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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 oral history 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. Before beginning a project you must obtain permission from the American Folklife Center to submit the materials you collect to the Libary of Congress. If you are interested in participating in the please review the requirements below and then contact AFC Folklife Specialist Nancy Groce at [email protected] or 202-707-1744.

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    Folklorist Brent Björkman interviews Kathy Proffitt at Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park for the Occupational Folklife Project "Ranger Lore— The Occupational Folklife of Parks."
    Length: Interviews should be 45-60 minutes in length.
  • Number of Interviews: Interviewers must submit a minimum of 6 completed interviews.
  • 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.
  • Video Format: Video must be a high definition digital format.
  • 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.
  • Logs: All interviews must be accompanied by a time-coded log or transcription and submitted through the Occupational Folklife Project online Metadata Form.
  • Permission and Release Forms: We cannot accept submissions that have been recorded without an interviewee's knowledge and consent. Please review the information provided on the Permission and Release Forms page.
  • 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 digitally recorded interview and accompanying information data form must be completed and submitted online. Those accepted to participate in the project will be trained in the use of the Metadata Form and online submission process.

Additional Information


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   September 7, 2017
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