Cultural Conservation Narrative Stage: Balladry continued: Conserving American Indian Culture

About the Project

Cultural conservation had been an underlying, if implicit, principle of the Festival of American Folklife since its beginning in 1967. In 1985 the Festival inaugurated a program that explicitly explored the question of cultural conservation from several points of view. The exhibit examined the kinds of contexts in which cultural conservation becomes a necessary concern; it documented efforts on the part of the keepers of tradition themselves to conserve their own culture in the face of a changing social and physical environment; and it explored the efforts of U.S. public cultural institutions to address the problem of cultural conservation. Festival visitors were invited to participate in and comment on the exhibit, the performances by keepers of these valued traditions, and the discussions of various aspects of this important topic. Please view the instructions for transcribing audio collections before beginning. If you can identify the speakers, please do so using the format {SPEAKER NAME= "____" } if you cannot identify the speakers, please simply indicate when a different individual is speaking by inserting the "Speaker 1," "Speaker 2," etc. tags.

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(5 out of 5)

Level 1 --- BEGINNER

Content: all typed
Language: English
Format: letters, diaries, flyers, pamphlets, and one-page documents
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 2

Content: mostly typed, handwritten in print, or otherwise very clearly written/readable
Language: English
Format: memorabilia, advertisements, image captions, telegrams, diaries, letters, notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required


Content: typed and handwritten materials in cursive or print
Language: English
Format: newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters/diaries/notes that may include annotations or margin notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: experience reading cursive writing may be useful

Level 4

Content: handwritten materials, primarily in cursive or somewhat difficult to read (predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries) , audio recordings that are relatively easy to hear/decipher, and scientific materials
Language: English and/or other languages that use Roman script but may require the use of diacritics (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.)
Format: audio recordings, letters, diaries, notes and other written materials, projects with templated fields and special instructions
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: some knowledge of non-English Roman-character/script languages and diacritics may be useful, as well as experience reading cursive handwriting. A general knowledge or familiarity with scientific terminology.

Level 5 --- ADVANCED

Content: handwritten materials in cursive (from the 19th century or earlier) or in a non-Roman script language, audio recordings that are difficult to hear or are not in English, specialty materials/projects such as numismatics projects and the Project Phaedra notebooks 
Language: foreign languages that use non-Roman characters (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek/Cyrillic, Native American and Indigenous languages, etc.) and English 
Format: audio recordings, columned data/tables, manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, currency sheets, coins
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: knowledge of a specific language and access to a keyboard with the characters in that language may be required for certain projects. Experience reading cursive handwriting and familiarity with 19th century (or prior) handwriting and conventions/abbreviations may be useful, as well as knowledge of scientific terminology, astrophysics data, or linguistics.

Project Progress (details)
9pages completed





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