Transcription and Accessibility

Audio oral history interviews are, by nature, not universally designed to be accessible to all. While the Oral History Program has transcribed hundreds of oral histories within the collection, many more of the audio interviews remain inaccessible to patrons with disabilities. With improved voice-recognition software, we now can start transcribing our backlog, making the interviews more accessible. 

While the process of making interviews more accessible will take time, we believe it’s important for everyone to be able to request, retrieve, and access all publicly-available interviews. If a patron with disabilities desires access to an oral history interview, we will work with them to provide a transcript in a timely manner. Depending on the request, we intend to fill it within 10 business days and will contact the patron directly if it will take longer.

Picture of cassette tapes and paper transcripts to help illustrate webpage content.
Cassette tapes & paper transcripts. Image taken by Troy Reeves.

If you are a UW-Madison student, staff, or faculty, please send an email to or call 608-262-3475  between 9a-5p, M-F with your request and reason for it. Todd Michelson-Ambelang, the General Library System’s ADA Liaison for Public Services, will review the request, verify, then forward it to the Oral History Program (OHP).

If you are not a UW-Madison student, staff, or faculty, please send your request via email directly to the University Archives, Attn: Oral History Program.

Also, if you aren’t a patron with disabilities but would like a transcript of an oral history interview, please email the University Archives and someone will assist you with your request.