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Occupational Folklife Project

General Information About Interviews

The Occupational Folklife Project seeks to capture a portrait of America's workforce through interviews with workers across the country. We are interested in workers employed in all sorts of professions: office workers, electricians, nurses, bus drivers, farmers, scientists, teachers, and shopkeepers.  We also want to record workers involved in specialized trades that are regional in nature, such as loggers, ski-lift operators, and automobile-plant workers.

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    Man with handcart
    A man with a handcart. The Railroad Avenue Market, Paterson, New Jersey. Photo by Martha Cooper, 1994. Working in Paterson. AFC 1995/028: WIP-MC-C003-08.
    Length: Interviews should be 45-60 minutes in length.
  • Audio Format: Interviews must be recorded as WAV audio files. We will not accept any other audio format (not MP3, FLAC, OGG, AIFF, etc.). The current international archival standard for digital audio files is a WAV file at a resolution of 24 bits/96 khz, which is standard on most recording devices.
  • Suggested Questions:  To give the interviews continuity, we have provided a core list of Interview Questions. We suggest that you use these core questions as the basis of your interviews. However, should other interesting topics arise, or you run short of time, please do not hesitate to modify the interview as you see fit.
  • Permission and Release Forms: We cannot accept submissions in which interviewees have been recorded without their knowledge. Please review the information provided on the Permission and Release Forms page for more information on how to set up your interview, obtain the proper permission, and submit it.
  • Access: Interviews will become part of the American Folklife Center archive at the Library of Congress.  After being processed, they will be available to readers and researchers at the Library and eventually will be accessible online. You are welcome to retain copies for yourself or your organization.
  • Submitting the Interview: Your interview and accompanying information data form must be completed and submitted online. Select this link for more information.


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   September 30, 2014
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