Community Self-Documentation Workshop

Community members interested in planning, funding, and implementing their own cultural documentation projects can use this page to access relevant resources. We consider this to be a living resource page and welcome suggestions. Email to suggest edits and additions.

Project Planning: Questions to consider

  1. What do you want to document? Is this a group, event, emerging practice? In what contexts will you be meeting interviewees?
  2. Why do you want to document this event, group, activity, etc.? Why this, and why now? 
  3. What are the 5 main questions driving your interest in documenting this project?
  4. Who else is passionate about this project? Who else might be involved or could you partner with to carry out this project?
  5. What do you think you need (time, resources, materials, expertise, etc.) to carry out this project? What resources or expertise do you wish you had to be able to carry out this project?
  6. When would you like to begin working on this project? How many people do you want to interview, or how many events do you want to document? What would Phase I of this project look like? How long do you think it will take to implement Phase I? What would additional phases look like?
  7. What is the broader impact of this project? That is, who, beyond the immediate members of this project, will benefit from your work? What do you want to get out of this process? What will keep you passionate about this process when you encounter barriers?
  8. Where will your finished project live, and who do you want to be able to access it easily?


Scioto Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
Ohio Humanities
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Archie Green Fellowship for Occupational Folklife at Library of Congress


Oral History in the Digital Age
Digital Audio Field Recording Equipment Guide from the Vermont Folklife Center
Learning Studio at Midwest Photo Exchange (Columbus, OH)
What's in your fieldwork bag? on Savage Minds
What's in your bag? on Stanford Anthropology
Sony 4GB Digital Voice Recorder (lightweight, under $30)
Tascam DR-40X ($250)

Inside the Ohio Field School tech bag:


Doing Ethnography Today: Theories, Methods, Exercises by Elizabeth Campbell and Luke Eric Lassiter
Practicing Critical Oral History: Connecting School and Community by Christine K. Lemley
Oral History in the Digital Age: Web Guides to Doing Oral History
Library of Congress' Folklife and Fieldwork: An Introduction to Cultural Documentation (you can request they send you a FREE copy!)


Digital Commons@Shawnee State University

Short link to this site: