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Category: Occupational Folklife Project

Three women standing together, half-length portrait

Celebrating the Online Launch of the Fiftieth Occupational Folklife Project – And How It Got There!

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In mid-April, the American Folklife Center posted another noteworthy Occupational Folklife Project (OFP) collection to the Library’s website. We are excited to point out that it was the 50th collection of oral history interviews with contemporary American workers to be made available online. In this post we celebrate the milestone and highlight the contributions of Steve Berkley and Matthew Smith, two of the many hardworking AFC staff members who do the complicated behind-the-scenes work of processing Archie Green Fellows’ fieldwork projects, accessioning them, and making them available to online patrons.

A man sits in an office with many books

New Occupational Folklife Project Documents African American Nurses and the Chi Eta Phi Sorority

Posted by: Stephen Winick

On April 12th, the American Folklife Center posted another Occupational Folklife Project (OFP) collection to the Library’s website. The collection features 15 in-depth interviews documenting the careers and work culture of African American nurses who are members of the Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporated, a renowned historically Black national professional nursing organization founded in 1932. (We are excited to note this was the 50th OFP to be processed and made available to the public – but more on that in an upcoming blog.) To mark the occasion, AFC staff folklorist Nancy Groce interviewed the collection’s creator, Carmen Vaughn-Hewitt, a nurse, oral historian, and Chi Eta Phi member who was awarded a 2021 Archie Green Fellowship from AFC for this research project. Find the interview over at Folklife Today!

Image of janitor Rubi Andazola, custodial lead at University of Colorado Boulder. Photograph by Cynthia Torres. 2021.

Custodians and Janitors: New Occupational Folklife Project Collection Launched!

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In this post, Nancy Groce (Senior Folklife Specialist at the American Folklife Center) highlights "Custodians and Janitors in Colorado" -- a new collection available from the American Folklife Center's Occupational Folklife Project. The collection, documented by Cynthia Torres, features interviews about the occupational culture and experiences of custodians and janitorial workers in the state of Colorado. The post gives an overview of the collection and features an interview with Torres about her field research. Torres was awarded an Archie Green Fellowship by the American Folklife Center in 2021 to undertake research for this collection.

Man stands against rear bumper of car parked on side of rural road.

Rural Free Delivery: Folklorist Emily Hilliard and the Occupational Folklife Collection, “Mail Carriers of Central Appalachia”

Posted by: John Fenn

The American Folklife Center is delighted to announce that another outstanding oral history collection has just been added to the hundreds of interviews with contemporary American workers already available online as part of the Occupational Folklife Project. This one could not be more timely! It features interviews with 25 contemporary rural mail carriers and clerks (formerly known as postmasters) whose work contributes so much to the holiday season. In this blog, staff folklorist Nancy Groce talks with folklorist Emily Hilliard, the project’s director, about her fieldwork and experiences researching Rural Free Delivery: Mail Carriers in Central Appalachia, which was made possible by a 2021 Archie Green Fellowship.

A woman outdoors holds a bunch of fresh flowers

AFC’s Occupational Folklife Project Continues to Expand

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The number of engaging, publicly-accessible interviews with American workers in the AFC’s Occupational Folklife Project (OFP) collection continues to expand and diversify. To date, AFC-funded fieldworkers across the United States have recorded almost 1,800 audio and audiovisual oral history interviews with workers in scores of trades, industries, crafts, and professions. More than 850 of these OFP interviews are now available online to researchers and members of the public --and more are being added each month! This blog highlights some of the newest OFP collections to be made available on the LOC website.

A man wearing a reflective safety vest sits in a chair

The Fourth Season of our ‘America Works’ Podcast is Here!

Posted by: John Fenn

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress is kicking off 2023 with the much-awaited fourth season of “America Works,” a podcast series celebrating the diversity, resilience and creativity of American workers in the face of economic uncertainty. The new season, launched today, features captivating job-related stories from a range of occupational groups, including a professional wrestler, a cement plant work, a neonatologist and a grocery store cashier. The first episode is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and at loc.gov/podcasts. Subsequent episodes will be released every week on Thursdays through April 27, 2023. All the links you need are in this post!

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Work in Progress: New Story Map on the AFC’s Occupational Folklife Collections

Posted by: Michelle Stefano

We are excited to announce the new Library story map, Work in Progress: The American Folklife Center’s Occupational Folklife Collections, which explores the many collections in the AFC archives dedicated to documenting “occupational folklife,” or work culture, and people’s work-related histories and experiences in places across the country. Check out the Work in Progress story …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

The Third Season of the ‘America Works’ Podcast is Here!

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress is kicking off 2022 with the much-awaited third season of "America Works," a podcast series celebrating the diversity, resilience and creativity of American workers in the face of economic uncertainty. The new season, launched today, features riveting stories from a teacher and workers at a circus, a meat plant, a vineyard, and a now-closed Boeing factory, among others. The first episode is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and at loc.gov/podcasts. Subsequent episodes will be released each Thursday through March 10, 2022. This blog post contains links and an episode guide to the season.