anwhere you abridge or insert, make sure you use ellipses or brackets or whatever's necessary to convey that you've "cleaned up" the text. And in places where he strings together many sentences into one, there's no reason you can't use periods rather than semicolons.

"...she thought he was a halfbreed. And, some ruffian type was fixing to kill some kid...."

rather than

"...she thought he was a halfbreed; and, some ruffian type was fixing to kill some kid...."

for instance.

Also, I mentioned in a different thread that my dad's a historian; he's also a former director of the Center for Oral History at USD, and co-author of a book on oral history. I'll ask him your question some time this week and get back to ya.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Frankham
Date: 01 May 00 - 05:42 PM

I like both examples, Kat, but I think something you might consider is a question/answer format. Like an interview.

One function this has is to break up long paragraphs.

But retaining enough of the paragraph to keep the rhythm of the speech is important as well.

The questions focus the reader on the events without a confusion as to context.

My 2 cents.

Sounds like you're doing a good job!

Frank


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 01 May 00 - 07:22 PM

Hi kat,

Thought you were going to avoid the 'puter this morning..;)

For my 2d worth - I like Kath's [..], and Chris's period, in place of semicolon. Hmm... maybe remove a few And,..s, if they come too thick and fast. Sus' Book/tape idea is spot-on!

Glad to have been in at the birth of the project on HearMe. Could you post or e-mail a copy of the poem you read, pretty please?

LOL - Sam


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 May 00 - 07:55 PM

Well, Kath, I guess you and I ARE kin! When I transcribed this originally as a Christmas present for my siblings, I DID put in brackets whenever I clarified!

Chris, thank you, thank you for the offer of asking your dad. I would really appreciate it. I also like the idea of using periods....I am overfond of the semi's, I think:-)

Joe, thank you for the link, I will definitely take a look.

Susan, thank you. I know you have a lot of experience and you made some really good points. In all my years of writing, though, I've never gotten into too much analyzing, as it usually has come from my heart to begin with. (I believe that to be part of the reason for the health challenges I have, now. Didn't know how to shield my heart from all that I took in with such a high degree of empathy.)And, yes! I do plan on having a CD, if I can keep the costs down. I would also liek to include some of the recordings I have of dad singing some of the old cowboy songs.

Thanks, Bert!!

MMario, I thought about the two columns. I have an interesting book which lists, side-by-side, the US Constitution and the, oh whatsitcalled?, don't have it handy, the Confederation of The Seven Nations?, the Native American equivalent. It works well in that instance, but I think it would be confusing in this one, as I don't intend to edit heavily if at all.

Thanks, Frank. That might be something I could use, maybe not even a question so much as a "header", kind of like they used to do in old dime novels, you know, with bold type: Leadville Days etc.?

And, yeah! Where is Art? I guess I'll hafta send him an invite, 'cause I sure would like to hear what he thinks.

DaveTAM, darlin', which words were unusual?**BG**Just teasin'...it's a good suggestion and I have been planning on a glossary of sorts.

Sam, I will email it to you. I don't want to put it out publicly in written form on the "net", at least not yet. Thanks for your input. And, I was trying not to surf this morning, BUT when I started typing in the text, I thought I might save a step; if I was going to edit, why not type in the notes along in the text, at the same time? And, then I thought, oh sure, and just what are you going to edit? Go ask the MUdcatters for their two cents worth!

Thank you, all of you! I knew I would find some great help right here in Mudcatville! And,this is also a way for me to keep my self-discipline going. Since I've committed to doing this project in public, I am more likely to actually stick with it! Thanks!

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Sourdough
Date: 01 May 00 - 07:57 PM

I'm really impressed with the thoughtfulness and quality of the responses you have gotten, littlekaykat.

I have been doing oral histories for nearly thirty years. I started before I knew what they were but it was something I enjoyed doing so I did it. When I went to transcribe them, I was really worried about losing the flavor of the speaker's presentation. I did what you did and kept the editing to a minimum. I think I was right.

I do think that Frankham's suggestion of putting in the questions (if you had some) is a good idea for, just as he says, breaking up lots of text. It also helps focus the reader on where the conversation is going.

