Showing posts with label cultural documentation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cultural documentation. Show all posts

Friday, July 22, 2016

#CollectiveMemories Roadtrip: Bonavista Peninsula

Pei and Michael measuring and drawing the inside of the Salvation Army Citadel.
Last week from July 12th to the 15th Built Heritage Officer Michael Philpott, Heritage Intern Pei Xing Li, and myself, Terra Barrett travelled to the Bonavista Peninsula for a #NLHeritage Roadtrip. The main goals for this work road trip were to measure, and draw the Salvation Army Citadel in Elliston and the spar in Champney’s West, gather as much information about the Citadel and spar, and to photograph the Foundation’s designated buildings.
Sign inside the Salvation Army Citadel.
We left the office early Tuesday morning and hit the highway. Our first stop after a quick lunch at Two Whales in Port Rexton was the Tourism Elliston Office. We talked with Don Johnson about the Citadel and asked about who we should talk with in the area. He also showed us the Salvation Army instruments which were found in the citadel and were being stored in the Tourism Elliston storage room. Don then let us in the building and found a ladder for us to use.
The Salvation Army Citadel which was recently designated.
The weather outside was pretty dreadful so we mainly focused on photographing, measuring, and drawing the inside of the citadel. The equipment we used was very straight forward – a couple of measuring tapes, graph paper, a clipboard, pencils and pens, line level and string, a drafting triangle, and a molding comb. If you would like to learn more about field documentation there is a fantastic PDF guide from the United States’ National Park Service here.
Mortuary Chapel, Trinity, NL.
After measuring and drawing the interior of the building we had a dinner of fish cakes and fish and brewis at Nanny’s Root Cellar and then headed out to take some photographs. One major part of the Heritage Foundation’s mandate is to designate buildings and offer information, support, and grants for the restoration of buildings. We have an online listing of our properties and have photographs of each building. Some of these photographs are quite old so we decided to use the trip to take photographs of as many of the buildings as possible in order to update our website. If you want to check out some of our registered structures click here!
Pei and I turnipped in Champney's West.
Wednesday we spent most of our time in Champney’s West. If you follow the blog you will remember Dale and I took a trip to Champney’s last summer did a few workshops and a couple of oral history interviews. This summer our team did a couple more interviews about the spar which rests outside the Heritage House in Champney’s West. This spar (which is basically the mast off of a ship) is a piece of the Hazel Pearl which was wrecked near the community. Two local fisherman accidentally caught it in their net and so they’ve displayed it outside their community museum. There are several people in the community with vivid memories of when the Hazel Pearl sank and so we did a couple of interviews on its sinking and hope to do another one next week with the man who accidentally retrieved the spar.
Sarah Hiscock who was interview about the sinking of the Hazel Pearl.
The Hookey house which was framed and finished in the 1930s.
In the early evening we were invited to an old house built in the 1930s which quite sadly is falling down. The woman who lived in the house until recently is 106 and both she and her husband were incredibly crafty. Amy Hookey is a beautiful quilter, and rug hooker who left in her home an incredible collection of mats and quilts both finished an unfinished.
Bj who purchased the home has contacted the local crafting groups in the area about reusing the scraps and materials remaining in the home for new projects. Amy’s husband Alonzo was also a craftsperson – most all of the furniture found in the house was handmade. There were handmade rocking chairs, dressers, and built in cabinets. It was an incredible house to explore. It will be sad to see the house go however it hasn’t been lived in for some time and it is starting to really deteriorate quickly. I’m glad Michael, Pei and myself had a brief opportunity to explore the home and photograph some of it’s stories. I would love to talk with Amy in the near future and hear some of her personal memories and stories about the home and about crafting.
Details of Alonzo's work.
Pile of Amy's quilts.
