American Folklore Society Seeks Civil Rights Oral History Survey Project

The American Folklore Society, the US-based professional society for
the field of folklore studies, is seeking applicants for four full-time,
seven-month (May-November 2010) contract researcher positions for the
Civil Rights Oral History Survey Project.  For the purposes of this
project, the Civil Rights Movement is defined as the struggle for equal
rights and justice for African American citizens that took place from
the 1950’s through the 1960’s in the US.

The Civil Rights Oral History Survey Project is supported by the US
Congress, through the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of
Congress and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African
American History and Culture (NMAAHC).  The survey is intended to inform
the AFC and the NMAAHC about extant repositories and collections of
Civil Rights Movement oral histories and to help find potential
interviewees, as a foundation for their future work to collect new oral
histories of participants in the Movement, and to provide public
information about all such collections.

In Phase 1 of the project (May-July 2010), project researchers, working
with the staff of the AFS, the AFC, and the database design and
implementation team for the project, will:

1.  Provide input into the development of the research plan and a
methodology for this survey
2.  Gather collection-level information about repositories and
collections nationwide 
3.  Identify, wherever possible, Civil Rights Movement participants
whose experiences have never been documented or that need further
4.  Enter this information into a database specifically designed for
the project 
5.  Perform additional tasks as required

Researchers will receive hands-on training concerning the use of the
database at the beginning of this phase.

In Phase 2 of the project (August-November 2010), project researchers

1.  Continue their work to gather and input collection-level
2.  Continue their work to identify Movement participants who would be
potential interviewees 
3.  Gather and input item-level information on selected collections
into the database 
4.  Travel to specifically targeted repositories, to refine survey
findings and gather item-level information, when such site visits are
5.  Perform additional tasks as required

At the conclusion of each of these phases, the researchers will
collaborate with AFS staff on the preparation of progress reports for
the Library of Congress, and on the submission of the completed database
to the Library at the project’s conclusion.

Pay for each of these four positions is $25,000, plus reimbursement for
the costs of travel to the Phase 1 survey training meeting and to Phase
2 site visits.

We seek applicants for these positions who have:

1.  Professional training (PhD, or MA minimum) in folklore, oral
history, or other ethnographic disciplines, or in archiving or library
2.  Strong library and archives research skills 
3.  Working knowledge of databases (e.g., MySQL in particular
4.  Demonstrated professional or personal interest in American history,
culture, and society, and in the Civil Rights Movement in particular 
5.  Excellent self-motivation to accomplish all project tasks
independently, successfully, and on deadline
6.  The ability to travel, possibly extensively, during the period
August-November 2010

We especially seek young professionals in folklore, oral history, and
archiving or library sciences, including recent recipients of the MA or
PhD, and independent scholars/public humanists, for these positions. The
American Folklore Society is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity
employer.  We also especially encourage women and members of minority
groups to apply.

To apply, please submit a letter detailing your relevant experience and
skills, and your interest in this project, accompanied by your CV and
the names and contact information for three references, by e-mail to AFS
Executive Director Dr. Timothy Lloyd ([log in to unmask]) by April 16,