I use a lot of footnotes. When an unfamiliar place is mentioned, or let's say the interviewee mentions Harding's election, I would footnote when that was. If he mentions travelling to Leadville, then I would want to know how far it was from where he started, something about the route he faced(especially since it involves a huge climb out of the Valley of the Arkansas) and enough about Leadville to pique my interest about what I was going to learn when he gets there.) The footnotes, which in my interviews often begins to look more like a concordance, can be both helpful and interesting in themselves. They certainly give perspective to the stories and I have learned many things while preparing them that have helped me to understand the oral history far better.

It is very slow work so don't be surprised. I figure on about 45 minutes a page just for the editing. (This is after the transcriber has given me the word-for-word transcript.) The researching takes additional time, of course but that part is the most fun (next to doing the recordings).

If you are doing the trasncribing yourself, get as good equipment as you can afford. If the original tapes are on cassette, make copies and use them for the transcribing. The wear on tapes "to-ing and fro-ing" is considerable and you don't want to subject your main asset to the strain.

Radio Shack sells a foot control that plugs into the remote microphone jack on most cassette recorders. I think it costs considerably less that ten dollars. This can be a big help. Also, if you can get access to a tape recorder with a pitch control, use it. You can slow down the tape by 10% or more. Although GL Hudson's voice will drop several tones and his words will be stretched out, it will make transcription easier since you will be able to keep up, longer, with the spoken word.

Make sure that when you are done with your w-f-w transcript that you play it through again listening to the tape as you review your work. This way you won't find yourself having to dig out the original tape so often to see whether or not the interviewee really said some particular thing or whether that was a mis-trascription.

The suggestion to read Studs Terkel is a fine one. You can never go wrong reading him. His interviews are wonderful but they may be better examples of how to do a good interview than how to edit an oral history. They will however convince you (not that you need it) of the value of listening.

I would like to have the name and author of the book by the faculty member at USD about oral histories. I have read some books but they were so general and basic that all they did was give me the feeling that yes, I could do this and even charge money for it. However, I would like to get some idea of what it is I don't know, and I am sure that is a great deal. I hope the book title will be posted here.

Lkkl, I wish you well. You have talked on and of about your grandfather and he sounds like the kind of person I like to discover and interview as I travel around the US. (I think I've already told you about my interview of May Wing in Victor, Colorado and her childhood in the gold camp there at in Cripple Creek, as well as Teddy Roosevelt's visit, the gunbattles, the dances, etc. If I didn't, perhaps I will a bit later.)

Good luck to you. Pick out the advice that makes sense to you but the most important thing is to do it!

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 May 00 - 08:09 PM

Thank you, Sourdough! Yes, you did share that one with me and I am waiting for the book!!! WOW, you have given me some of the very concrete things I was wondering about and I think I have half the battle won, already! Way back in 1987, when all I had was a little tape recorder adn an old 286 computer, I transcribed the whole tape of my dad. I lost the computer file, but had a hard copy which I am using to enter it into this wundermachine.

There is not a lot of material, but I think as I go, I will be asking dad for more clarifications and that ALWAYS leads to MORE stories. So, I figure with what I already have, the poems of granddad, and the great lot of photos I have, it should fill up to a good size. I have many, many early photos of Leadville, in general, for one, which I think would be of interest, as well as originals of the old sod-roofed, homestead cabin with my great-grandparents and great-great grandad, as well as my grandfather when he was little.

SD, it is interesting,I feel I know my granddad, Frank Hudson, and his dad, L.D., so well, yet both died before i was born. That I know them at all is due to my dad and his great ability to tell stories. He will be 83 on May 8th. I would really love to get this done before he takes his last trail ride.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: GUEST,Jake
Date: 02 May 00 - 01:33 AM

kat,

Fascinating discussion. Will follow with great interest. Hope you will continue to keep us posted. You are really lucky that your father is still alive to help with this project. It must make him feel really proud that you want to do this to preserve his life and his memory as well as that of his father and grandfather. Not many of us have anything of real significance to leave behind when we are gone. His words and his voice are a treasure. He's lucky to have you doing this so that generations to come will know about him and the time in which he lived. He's given you a wonderful legacy to pass on to those who come after you.

for the past and the future,
Jake


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Sourdough
Date: 02 May 00 - 02:48 AM

I didn't realize that you had lost the original tape. Have you considered re-interviewing him? Use the telephone. Weekend and evening rates are down to around five cents a minute. This stuff is well worth the $3.00/hour!