Later Wednesday evening we returned to Trinity to finish photographing the area and we even ventured to the abandoned Trinity Loop for a couple of photographs. One interesting thing about talking to folks in small communities is their willingness to invite you into their homes. P.J. allowed us to walk through Amy’s home, we were invited in to Karl Hobb’s home in Elliston for a chat about the Salvation Army, carpenter Aiden Duff showed us around the Trinity schoolhouse, and we enjoyed a cup of tea with house owner Robert Cuff.
View from St. Paul's Anglican School in Trinity, NL.
The designation of the Loop is confined to the railroad tracks but it is pretty amazing to explore the abandoned park.
Following a late supper in Trinity we returned to Port Rexton to see if the Kitchen Party was still happening. We stopped by after nine for an event that started at seven expecting it to be almost finished. Instead we arrived just in time for a lunch of tea, sandwiches, and cookies and another couple of hours of music. There were locals who sang original songs, played instrument from keyboard and guitar to accordion and bass, a couple of ladies got up and stepped along with the jigs and reels, and there was a special appearance by a fiddle player from Newfoundland and Labrador tourism who is touring the coast and playing at community events. It was a lovely ending to a full day!
Michael and Pei on our Fox Island hike.
On Thursday we woke up relatively early and took the opportunity to hike some of the Fox Island Trail in Champney’s West. You get great vistas of the ocean, Trinity, and Trinity East. Our team spent most of the rest of our day in Elliston. This time we were measuring, photographing, and drawing the exterior of the building, as well as conducting interviews with local people about the Salvation Army Citadel. Michael and Pei did a lot of the measurements and drawings while I conducted a couple of interviews. The first interview was with a gentleman, Lewellyn Tucker who grew up in Elliston and went to the Salvation Army Citadel with his grandmother. Lew said in jest that his favourite memory of going to the Citadel was trying to make off with the 25 cent collection he brought each week. He said 25 cents was a lot of money back then but he never made away with it. He was always caught by his grandmother and put the collection in the plate.
Port Union Heritage District.
Michael and Pei measuring the Salvation Army Citadel.
Theodore Tucker was the second interview and he discussed the open air services held during the summer, who played the drums and tambourines, as well as his memories about attending services and singing on the platform. We tried to do one last interview before heading out to Bonavista to take some registered heritage structure photos but unfortunately the gentleman wasn’t home. Instead we stopped into Bonavista and photographed houses, churches, and lodges. We were invited in to see the progress on the home of Robert Cuff who, along with his son, is renovating his home.
Alexander Mortuary Chapel of All Souls.
We left Bonavista and headed to Upper Amherst Cove where we had a lovely supper at the Bonavista Social Club. When we finished our meal we booked it back to Port Rexton to bingo but unfortunately we were late! In my experience you never want to be late to bingo and you certainly don’t want to be late and new to the game. It took us a few minutes to sort out what size cards we wanted and then we had to get dabbers. Once we got into the swing of things it was a great fun. We had to keep checking with the table next to us to check what card we were on. We also played Wild Bologna for the last card which means that you dab all the numbers that end in the number called. 17 was called so 7, 27, 37, 47 and 57 could be dabbed. Is this common to bingo? It was my first time playing with Wild Bingo. Although we didn’t win anything it was a fun evening and it was great to see some familiar faces from the Kitchen Party and from an interview we had done.
One of the many designated homes in Bonavista.
Friday we packed up the car and headed to Bonavista. We finished taking photographs of the registered structures in the area and we did an interview with a gentleman name Bill Faulkner who was a school teacher in Elliston and had memories of the Salvation Army Citadel. He described the renovations to the citadel which he had helped with, the special services for Easter, and Christmas, and the music which was played during the services. After we finished the interview and photographed the last buildings we stopped at Aunt Sarah’s Chocolate Shop to try her ice cream and then we hit the highway back to town.

Stay tuned for some short video clips of Sarah Hiscock and Albert Hiscock's interviews!

~Terra Barrett

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What, and where, is our heritage? Help map Champney’s West heritage.

Thursday, June 11th, 2015 
7pm – 9 pm
Recreation Hall, Jack’s Hill
Champney’s West

This June, residents of Champney’s West will start to map out what their heritage means to them, with a little help from folklorist Dale Jarvis.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, our living heritage is rich and diverse. It includes ballad singing, snowshoe-making, accordion playing, knitting, Christmas mummering, berry picking, boat building, and much more. We tell stories, make clothes, shear sheep, and spin yarn. We have a complex knowledge of place, the seasons, and the movements and patterns of animals from moose to cod fish. If we lose these important parts of our living heritage (what we call Intangible Cultural Heritage or ICH), we will also lose important resources that can keep our communities going culturally, economically and socially. But where do we start?

Communities decide which traditions are important to document. Sometimes these traditions are threatened; sometimes particular elders or tradition-bearers will be highlighted. Other communities may record important traditions of everyday life. One first step is "asset mapping" - the process of collecting, recording, and analyzing local information in order to describe the cultural resources, networks, links and patterns of the community. Cultural asset mapping provides an inventory of key cultural resources that can be utilized for future development in the community.

Dale Jarvis, the ICH Development Officer with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, will be leading a community conversation about historic places, trails, old stories, place names, traditions, and local knowledge. Come for a cup of tea, and tell us what matters to you in Champney’s West. It will be a free and fun community workshop, sponsored by the Champney's West Heritage Group Inc.

For more info, contact: 

Shelly Blackmore, Heritage Coordinator
Champney's West Heritage Group
Ph (709)464-2173 Email -
Website -

Friday, February 27, 2015

Saving Our Stories - Oral History Workshop in Norris Point March 20th

The ICH office is hitting the road! I'll be running a community oral history workshop at the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital, 2-6 Hospital Lane, Norris Point, on March 20th, 2015. The workshop is being organized in Norris Point by the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation.

It is free to attend, but you need to register in advance.

Contact: Joan Cranston; Coordinator; 709-458-2875 (daytime); or 709-458-8032 (cell); or email

Facebook event listing here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heritage grant announced for documenting the historic NL fishery

The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is announcing a $5000 grant program for projects that document, record, present or safeguard the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of the fishery in the province. Possible projects could focus on the intangible cultural heritage associated with boats, their builders and those who went to sea, net making and mending, crab or lobster pot repair, knot-tying and ropework, cod traps, make-and-break engines, knowledge associated with marks and berths, the architecture of fishing stages and associated material culture (splitting tables, etc), the business of making fish, or oral histories related to the fishery.

“This new program will give communities an opportunity to record some of the important stories and information about the fishery and its role in the daily life of Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Dale Jarvis, folklorist and development officer with the foundation. “A lot of this information is fragile, and needs to be collected before it vanishes.”

The Fisheries ICH Grants are open to town councils, museums, archives or incorporated non-profit cultural and/or heritage organizations.

Deadline for applications is 22 August 2014.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposal with the ICH Development Officer before applying, by phone at 1-(888)-739-1892 ext 2, or email

(photo: the fish plant and boats, Twillingate, 1963)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sharing stories of Quidi Vidi Village, Sunday, 7pm

This Sunday, graduate students from Memorial University’s Folklore Department will be sharing some of their fieldwork discoveries at a community gathering in Quidi Vidi. For the past three weeks, new folklore graduate students have been stationed in the village, as part of their graduate program requirements.

Students have been learning about a variety of different cultural documentation methods, all from a folkloristic perspective. They have learned how to use recording equipment and conduct oral history interviews, picked up photography tips from Newfoundland photographer Brian Ricks, and had instruction in how to draw floor plans of historic buildings. Along the way, they have interacted with locals, and gained insight into how folklorists really work in communities.

The students’ work is part of the “Folklore 6020: Field and Research Methods” course, aimed at teaching students how to document local culture and traditions, taught by instructor Dr. Gerald Pocius. The fieldschool program is a partnership between the Department of Folklore, the Quidi Vidi Village Foundation, the City of St. John’s, and the Heritage Foundation of NL’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) office.

“This is the second time we’ve partnered with Memorial University to run the folklore field school program,” says the foundation’s Dale Jarvis. “It is great for students to see how research happens outside of a classroom setting.”

Students will present their findings and research to the community at 7pm on Sunday, September 29th, at The Quidi Vidi Village Plantation, 10 Maple View Place, in Quidi Vidi. The event is free and open to the public.

