Copies and Recording Devices

Christen  Bennett's picture

Hi Guys,

I was hoping for some feed back on two topics:

1.) How do you go about providing copies of transcripts and audio recordings to the people you interview?  Historically, we have provided these via flash drives, but the systems staff has moved the institution over to encrypted flashdrives for safety measures, and we are no longer allowd to use regular flash drives in our computer.  They suggested we use cloud storage to offer our interviewees copies of the interview, and while I guess this could work, I wonder if this might be difficult for some of the interviewees to use?  Just wondering how everyone else is going about this.

2.)  We are looking to update some of our equipment soon, and  I was curious if everyone could offer a little feedback on what they are using, and what they like/dislike about it.  Whatever we end up purchasing needs to be easily portable, as we do not have a set recording space.



Christen Bennett



In answer to your question about providing copies to those who are interviewed, my organization still uses CDs/DVDs to provide audio recordings and transcripts. If I'm just providing a copy of the transcript, I will mail a paper copy to the person. This method may not be very technologically advanced, but it works for my organization.

As for the recording equipment, we use a TASCAM DR-40 with a JOBY Gorillapod flexible stand to support it. You'll need to purchase an SD card with a larger storage capacity than the one that comes with it. Also, my recorders are housed in small-ish camera bags (one for each recorder). All of it together is relatively inexpensive. This recorder is very easy to use, picks up sound well, and is very easy to transport and set up (as long as you have a flat surface). The device records as a WAV file, so you have to convert the file to MP3 if you want to use a smaller file size later. All in all, I'm pretty happy with this equipment and the product it provides.

Hope this helps.

Wendy L. Adams

Hi Christen,
I'd be interested to hear what responses you receive regarding how you get copies to interviewees.

We just purchased a marantz model PMD661K MII. It's extremely portable, has connections for two microphones, battery or AC, records in various formats, and uses an SD card. Very easy to use as well, which is a huge factor in why we purchased it as we rent our equipment for community use.

Kathy Klehr
Scott County Historical Society, MN

Dropbox is free and my interviewees in Latin America and Spain with internet access have used it to download their interview videos and transcriptions.

K Schairer
Northern Arizona University

Kia ora Christen and other readers,

Here at the Alexander Turnbull Library (part of the National Library of New Zealand), we use Zoom H5s as the base of our kits for hire and workshops, together with AKG C415 pp lavalier mics (we take the capsule mic off the top), Sennheiser open headphones, and the power supply that comes as part of the optional accessories pack. One member of staff has among their responsibilities the job of checking each time the equipment goes out to check all the bits are there and the settings haven't been changed. You can email me to get our manual and settings different to the factory ones that we have developed to go with this gear if this is the route you take. For our in-house stuff, we use a Sound Devices model that is no longer available, but continues to serve us well.

When giving files to clients, we often use a file transfer system, such as WeTransfer. This allows the receiver the opportunity to get these files for a week, after which they disappear, a maximum of 2GB per transaction, and no storage issues.

Kind regards

Lynette Shum | Oral History Advisor | Outreach Services
Alexander Turnbull Library | National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa
Direct Dial: +64 4 462 3977
Molesworth Street | PO Box 12349, Wellington 6011, New Zealand |
The Alexander Turnbull Library is part of the Department of Internal Affairs