Tending the Commons: Folklife and Landscape in Southern West Virginia

Building the Digital Collection

Sound Recordings

WaveForm (.wav), MPEG 2, Layer 3 (.mp3), and RealAudio (.ra or .rm) versions have been supplied for each recording. The Wave files were created from the original cassette recordings at a sampling rate of 22,050 Hz per second, 16-bit word length, and a single (mono) channel. The RealAudio files were derived from the Wave files through digital processing and were created for users who have at least a 14.4 modem (8-bit). The MP3 files were derived from the Wave files in a batch-conversion process using the MP3 plug-in of Sonic Foundry's SoundForge software. Some background noise may be apparent on the recordings, and tracks may start or end abruptly, as topical excerpts were created from the original interview recordings in order to allow each presentation to be more focused.


JJT Inc., of Austin, Texas, the Library's pictorial image contractor, produced the digital images in this collection. The company's scanning setup uses a digital camera manufactured in Germany with JJT's custom software.

An uncompressed archival or master file was produced for each item, as well as three derivative files.

A thumbnail GIF image is displayed for each pictorial image and a medium resolution JPEG file (at a quality setting that yields an average compression of 15:1) can be displayed by clicking on the image.

Cataloging the Collection

The process of cataloging these materials is described below.


The title used for each audio track was provided by Mary Hufford, director and primary researcher for the Coal River Folklife Project and curator of this online presentation.


This field contains performers' or narrators' and interviewers' names (last name first) or the name of the photographer.


The item-level records contain uncontrolled vocabulary. This collection was catalogued in Microsoft Access.


Event at which the recording or photograph was made (e.g., ramp supper, wedding, etc.).


This field contains the location in which the audio recording or photographic image was created. Please note that for copies of historical photos this represents the location in which the copy was made.


This field contains the date on which the interview or performance was recorded or the photographic image created. Dates appear in the format YYYY/MM/DD. Please note that for copies of historical photos this date represents the date on which the copy was made.


This field describes the original still photograph (e.g., 35-mm color slide).


This field provides supplementary information about the item.


This field identifies the Library of Congress division in which the item is located.


The call number is an alphanumeric code assigned to an individual object created under the auspices of an American Folklife Center-sponsored field project. This number is used by staff to locate the item at the Library of Congress. Because this number identifies unique items, it has also been used as the digital identifier for the online items.
Example: AFC 1999/008 CRF-LE-C128-04.

In the above example, AFC 1999/008 represents the accession number of the collection, CRF is the code designating the collection (Coal River Folklife), LE are the photographers' initials (in this case, Lyntha Eiler), C identifies the item as a color slide, 128 is the number of the rack in which the slide has been filed, and 04 is the image number locating this particular slide in the slide rack.


This field provides information on the source and location of the digital file for an item. It includes the collection-level digital identifier (the aggregate) and the filename of the particular digital item.

Example: afccmns lec12804