(Photo: local resident China Snow being interviewed as part of a 
folklore class at The Plantation, photo by Lisa Wilson.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bite what you can chew: Project focus for your oral history or folklore project

I'm back in the office after spending the end of last week at the Alberta Museums Association's annual conference, where the theme this year was on Intangible Cultural Heritage, and I'm already back into the thick of things.

Conferences tend to revitalize me, and get me thinking about what it is we do here at the Heritage Foundation's ICH program. And being asked questions about what other people could do to pursue projects helps get me focussed on practical approaches.

So it was with delight today that I had a phone conversation with Madison Sharman, who I met briefly at the AMA conference (you can check out her art and photography page on facebook).  The organization she works with is embarking on an oral history project, and she had questions about where to start, and what to do with collected materials.

Many of her questions seemed very familiar, and are ones often asked by groups starting out doing some kind of ethnographic documentation project. So I gave her some of my thoughts, starting out with project focus.

I've seen a lot of community projects get bogged down quickly. They all start from a similar place: a sense that stories or traditions are under threat, and that a need to collect information from the community before it vanishes. It is a legitimate fear. One of the big reasons we do documentation work is to collect that sort of information whilst we can.  For that reason, and for other reasons, lots of groups or museums have started oral history collection projects.

But often they go nowhere.

I think one of the big reasons for this is that organizations simply try to collect too much stuff all at once. In haste to collect everything they can, they end up with a morass of audio or video recordings and notes, with no clear focus or thematic similarity. In collecting everything, they've ended up with information that doesn't have a clear purpose, or eventual use. And often, it ends up sitting in a box, under someone's desk, forgotten.

Sometimes, the people they collect from, their informants,  are uncertain what is expected from them. While they have stories and memories to share, some aren't sure where to start with their stories while being interviewed.

Much of this can be solved by having a clear set of goals, and setting a very specific project scope, with targeted questions. Initially, some community groups resist this, in their goal of wanting to collect as much as they can before it vanishes. I always encourage groups to start small, work on a meaningful project, that results in a clear final product that they can share back with the community.

Think about why you want to do the project, and what you hope to end up with when the project is completed. Instead of doing a project on the history of your town, maybe pick one street, or one shop, or one park. Instead of doing a project on women's work in general, look at one particular craft or occupation or tradition bearer. Don't be afraid to start small, or stop when you think the amount of data you have collected is getting too large to process. Once you finish a project, and have something to show for it, you can always do another project! I much prefer seeing a couple small projects finished, than one unwieldy, behemoth of a project that is never ended.

A finished, understandable,  and accessible project means that when you go forward looking to do another project, you can show what you've done. This way, you, your group, future collaborators, partners, informants, and, importantly, funders, know what you are capable of.

Want some tips on things to think about before you start a project? Check out our project planning checklist! Download it, share it with your group, print it off, and make notes on it. You don't need to fill out every block on the checklist, but hopefully it will give you a better sense of the scope of the project you are embarking on, before you end up with a box of recordings stuck under your desk and piles of unfinished paperwork.

Those are my thoughts! Thanks, Maddy!

Got a question about starting a folklore or oral history project for your town? Email me at or call 1-888-739-1892 ext 2.

- Dale Jarvis

Thursday, February 7, 2013

12 tips for a better oral history or folklore interview

Nervous about your first oral history or folklore interview? It's OK, I'm here to help! Here are some tips and tricks to get you ready. And if you want, you can download this as a one-page PDF for handy reference.

1. If you haven't done any oral history interviewing before, think first about a focus or theme for your project.  Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this interview? What information do I want to get?”

2. Think about the type of interview you wish to do.  Life History Interviews focus on the life history of a person and the changes they may have experienced;  Topic Interviews collect information about a specific subject, workplace, skill or occupation.

3. Do an informal “pre-interview.”  Be clear with your “informant” - the person you are interviewing - that the interview is being recorded, and what it will be used for. Have a discussion in advance about the type of information of interest to you.

