Improve Our Collection

We believe publishing the Community Oral History audio on this website is the first step in a long, ongoing process of making these stories as accessible to the public as possible. Audio is hard to search, and thus, it is hard to discover the growing number of stories in this rich and diverse collection. With a combination of technology and community effort, we are developing ways to make these stories more accessible, searchable, and discoverable.

The NYPL Community Oral History Project Transcript Editor

Join us in editing and polishing computer-generated transcripts of the Community Oral History Project. This community driven project will make accessible over 1,000 stories of New York City's past and present.

This is a community effort. In order for audio to be made more accurately searchable, people and computers need to work together! We’ve created transcripts of over 1,000 stories from this collection using computer generated transcription services. Now, we’re inviting the public to correct these and make them more accessible for current and future generations of users.

Pitch In!

Your contributions will help access to the stories on this website in two immediate ways. First, users will be able to search using terms that appear in a story's transcript:

Screenshot of a search result with keyword: Central Park

Second, users will be able to view a story's full transcript while they listen to the story's audio:

Screenshot of a section from a story's transcript

Click "edit" on any line will bring you to the Transcript Editor interface where you can contribute your edits.

The NYPL Community Oral History Project Audio Tagger

Sometimes there are things that are not explicitly mentioned in a story's transcript, but may be relevant to how someone would look for the story. For example, someone might talk about their childhood without mentioning the word childhood, or someone would refer to a place without saying the full name of that place. This is where the Audio Tagger Tool comes in.

This tool allows you to tag important people, places, events, or other subjects within the audio of the story.

Screenshot of a user editing a story's tag

Tags will show up on a story's page, where users can "jump" to those points in the story. Click the "Add Tags" button from any story's page to add your own tags.

Screenshot of a story's tags

Lastly, tags are used when users search across all the stories:

Screenshot of a user searching for the term: Olympics