The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association has agreed to help transcribe interviews of family, friends, first responders and investigators as part of an oral history project at the Flight 93 National Memorial.
More than 800 oral histories have been collected so far in an effort to cover every aspect of the Flight 93 story.
“We have talked with the family members and friends and colleagues of the passengers and crew, those who knew the passengers and crew best,” said Kathy Shaffer, Flight 93 Oral History and Documentation assistant. “We have talked with the official first responders, those who answered the call and to the next wave, investigators led by the FBI.”
Transcription of the audio is currently done by volunteers. At their annual state convention next month, court reporters will be asked to volunteer for the work as well.
“Those folks have been involved in the National Court Reporters with the Veterans History Project in the past,” said Shaffer. “When they learned that we were really in need of transcription services, offered to bring their organization, the Pennsylvania Court Reporters into the oral history transcription process.”
Shaffer estimated that about 65 percent of the oral histories collected have been transcribed, but with collection being ongoing, the process from start to finish takes time.
“There’s an audio review that follows the transcription,” she said. “Many stories need to be audio reviewed as part of our process, then we do return the transcript to the person who granted the interview and they have an opportunity to review it for accuracy.”
Once the histories are complete, the story becomes part of the Flight 93 collection which is available to researchers, educators, National Park Service rangers and others. They may also be included in displays in and around the Flight 93 memorial.