Foxfire COVID-19 Oral History Project
As public historians and folklorists, we have a responsibility (and interest!) to capture history as it happens around us, and to engage the community in that pursuit. In light of the current coronavirus pandemic and trend of “social distancing,” we are turning to you, our community, to help us document this moment in history. We at Foxfire are launching a campaign to collect oral histories via crowdsourcing. The project is collecting self-recorded testimonies from individuals, families, or groups located within Southern Appalachia. Using digital technologies will support quarantine efforts, but attempt to cross barriers imposed by “social distancing.” It will also contribute to the historical record, and provide early records of the event.
What is oral history?
Oral history is, broadly, the transmission of personal or community-based experiences through stories, songs, narratives, folklore, etc. In more formal terms, it is the recording, preservation and interpretation of historical information, based on the personal experiences of the narrator.
Learn more here.
How to participate:
We want to hear from you! If you live in Central/Southern Appalachia, or are from the region (West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama), consider sharing your experiences with the COVID-19 outbreak and craze through a self-recorded oral history, journal entry, or visual media. We are looking for testimonies/oral histories related to the virus.
Participation is easy. Simply consider the questions included in this document and reflect on your recent experiences. If you choose to submit an oral history, record yourself (on your phone, on your computer, etc.) speaking about those experiences. Feel free to have family members or close friends join you in a conversation. (See following pages for instructions with multiple individuals). Recordings up to 25 minutes will be accepted. Anything past this time length will not be accepted.
Once you’ve recorded, make sure your audio file is a .mp3 or .wav. These are the only file types that will be accepted.
For written entries, please submit as a word document. For multiple photographs, videos, or documents, please compress into a zipped file before sending.
Email submissions to email@example.com with subject heading “COVID-19 OH Project Submission.” In your email, include completed release form and additional information form. *Release form must be completed regardless of type of media submitted!
Learn more about the project here.
Each audio recording must have an accompanying release form.
Additional information provides helpful metadata for future research!
Thank you For all the work you are doing
I could not see the questions. Could you direct me to a link? Thank you.
Here are all the necessary forms
Do you have a phone line we can speak to instead of sending files?
Unfortunately we do not. We currently do not have staff available to process data in that manner.
This is a great initiative! Would you accept an oral history from an Appalachian living overseas during the crisis? I may not live there right now but being from southern Appalachia shapes how I experience everything, including the pandemic.
I’m having students in my undergraduate Appalachian Culture class complete this project and I am excited to hear their responses. Some students are not able to print and sign the release form– is there a way to electronically sign these? Thanks so much for all you are doing. Julie Shepherd-Powell
Thank you for encouraging your students to participate! We are accepting electronic signatures completed through the Adobe app for the PDF. The other option is for students to print the form off, fill and sign, and submit a (good) photograph of each side of the completed form. Please feel free to email me (Kami) at firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions!
Is there a deadline? Is this opportunity still open?
We are running this through the end of the year, with possible extension into 2021 – so no deadline yet! Please email email@example.com with any other questions you might have.