Michigan State University
Michigan State University

Women's Overseas Service League Oral Histories

The Women’s Overseas Service League (WOSL) oral history digital collection offers free, worldwide listening to approximately 150 audio interviews with American women who served overseas during the Great War, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Gulf War.

Founded in 1921 by women who had served in World War I, WOSL initially existed as local units, but soon became a national organization. The recordings, transcripts, and ephemera presented here enable the listener to understand the context under which these women served and later banded together to form the League.

In listening to these women's recollections, we learn of their experiences, including fighting for government benefits for women and supporting fellow service women through strategic philanthropic effort. We are beneficiaries of poignant reminiscences from their day-to-day challenges while overseas and after returning home.

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Transcription Details

As part of this project, we decided to develop some new capabilities for handling audio. Specifically, we were interested in generating transcripts automatically from audio files. While transcripts created by hand have a much higher accuracy than those created by software, they are also considerably more expensive to create.

The goal with this project was to create a sort of digital rough draft that we could ultimately edit and improve. The result is the transcripts you see here attached to each recording.

Our plan is to continue to improve these transcripts, both by refining the software, and by (where we have a hand-created transcript) incorporating that text into this site.

If you're interested in the tools we're using, the initial transcripts are created by audiogrep, the transcripts are configured for Islandora by the transcriptinator, and this site uses the Oral Histories module for Islandora.

This project was generously funded by the NHPRC