As part of Leonard Cheshire’s “Rewind” project, I helped to transcribe a video from the charity’s archives to help improve the accessibility of resources online. The video was called “Come to Our Home” and was an early appeal made by Leonard Cheshire for volunteers to help out at the homes. Transcribing the video essentially making a written copy of everything that took place in the video, including speech, music and additional noises.

At its core, “Come To Our Home” is an appeal for more volunteers to help assist with running and fundraising for the early Leonard Cheshire Homes. The video is entirely in black and white and mainly consists of the founder Leonard Cheshire discussing the origins of the homes and his motivations for setting up the charity in the first place. He details the setting up of the first home and talks particularly about the first Christmas that was spent in the home. He goes on to talk about the contributions of local children in supporting and fundraising for the charity before making a heartfelt appeal for volunteers to help support the organisation.

I decided to get involved with this project initially because I wanted to develop my experience of working in archives and the digitisation aspects of this project appealed to me particularly because of the changing nature of archives. I also thought that the project would be interesting, as I would be able to learn more about the Leonard Cheshire charity and the work they do to assist disabled people. My work in libraries had brought Leonard Cheshire Homes to my attention and I thought that the project would be a good opportunity to learn more about and help to support the work of this incredible organisation.

On the whole, I found the transcription process enjoyable but also quite challenging. I hadn’t done any transcription before so was a new challenge. It is much more difficult than it seemed. The audio on the video wasn’t always clear, it was quite time consuming and doing the transcription made me realise how quickly people actually talk! The video was 12 and a half minutes long, so I found it easier to break it down into smaller sections, normally between 20 and 30 seconds at a time. I would listen to these smaller sections several times, making notes in a word document. After finishing each section, I’d listen to it for a final time, comparing my written notes with the content of the video. At the end, I did a final run through, ensuring I had transcribed as accurately as I could. Ultimately, I found the transcribing process challenging but actually quite rewarding!