When I do interviews on the phone, I use a little suction cup device (again Radio Shack and again just a couple of dollars. It connects into the microphone jack of a tape recorder and picks up both incoming and outgoing conversation. You just stick it on the back of the phone. Having a scratchy voice is better than no voice. You can do it to ask follow up questions from your reading of the typescript.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: JenEllen
Date: 02 May 00 - 03:18 AM

LOL Sourdough! You sound like that guy on the James bond movies! I love it! Are you sure there isn't a super-secret pen/decoder ring that will write this all for her? *bg*

Seriously, I agree with Kath. Another thought is where is the final copy going? If it's for non-family readers as well, then maybe subsituting given names for G'maw and G'paw? Depending on how many generations are in the story, it can become a bit confusing. Unless the characters really stand out, you end up with folks reading and glossing over the characters like when they read any of the Russian novels. After a while, everyone becomes a @%&#-ytch. Ya know?

Personally, I think it's a wonderful idea, and a great way to remember where you came from. A CD of your dad singing would also be terrific. You do realize that now we have witnesses, and we will hold you to this???

Best of luck, Jen


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 May 00 - 11:04 AM

LOL, thanks, Jen, I am counting on you to hold my feet to the fire! Oh, and I had already planned on using given names...even I get confused! Thanks!

Sourdough, darlin', I only lost the computer file of the transcription, not the original tape whihc dad sent out as Christmas presents in 1986! I would be devastated had that happened. I was just whining about having to reenter the transcription, again.**BG** Love the 007 stuff, though! Actually I had thought up a name of a company & everything for doing this as a business, too, but had too much other stuff on my plate....still do.

Jake, thank you very much. That is exactly how I feel, very, very fortunate. I am also fortunate in that my mother's mother wrote her memoirs when she was laid up with a broken arm in her 70's, so I may include some of those in the same book, as she grew up in Colorado, too. It would be a different section and is already in written form. She tells of the first telephone, her first teaching postiiton, going to Normal School on the early campus of CU in Boulder, when it was just one building, etc. plus I have some greta pictures of her, too, riding her horse in front of a one-room schoolhouse, etc.

I will be happy to keep you all posted on how it goes.

One more question: does anybody know of any grants one could apply for to help with the cost of such a project? I am doing it, regardless, but it sure would be nice to have some kind of help with funding other than my dear, darlin' husband (not that he is complaining...he's excited!)

Thanks, ya'll,

kat


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 02 May 00 - 11:23 AM

Kat...

Regarding grants, there I canna help, except to suggest that this could likely be a project you could do all on yer own with the right PC... a good printer, a CD burner, a good sound editor, and a good word processor... And likely a good scanner... You should be able to keep the cost to under 2500... A dedicated workstation, to atleast get the first printing of it done... then maybe you can look inot mass distribution and such... Oh ya.. and sign the first batch eh!! That way my grandkids can have it appraised on Antiques Roadshow!

LOL!!!!!

All The Best Eh!
{~`


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Sourdough
Date: 02 May 00 - 01:43 PM

Grants:

Colorado has money for this sort of thing if they get interested in the particular project and are convinced that the proposer has the ability to carry it out.

I would start by inquiring of the state and local historical societies where the stories take place. Emphasize the fact that you have photographs, too. If there are enough photographs, a student might take this on as a photo documentary.

Wyoming public broadcasting supported a well done historical documentary that I recall from five of six years ago that wasn't even about Wyoming. It was about the extraordinary day care centers run in the West Coast shipyards from 1943 through 1945. They were examples of excellence, the centers (the film was good too) and for whatever reason, the Wyoming Historical Society and the PBS station decided to support it.

For the kind of support you are looking for, you can do well with in-kind contributions.

If you get a sponsoring organization, you may get people who will donate transcription services I pay $3.50-$5.00/page to transcribe my interviews so that can save you a good deal of money and a huge amount of time while giving the transcriber a tax deduction if they are so inclined. It certainly will give them a chance to participate in an interesting project. Offering a finished copy (protected by copyright) will probably help.

The local equivalent of Kinko's (an office service company) might be willing to donate scans of your historical pictures. Here they run about $10./scan which seems far too high but which makes a significant donation for them when carried out by their staff during off periods when they aren't working anyway.

Anyway, I am sure you get the idea. Just remember that you need a sponsoring organization in order to be able to offer the tax benefit. It has to be a non-profit organization that has the ability to accept tax free donations.

If you would like, let me know your accomplishments as you go on witht his. I have some more ideas but I don't want to overload you and it is important that you try some of these out before you go on to others.

