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The American Folklife Center
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Occupational Folklife Project

The Occupational Folklife Project is (OFP) a multi-year documentation project that seeks to capture a portrait of America's workforce during a time of transition.  It gathers community-based oral history interviews with workers across the United States, discussing their workplace experiences, training, and occupational communities. The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress serves as the primary repository for the resulting oral history collections. Copies of local projects also may be retained by the local library, museum, organization, or individual that collects and submits the material.

An African American woman on a ladder wearing a hard hat and holding a cluster of cables.
Kim Spicer, an A-journeyman wirewoman and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers member, was interviewed for the Occupational Folklife Project "Illuminating History: Documenting the Occupational Culture of New York City's Union Electricians."

The Occupational Folklife Project concentrates on unedited audio and video interviews and interview-related digital images. Participants in the Occupational Folklife Project are asked to follow specific guidelines, which include:

  1. Supplying all data requested on the Interview Metadata Form.
  2. Creating an audio or video interview in an approved format.
  3. Obtaining required Library of Congress permission/release forms from interviewees.
  4. Electronically completing and submitting all of the above following the guidelines provided.

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, please review the General Information About Interviews page and then contact AFC Folklife Specialist Nancy Groce at [email protected] or 202-707-1744.

This site contains introductory information on the steps outlined above. You will also find tips on interviewing and sample interview questions, which we recommend you use as guides.


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   September 7, 2017
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