Checklist for Folklife Project Planning
- Goals/Mission Statement
- Project topic
- Why do this project? What are the desired outcomes?
- Resulting Products and/or contracted Deliverables
- Preliminary Research
- Research existing sources
- Community members/local experts to be consulted for background
- With whom should the project be cleared? Obtain any rerequisite permission or clearance.
- Identify potential partners
- Who will be involved?
- What tasks will they do?
- Is any expertise lacking?
- Project Scope
- Define boundaries of project:
- Geographic area
- Community or culutre(s)
- Historical period of study
- Specific topics
- Specific genres
- Duration of project
- Documentation Methods
- Sound recording
- Video recording
- Photography (digital)
- Measured drawings of large objects -- buildings, boats, etc.
- Collecting or borrowing artifacts
- Copying historic or family photos
- Survey or data forms
- Release forms
- Processing and Preserving Materials
- Where will materials be stored?
- How stored?
- How processed?
- By whom?
- Back-up copies of all media files and text documents
- Equipment and Supplies
- List equipment/supplies you already have and those you must acquire
- Audio recorder
- Video recorder
- Computer/laptop/printer/software for photography, audio, or film processing and editing
- Transcription software
- Other equipment
- Media cards for camera, audio recorder, of film recorder. Note: a separate card should be used for each function; it is not recommended to use media cards interchangeably among different types of equipment
- Extra media card for each piece of equipment
- Batteries/rechargeable batteries and charger, plus exra batteries; where equipment has its own rechargeable battery packs, be sure to carry an extra rechargeable battery
- Cables, adapters, and AC cords
- Survey or data forms and release forms, where applicable
- Business cards for self and employer, if applicable
- If working on contract for employer, brochures, letter of introduction, or other information about organization or business
- Brief, concise project description (usually one page) for outreach
- Archiving supplies:
- discs, jump drives, or external drives for duplicates of all media and text materials
- disc or drive storage
- file folders
- storae for business cards and other emphermera collected
- Time varies, depending on:
- Familiarity with area
- Product and/or contracted deliverables
- Personnel resources
- Deadline imposed by outside entity as well as informants' and fieldworker's schedules and commitments
- Fact: 6 hours transcribing per 1 hour interview
- Fact: Everything takes longer than you think it will
- Consider all costs, e.g.:
- Transportation, including to fieldsite, where applicable
- Lodging and per diem, where applicable
- Telephone or internet access fees
- Salaries or honoraria, where applicable
- Courtesy copies of media materials
- Costs associated with product/deliverables
- Identify funding sources
- Apply for funding
- Locate support, including matching, cash, in-kind, or donations
Excerpted from: Eff, Elaine, (ed.). "You should have been here yesterday": A Guide to Cultural Documentation in Maryland. Crownsville, MD: The Maryland Historical Trust Press, 1995, pp. 28-33. (To order, make checks payable to MHT Press and send to Maryland Historical Trust Press, PO Box 500, Crownsville, MD 21032. $10 plus $2.50 postage and handling, 410/514-7600). Adapted and updated by the Louisiana Folklife Program and Laura Marcus Green, 2013.