William A. Wilson Folklore Archives Winter 2008 – Summer 2010 Provo, UT Folk Songs Data Processor, Ethnographic Field Worker
Working at the Wilson Folklore Archives was an incredible and incredibly formative opportunity. It gave me a feel for the technical aspects of library life: much of my time was spent compiling a DACS-compliant EAD finding aid for folk song and folk remedy collections using XML. I participated in regular DACS training to ensure the use of best practices and the latest standards.
This was also my first ethnographic work experience. As a field worker for the NEA-funded “By the Sweat of Their Brow: Changing Agrarian Culture in Utah Valley” project, I worked under the direction of folklorist Kristi Bell to interview and document the lives of agriculture workers in south-central Utah. The region was changing economically, and was moving away from some of the agricultural practices that had been in place for several generations. Our goal was to capture a view of this community as it was in 2010, for future researchers wanting to learn more about the region and its history.