As far as James Bondish activities go, I always (except once) tell people that I am recording, even though I don't need to in this state. That way, it is clear that our interview is "on the record". If I am thinking fast enough, I make sure I record the part where I tell them I am recording and the interviewee says, "Fine, go ahead."

I DO drive a BMW though.

Does it make a difference that it's a motorcycle?

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 May 00 - 02:21 PM

You've got it, Clinton!! Autographed copies will be offered HERE FIRST!!**BG**

Haha! Thank you SO much SD, I have a feeling I will be hollering at you as often as you can stand.

I guess I just assumed ya'll knew more than I am telling ya; my mistake. Here's is what I am starting with and feel I really am ahead of the game:

Original tape of dad's memories & family history
Hard copy of transription of tape which I am entering into my WP
Hard copy of my grandmother's memoirs, which I have to enter, yet
Over 200 scanned photos already on my hard drive
A good scanner for more
An excellent printer
Two previous, self-published, small books, self-printed, assembled, etc. using on old 386! LOTS of experience!
Over 20 years as a writer
An excellent graphics program and ability to print all copies myself, although I won't...too tedious

Still have to get the CD burner, next on our list
Rog is a broadcast engineer & has a great mixing board which he says we can use to do the master etc.

As for grants, the last time I called Colorado to ask about funding even just a book of the photos, they were not interested because I didn't live in Colorado. Pissed me off so I never called back. I have a feeling I will be doing some web searching. The PBS and historical society thing could offer some possibilities. I've also found out that the Boulder Public Library has some stuff on my grandmother's family on permanent display in their historical collection room, or whatever it is called and the director used to be my brother's boss, so...I think I may start by contacting her.

Ya know I am gonna hafta list all of you as contributors, nursemaids, sounding boards, gurus, etc., doncha?!!**BG**

THANKS!!

kat


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 02 May 00 - 03:06 PM

I'd rather be listed as "Bad Influence" LOL!!!!!!!!

{~`


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Sourdough
Date: 02 May 00 - 04:04 PM

kat:

Take a look at http://www.uwyo.edu/special/wch

The Wyoming Council for the Humanities seems to have a comprehensive program. You fall under History, Sociology, perhaps economics and you may be able to add other Humanities to the list.

If nothing else, it's intersting reading, what they support.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Robo
Date: 02 May 00 - 04:32 PM

Kat . . .

You're doing a pretty fine job, to judge by the sample. I had to look carefully to notice the editings, and that is very much as it should be. I would be careful about the brackets. Last resort kind of thing. Particularly when overused, they intrude on the story and displace the reader from the satory-teller, achieving exactly the things we're trying to avoid. (I didn't find anything in the sample confusing enough to warrant that.) I would only use the brackets for one thing -- and that's as an indicator that more careful copy-editing is required.

Another caution would be to avoid making unnecessary editings. For example, in the first sentence you edited "moved by wagon train to Leadville, Colorado" to "moved to Leadville, Colorado, by wagon train." No particular harm done in that sentence, of course. The conern is that over the full course of the longer piece, those kind of subtle influences from the editor can impact how we hear the speaker as we read.

Hey, when you're all done, let someone test read it and point out anything in the piece that detracts from their reading and enjoying it.

Again, best of luck. -- Rob-O


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 May 00 - 06:27 PM

Thanks, again, SD & Rob-O! Willdo!


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: JenEllen
Date: 03 May 00 - 01:49 AM

Great, now I fear I'm forever imprinted with a mental image of the Mudcat's own JamesBond....Beemer, huh?

katkensho, I have a bit of experience on the grant-hunting and writing end. You need any help, give a holler. Experience has proven that there is always some one out there, just finding them is the key. I've got some leads out for you tho...~Elle


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 00 - 02:08 AM

So...it's "Bond, Sourdough Bond", eh? And, I thought sure it was going to be a Beezer (BSA), instead! LOL!!!

Thanks, Jen, I will be yakking atcha about it! I DO appreciate all of the generous help you've all given. Keeps me motivated!


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 03 May 00 - 09:29 PM

Kat - That's a tough one, and difficult to answer; probably the best advise is just do what YOU think is best. Having said that, here is how I handle it. Print out the entire recording. Now read it, trying hard *not* to remember what the recording sounded like. What you will find is that reading it is much different from hearing it. The next step is to pick out passages that you think are the very best at keeping the tone and implications of the message your father was using. Put these in quotes exactly as they are said, forgetting sentence structure, grammitical usage, etc.; keep the *flavor*. The rest you can change to suit you as a writer - consider only the message here.