4. In general, have a list of topics in mind you want to cover in the interview, rather than a set list of questions. You might have some written starting questions to begin with, but then shift to your topic list and be flexible.

5. Start off with some easy questions, such as short biographical questions about name, date of birth, parents and the like. This gives you good identifying information at the start of the interview, and helps relax your informant. You can ask more detailed or personal questions after you both settle into the conversation.

6. Ask questions one at a time. If your question has two or three parts, ask them separately.

7. Ask open-ended questions that require more than a "yes" or "no" answer. Questions that start with “how” or “why” get you more interesting answers.

8. Use plain, straightforward words and avoid leading questions. Rather than asking “I suppose life as a fisherman was hard?”, ask “Can you describe what life was like for a fisherman?”

9. Ask follow-up questions. Then ask some more! If something is unclear, ask for clarification.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to which you think you already know the answers. You might get suprising answers!

11. Be a good listener, and refrain from talking too much yourself. Use body language, nodding, and smiling to encourage your informant. Let them know, visually, that you are interested.

12. Don't let periods of silence fluster you. Just wait and don’t rush the interview. Sometimes people need a moment to complete their thoughts. If you are silent, chances are your informant will fill the gap by saying something more about the question you asked last.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Screening: You Can Punch A Hurricane: a film about women making music.

On January 24, as part of Eastern Edge Gallery’s “Words in Edgewise,” a local documentary looking at the stories of several female musicians completing the RPM challenge in February 2012 will be shown. The women discuss the challenges of performing and recording in a male-dominated music world, as well as the unique opportunities of the RPM Challenge in St. John's. Mathais Kom, Megan Sutherland, and Joelle Carey are the three Memorial University graduate students behind the short film which has been chosen to be part of the gallery’s look at the RPM Challenge in St. John’s.

Every February, the RPM Challenge inspires hundreds of local musicians write and record an entire album in a month. To gear up for another musical month, Eastern Edge Gallery presents an evening of RPM: music, film, music, talk, music. With RPM stalwarts Mathias Kom, St. John's Ukulele Orchestra, Pet Legs, and Thomas Coombes. The event will begin at 8pm on Thursday, January 24 at Eastern Edge Gallery, 72 Harbour Drive. Refreshments will be provided by Fixed Coffee & Baking.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Top four YouTube resources for oral history and folklore interviews

Over the past couple weeks, I've been doing a number of workshops introducing people to the art and techniques of doing oral history and folklore interviews. Along the way, I've shown a few YouTube videos to illustrate certain points.  For those of you who haven't been able to take in a workshop, I'm presenting my top four favourites below.

1) Why do Oral History?

The first is from the Minnesota Historical Society. Why is oral history important? What is oral history? How is it different than a simple interview? This is the first of a series of video podcasts prepared by the Society that addresses some of these issues.

2) How do you record an oral history interview?

Prepared by the East Midlands Oral History Archive based at the University of Leicester, I've used this video several times. I like how it presents the material in a "Do and Don't" fashion, which is great for a workshop.

3)  How do you get interesting answers?

In this video, Traditional Arts Indiana shares tips and suggestions for folklorists conducting fieldwork. The video discusses how to get complex answers instead of a yes/no response, an important trick for interviewers to know. I love the work that Traditional Arts Indiana is doing, and like the Minnesota Historical Society, they've produced a series of videos for folklore interviews.

4) What can I do with the information I collect?

This is one of my favourite YouTube videos that show what can be done with oral history material. Beautifully shot and edited, Jewish Care's Pearls of Wisdom campaign aims to highlight the value and importance of older people in today's ageing society. According to its YouTube page, it "challenges people, especially younger people, to alter their perceptions of this elder generation, presenting them as wise, funny and worthy of their attention."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tea 'n' Baskets today in Corner Brook! Bring your mill basket, we'll bring the tea.

Today, Sunday, March 18th from 1-3pm at the Glynmill Inn, Corner Brook, HFNL will be hosting an event called “Tea ‘n’ Baskets”. This event is an opportunity for those who still have mill lunch baskets to come out and show your basket and share your memories. 

