Organization: Folklife Archives, Kentucky Library, 2009
I digitized tape-recorded interviews from as far back as the early seventies to as recently as last year. "Digitization" is the process of transferring these old cassette tapes into mp3 files, as a back up copy to be preserved forever in the folklife archives, as well as to facilitate creating compact disc copies for patrons upon request, for a small fee.
Critically listening to very good interviewers techniques like former WKU folk studies professors Lynwood Montell and Cam Collins, amateur folklorists, and everyone in between gave me a third perspective on fieldwork, on top of classroom and field experience, which I believe has made me a better fieldworker.
I transcribed two interviews. One was from the Campbellsville-Taylor Oral History Project, conducted by Lynne Ferguson, a graduate of our program and current staff member of the Kentucky Museum. The other was one of the many interviews conducted by John Morgan, another alumnus and namesake of our seminar room, on the subject of dark fired tobacco. I learned proper archiving techniques for preserving documents and tapes, as well as the methods employed to ensure the donated pieces stay organized, easy and logical to find, and together. The culmination of my internship involved me accessioning, cataloguing, numbering, ordering, and creating subject headings for a very large folklife project entitled Kentucky River Folklife entirely by myself (with ample advising from supervisor Jonathan Jeffery).
I would recommend a summer internship in the Folklife Archives to any student of folklore. Whether or not you intend to pursue a career in archiving, the knowledge gained form experiencing where all that fieldwork goes to rest, and what it takes to maintain it, will be valuable in your future career as a folklorist.
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