Hope this helps a bit.

Lyle


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 00 - 09:43 PM

That does help, Lyle, very much, thank you! I think I was trying to read it that way and that is what prompted me to start this thread. You've put your finger on it. Most of it is very "flavourful", so there is not a lot to edit or whatever I decide to do, but it is a very important point you make, as well as someone else further up, that the written is read differently than the tape is heard.

Thanks!

Progress report: I have half of the pages put into my computer! Good thing I have lots of experience at word processing, eh?**BG**

t'anks!


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Gervase
Date: 04 May 00 - 06:27 PM

To wander back to a point halfway through, I would always opt for the original - but also remember that the best kept secret of editing is punctuation. You should be able to keep all of those words with all the wonderful and uniquely personal nature of your dad's voice by picking your pauses and punctuating accordingly. Don't be afraid to break things up into sentences, even if they're Molly Bloom-style streams of thought. One of the things about any transcribed dialect is that it takes very little time for the reader's 'ear' to adapt and for what you might call 'the voice in the head' to learn to speak. I remember the first time I came across broad Norfolk dialect and it seemed as incomprehensible as Sanskrit, but after a few pages, blarst it bor, Oi hed it in mi hid. And good luck with the project; I just wish I had listened more (and recorded anything) before it was too late.


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 May 00 - 06:57 PM

Thank you, Gervase, very much. Good points.

Now, if I may say to all of you: if you are regretting not listening more and it is too late, please, please consider those who come after you and make a tape or write down your memories, stories, etc. I know it won't bring the old ones back whom you miss, but it will provide generations to come a tangible link to you.

A few years ago I encouraged my brother to make a family history tape of his own memories as a Christmas present, along with his reading our favourite stories from childhood. He did and it was wonderful. In fact, now that I think of it, maybe there is some stuff about the grandparents on there that I should include, too!

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Micca
Date: 04 May 00 - 07:42 PM

kat, to return to the columns/not columns point, I have a copy of a book of Greek poetry by George Seferis,and the translator dealt with this question by having the greek originals on the left-hand page and the english translation on the right. I like both versions, but must confess that the "edited" made more sense...To me. Much encouragement....


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 May 01 - 09:45 PM

Well, it's only taken me a year of not very much time spent on this, but, as I noted in my recent thread about visting Colorado, I ahve finally worked out a format that I think will work for this. I will be introducing each section of dad's exact words with a few paragraphs of my own, then lead right into his, with his paragraphs indented more.

Thanks to an observation by Deckman about touchstones, my working title is, "Touchstones of Our Past: One Family's Early Days in Garfield County, Colorado."

Wish me luck!?

kat


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Bert
Date: 11 May 01 - 10:21 PM

Good Luck! kat me kuv. But I really don't think that you're going to need it.

Don't forget I want a signed copy.


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 May 01 - 11:30 PM

Thanks, bertdarlin'...you've got it!


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 01:21 PM

One more question for you Truth in History buffs:

I am working from my dad's memoirs. It is important to remember he recorded them, on tape, in his 70's and that the granddad in question, below, died when dad was only 6, but he did continue to hear some of the stories from his dad. It is also important to consider i am hoping to finish this in time for him to read and he is 84 now, so I want to be sensitive to his memories, even if a bit faulty.:-)

Anyway, in my breakthrough research, I've found that one major premise of family lore is incorrect. Dad says the Hudsons started out in VA and moved to MI, where my Great-granddad, Lorenzo Dowd Hudson came from, to work on building ships for the War of 1812.

My research, backed by published resources (obits and the like) say they went from VA to NY, then to MI in 1857, considerably later than the War of 1812!

As they were shipbuilders and ran sawmills, etc., I am thinking maybe he got it mixed-up and they went up north to NY to help out for that war, then moseyed over to MI. I will pursue this in my research.

What I'd like your take on, is how do I present this in the book? It is in the opening paragraphs of the first chapter. I have led into dad's comments, then put a footnote about the research and the discrepancies. Does that seem alright, or should I edit out dad's words and just present the story from MI on?

