ATC Client Spotlight: 92NY

At ATC, something that we take very seriously is the concept of transcription as history-making; the idea that when we set down speech in writing, we are engaging in the act of creating history, setting in stone, so to speak, something ephemeral. While we’ve worked on many projects throughout the decades that we feel fit this idea, there is perhaps no project that better exemplifies it than our work for cultural and community center 92NY on the Elie Wiesel Living Archive. But before we delve into the intricacies of that project––and the great honor that it was for us to be part of it––allow us to introduce 92NY to those who may be unfamiliar with the organization and their work. 

Founded as the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in 1874––often referred to as the YMHA or simply “the Y”––92NY began as a secular organization with the aim of enriching the social and literary lives of its members. Originally offering activities such as musical performances, literary readings, fitness classes, and various forms of adult education (such as ESL classes for New York’s immigrant population), the YMHA grew steadily throughout the years, eventually rebranding as 92nd Street Y, or 92Y, in 1975. Nowadays, the organization has vastly expanded its programming, offering a myriad of classes, talks, performances, screenings, readings, and resources to New York residents, both within the Jewish community as well as outside of it. This year, to better represent its roots and history in NYC, the organization rebranded once more as The 92nd St Y, New York––or 92NY for short.

The Elie Wiesel Living Archive

In 2020 and 2021, 92NY set out to accomplish something that would make history––to digitize Professor Elie Wiesel’s 180 lectures, readings, and conversations that took place over the course of over 45 years at various 92NY facilities. Elie Wiesel, a renowned political activist, Nobel laureate, author, and Holocaust survivor, is one of the most respected and influential Jewish figures of the 20th and 21st centuries, and 92NY recognized that the contents of his many lectures required careful, delicate, and accurate preservation. We at ATC are incredibly honored to have been chosen to transcribe all of Professor Wiesel’s lectures––an act of history-making that we undertook with the utmost care. With many of us having Jewish cultural backgrounds ourselves (including our founder, Sandy Poritzky, a first generation American who grew up in a Yiddish-speaking home), it’s impossible to describe the reverence with which we handled this project, as well as the pride that we take in having transcribed and captioned Professor Wiesel’s lectures with an exhaustive level of cultural sensitivity, accuracy, and consideration. 

The Elie Wiesel Living Archive is now available for learners of all ages and backgrounds online at the 92NY website. We consider it a veritable treasure trove of Jewish history, Torah education, cultural education, and, in 92NY’s own words, “an essential guide in ethics, human rights, and memory in the wake of the Holocaust.” We strongly encourage you to take a look. 

Client Spotlight – July 2020

Since our founding in 1966, oral history interviews and archival recordings have been a main focus of our transcription service. Each time we partner with an organization it is always amazing to learn the ins and outs of each project. It is with great pleasure that we share these two fascinating projects that we proudly transcribed.

Lynda Kachurek, Head of Rare Books & Special Collections at the Boatwright Memorial Library at the University of Richmond shared these comments with us about two of her projects.

This two-part oral history with Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker and his wife, Theresa Ann Edwards Walker, was conducted by the University of Richmond in 2016 and is believed to be the last interview Dr. Walker recorded before his passing in 2018. The excellent transcription completed by the Audio Transcription Center assists with accessibility online, as well as allowing greater subject analysis and research access for the material.

The Birmingham Tapes are a set of 10 mass meetings that span the duration of Project C, the SCLC’s (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) work during the 1963 Birmingham Campaign. They are believed to be the only publicly available recordings of these meetings, presenting a significant and unique perspective on the detailed planning and management of the Birmingham Campaign. The transcriptions done by the Audio Transcription Center not only assist with accessibility but they allow for a deeper research potential, greater subject analysis, and wider availability to these materials.

5 Affordable Voice Recording Devices

5 Affordable Voice Recording Devices - ATC Blog

Whether you need transcripts for lectures, conversations, dictations for articles or books, or just your own personal thoughts, nothing is more convenient than a portable recording device. In today’s plugged-in world, make sure your recorder has a USB port or an external memory card slot so the audio file can be easily exported and shared with your transcription provider. With that in mind, here are 5 affordable voice recording devices available for purchase on Amazon.

