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To "transcribe" is act of transferring, converting, or copying information from one medium to another; whereas, a transcription refers to the product of that conversion such as the transcription of personal dictation into written form.

Transcriptions are important in genealogy, whether the transcription of cemetery records or headstone inscriptions or the transcription of an oral interview. Transcribed information allows the distribution and sharing of a unique source, a source that perhaps exists in only one place -- the transcription of a taped interview is a prime example. One the most important things to remember, however, is that a transcription is a secondary source, meaning it is not the original, and having been made by human hands is subject to error. Keeping in mind that even original and primary sources can be in error; thus, verifying information is also important, comparing multiple sources to resolve conflict.

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