Thanks!

kat

PS: You know you all get a BIG Dedication in the book, right?**BG**


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: DougR
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 01:28 PM

kat, you might report it as your dad related it, footnote it, and include in the footnotes (assuming you will have them)a clarification based on your research.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: MMario
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 01:30 PM

What Doug Said...


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 01:37 PM

Thanks, that's kind of what I figured and have done, but then it seemed so major I wasn't sure.


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: DougR
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 01:54 PM

Well, if you get flack for it, you can blame me and MMario, kat! :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 02:10 PM

LOL, thanks, DougeR!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 02:29 PM

Kat--

My "day job" is supervising the archives in the library where I work, so I've transcribed over 120 oral histories & been to a couple of workshops & no end of bull sessions on the subject. Despite all that, I won't be adding much, because you've got some good advice in the previous 40-odd posts.

I would not bother to do the whole text twice. His sentences are not that long and as SDShad et al have pointed out, you have the open of making a full stop and starting a new sentence with 'And.' Orally, I'd say that was OK. A purist is going to say "Don't change it unless it's factually wrong." As to what you do then, a question you raise in a later post, I think there are two cases, or at least I do one of two things depending.

If the persons makes a blatant error and corrects it either immediately or at least in the same paragraph, I just run the correct word, date or whatever, in brackets.

E.g., Joe says "We came out here in 1931. Lived on Main Street for a while. No, that was 1934." I've been known to type: "We came out here in [1934]. Lived on Main Street for a while...."

If the error is never corrected, it stands the wrong way in the text and is corrected in a footnote. "We came out here in 1931 (1)." (1) City Directories indicate the family arrived in 1934.

Don't be afraid to footnote. Use footnotes to correct errors, to explain rare words or phrases, or to point a reader toward other written sources. If more than one person adds footnotes, each should be initialed. I got a diary which had been annotated by a grandson, so I put "K.E." after all his notes and "T.J.C." after mine.

Explain that--and explain your particular editing philosophy briefly--in a short preface. It's basically fair to go in one of several ways as long as the reader knows what you did.

Two more things: Make a copy or two of the tape(s) and make sure the copies are in different places. Finally, unless you know all the spellings of local place-names, a convenient source for confirming spelling is World Book Encyc. Near the map of each state, they list "Towns, Villages and Other Inhabited Places." I use that constantly because what I'm doing right now is databasing a local mortician's funeral books. His clients had been born all over the world and his orthography was strictly pragmatic, so World Book has rescued me many times.

Good luck getting any kind of grant. Our feeling is that that is going to be much harder in this administration--even for state grants, because if the Fed withdraws funding from one area the state must adjust somewhere to compensate. But try, anyway.

CC


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 02:48 PM

As a lover of oral history I LOVE this thread. Good luck to your project Kat, I'm sure it will provide much joy. Just as a by-the-way, George Ewart Evans, author of 'Ask The Fellows Who Cut The Hay' and many other works of oral history wrote a fine handbook on the subject called 'Spoken History', pubs Faber & Faber, 1987. ISBN-0-571-14982-0.


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 02:51 PM

Wow, great advice, CC, thanks very much! I guess I have muddled along fairly well, as I've been using a lot of footnotes and explanation along the way. Good to know I ma on the right track.

So far I am okay on the place names, as I grew up near most of them or have seen them in print when I've done research, etc.

That is wonderful that you've worked so much on oral histories and also the transcribing of the mortuary books. Those are of such great value to anyone researching, esp. their family genealogy! Thanks!

kat


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 02:51 PM

Kath and Sourdough are right. Do not edit out the flavor. Brackets (few) and footnotes (as many as needed) take care of ambiguities or faulty recollection. Also remember that over-editing can remove the "word sense" of the time. Our spoken lingo has, like, changed since your dad's and granddad's time. Nothing wrong with using gran'maw or similar. Just add name (in parentheses) following first usage. Readers are not as dumb or as easily confused as most editors seem to think. You should recheck sources of money. The first guy you contact often is interested in keeping spending down and keeping "nuisances" away from the people who actually make the decisions or are familiar with the subject matter. Although Colorado-based, you might sent a copy of the tape and covering letter to the University of Oklahoma. They have published recollections based on settlement from the Canadian border to Mexico.


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Subject: RE: Help: Oral History to Book - How much editing
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 03:00 PM

Good point, Dicho. I too have a healthy respect for U. Oklahoma. If I ever get anything whipped into book form I plan to send it there first. Check this year's "Writers' Market" for further.

CC


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