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5 Advantages of Outsourcing Transcription Services

Top 10 Most Expensive Typos in History - ATC Blog
From market research organizations and financial institutions to television production companies, universities, and legal firms, a wide range of organizations require transcription services. At first glance, it would seem that outsourcing transcription services would either add to costs or decrease your company efficiencies. Not true. Let’s take a look at 5 advantages that outsourced transcription services can bring to your organization. Continue reading “5 Advantages of Outsourcing Transcription Services”

How to Preserve Your Family’s Oral History

How to preserve your family's oral history - Audio Transcription Center Blog

Make all family events unforgettable by interviewing your relatives while they’re all together––you’ll hear amazing stories and gather surprising information that you did not know about them.
Just don’t get caught up in the trap of trying to make it perfect, or you’ll never start. Here are 2 easy ways to preserve your relative’s oral history:

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Timecodes in Transcription: Types and Uses

Timecodes in Transcription Types and Uses - ATC Blog

Timecodes, also known as timestamps, are inserted into transcripts at specified intervals, providing a marker of where the text is found in a video or audio file.

Timecodes have been traditionally used in video captioning, but are becoming popular for use in panel discussions, legal transcripts, market research, oral history, and podcasts. The placement of timestamps makes it easier for a person to review or listen to a particular moment or conversation within a file.

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Who Needs Transcription Services?

Who Needs Transcription Services - ATC Blog
Many organizations rely heavily on transcription services to have written records of events, create reference materials, make content searchable, write books, and of course, increase revenue. The list of advantages and segments can be infinite, but as a start here are six industry segments that can benefit from transcription services:

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StoryCorps – Eat, Drink, Be Merry, and Record?

Eat drink be merry and record - Audio Transcription Center Blog

Holidays offer a perfect time for family to reminisce, and possibly to pass those rather embarrassing family stories around the holiday table along with helpings of stuffing and mashed potatoes.  This year though, make sure to grab a recording device (digital recorder, iPhone, video camera — there are so many options), ask questions you’ve always wondered about the answers to, and listen to the stories while you have the chance.

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StoryCorps’s National Day of Listening

Story Corps National Day of Listening - Audio Transcription Center Blog

Thanksgiving is around the proverbial corner, and this holiday is typically a wonderful opportunity for friends and families to reconnect.  People being together offers a perfect time for stories to be passed around the holiday table along with helpings of stuffing and mashed potatoes. The potential for these stories to be handed and passed from generation to generation is at a peak while everyone is together.  What better way to collect, share, and save these stories from potentially being forgotten than by recording, archiving, and transcribing them for posterity?

We believe that StoryCorps’s The National Day of Listening is the perfect excuse to talk, listen, record, and transcribe.

We live in a special time when we’re not just able to orally pass stories down the line, but we’re also able ensure their archival longevity through the recording and transcribing of these personal and oral histories.

Take the time to find a quiet space, and set up your digital recorder.  Test the device to make sure you are recording properly.  Then, hit the record button and listen to and record the story.  It’s that simple, and it will be a gift  to read and listen to for generations.  This year, StoryCorps suggests honoring a veteran, and offers suggested conversation starters right on their website.

Don’t lose out on your family history and question yourself after it is too late.  We speak from our own missed opportunities.

Wishing you a peaceful Thanksgiving, and the opportunity to listen to, record and transcribe a new story never heard before.

In full disclosure, the Audio Transcription Center has partnered with StoryCorps on transcription of their audio recordings for their published books, Listening is an Act of Love, All There Is, and Mom , that we are humbled and proud to have participated in. 

Michael Sesling                                                           Sandy Poritzky
Director                                                                           Owner/President
michael@audiotranscriptioncenter.com                      sandy@audiotranscriptioncenter.com
(617) 423-2151                                                              (617) 423-2151

Malcom X: A Life of Reinvention – Manning Marable

Malcom X A Life of Reinvention - Manning Marable - ATC Blog
 On April 4, 2011 Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention was published, and the magnum opus of Manning Marable’s life’s research was finally in print.  Sadly, for those who do not know, Dr. Marable passed away 3 days before the book hit the shelves.  Thankfully, he was able to see the book in print before he passed away. 

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