Bring your basket, we’ll provide the refreshments! HFNL staff will be on hand to photograph mill baskets, to become part of an educational website.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wooden Baskets, Tin Grave Markers, and Steam Whistles

In the March 2012 edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update for Newfoundland and Labrador: we announce workshops on oral history and folklore interviewing in Corner Brook and Grand Falls-Windsor; a public lecture on Acadian and Mi'kmaw basketry; an unusual tin grave marker from Bonavista Bay; and a research project on the Corner Brook mill whistle.

Contributions by Dale Jarvis, Nicole Penney, Patrick Carroll and Janice Tulk.

Download the PDF

More photos of tin grave markers here

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Top 6 Sites With Sample Oral History Interview Questions

A little while ago, I posted my Top 6 Online Guides for Folklife and Oral History Documentation. In preparing for a couple interviews I'm going to be doing, I was looking up some sample questions for basic oral history and folklore interviews, and so I thought I would post my top picks here for people who were looking for similar resources.

1. The Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide
This is sort of cheating, because I included it in my earlier post, but it still remains an excellent resource, complete with sample questions.

2. Fifty Questions for Family History Interviews
Subtitled "What to Ask the Relative" this is a good starting list for anyone doing research on family stories, genealogy, or family traditions.

3. Oral History Questions
Also a good list for people doing family oral histories, this collection of questions was compiled specifically for youth researchers.

4. Sample Interview Questions For Veterans
Prepared by the Library of Congress for its Veterans History Project, this is a good list of questions for people doing interviews with members and former members of the armed forces during World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars.

5. Family History Sample Outline and Questions
This outline can be used to structure a family oral history interview and contains examples of specific questions.

6. Oral History Interview, Questions and Topics
A list of questions that may be used when interviewing an older member of the family, prepared by the Museum of Jewish Heritage

UPDATE 19 Oct 2016 - I've added a new #6, as the Draft Oral History Interview Questions for the Fairfax County Asian American Historical Project seem to have vanished. But you can still check out their project here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Inventory of sound and video recordings in Newfoundland and Labrador repositories

Are you part of a local archive or museum that has a box of old tape recordings of community stories hidden away under someone’s desk? If you do, we want to know about it!

As a part of this year's work plan, the documentation and inventory committee of the Heritage Foundation's Intangible Cultural Heritage division is trying to find out what sound and video materials are out in the community. We are attempting to discover the extent of existing sound and video collections in Newfoundland and Labrador related to oral history, folklore and intangible cultural heritage.

HFNL is beginning with collections of recordings held by heritage organizations. Information collected in this survey will be used to help determine the scope and condition of sound and video holdings in Newfoundland and Labrador archives, museums and community collections.

Local organizations can take the survey online, using SurveyMonkey, an easy-to-use online questionnaire. You can find the survey at:

If you are working for an archive in the province that is a member of the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives, you may soon get a phone call from someone who will ask you some questions about your holdings along these lines. Once we know what's out there, we can explore further actions towards preserving it and making it accessible!

For more information, contact Dale Jarvis at:
1-888-739-1892 ext 2

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Top 6 Online Guides for Folklife and Oral History Documentation

I've had a few requests lately for guidebooks or information on running folklore, folklife, and oral history field documentation projects. Here are my top six picks of the week:

1. FOLKLIFE AND FIELDWORK: A Layman's Introduction to Field Techniques
Available online, broken down into chapters, or also as a full pdf you can download and print

2. Oral History Centre Tutorials
A collection of informative articles and instructional tutorials containing resources such as software and hardware training, oral history guidelines and best practices.

3. Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History

4. The Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide
Excellent resource, complete with sample questions

5. New Zealand Guide to Recording Oral History

6. Style Guide for Transcribing Oral History

photo: Ronald White spins a yarn, Stephenville, 2016. photo by Dale Jarvis

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Collecting Community Memories Workshop

Wednesday, May 6
SABRI office, West Street, St. Anthony, NL
(old Bank of Nova Scotia Building)
1-4 pm

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) or what some call “Living Heritage” encompasses many traditions, practices and customs. These include the stories we tell, the holidays we commemorate, the family events we celebrate, our community gatherings, our knowledge of our natural spaces, how we treat sickness, the foods we eat, our holidays, beliefs and cultural practices. Many of us sing songs or tell stories; some of us know about fishing grounds or berry picking spots; others know about curing illnesses. These are things our communities identify as valuable. They are the memories which are passed on from person to person, from generation to generation.

But are those stories still being passed on? And if not, what can we do about it?

Join Dale Jarvis, folklorist, author and Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer from the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, for a free afternoon workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), collecting community stories and the St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc (SABRI) Oral History project!

For more information on the SABRI oral history project, contact Kathleen Tucker

Workshop Leader:

Dale Jarvis is a folklorist, researcher, and author, who has been working for the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) since 1996. In April 2008, he took on the role of Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, one of only two provincially funded, full-time folklorist positions in Canada.

Dale has a BSc (Hons) in Anthropology/Archaeology from Trent University (Peterborough) and an MA in Folklore from Memorial University. He is past president of the Newfoundland Historic Trust, and the author of two popular books on Newfoundland and Labrador folklore, and a third book of world ghost stories for young adult readers.

Traditional Wooden Boats - Recording Our Heritage

The Wooden Boat Museum INVITES YOU TO HELP US preserve the traditional working boats of our Province.

Our two part program includes a ONE DAY CLASSROOM INTRODUCTION to the elements of field work followed by a
series of TWO DAY PRACTICAL EXERCISES fully documenting boats at selected sites around the Province.

Traditional Small Boats
Introduction - Regional working boats to be found around the coastline of our Province.
Kevin McAleese – Curator, The Rooms

Anatomy of a Boat
Seeing wooden boat structure with a critical eye. Characteristics and craftsmanship.
Aidan Penton – Master Boatbuilder, Fogo Island

Lifting Lines
A practical guide to capturing the shape or hull form of a boat in the field
Bruce Whitelaw – Naval Architect, WBMNL

Digital Photography
A practical guide to achieving museum quality digital photographs in the field.
Jerry Pocius – Research Professor, MUN

Tape Recorded Interviews
A practical guide to successful tape recorded interviews in the field.
Dale Jarvis – Folklorist, Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John’s
Saturday, May 16
8:45 AM

Registration Fee
Lunch included

Industrial Seminar Room
Marine Institute
155 Ridge Road

for INFORMATION contact
Bruce Whitelaw
709 722 7337

Bev King (WBMNL)
709 583 2070

"The first day in St. John's is an introduction to field documentation and an opportunity to begin establishing a standard for capturing data on our traditional wooden boats in an orderly way," says Beverly King of the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador. "The hope is to encourage people from around the Province to come together for a day. Then in the weeks to come there would be a further two days in "the field" practising the skills introduced."

"The sites of these practical sessions are to be determined by the participants of day one and the identification of boats to be documented," says King. "We intend to hold about a half dozen practical sessions dotted around the Province with only a subset of those attending the introduction participating in any one practical exercise. So, everyone gets the common introduction in St. John's and then goes back home and practices (with the assistance of a number of the presenters of day one who will travel out to the sites for a couple of days)."

Monday, April 13, 2009

ICH Update for April 2009 - Aboriginal Cultural Heritage

This month's edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update focusses on the province's aboriginal cultural heritage, and provides an overview of some of the recent projects started under Newfoundland and Labrador's Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Program of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. Some project include canoe making, oral history training, documentation of sealing traditions, and an Innu youth banner project. Also in this issue, notes from the Federation of Newfoundland Indians on Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge, and an invitation to the 2009 Miawpukek Traditional Powwow.

Download the newsletter here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

ICH Update archived on DAI

The Intangible Cultural Heritage Update newsletter has found a new permanent home on the Digital Archive Initiative (DAI) of Memorial University. The DAI is an online gateway to the learning and research-based cultural resources held by Memorial University and partnering organizations. High-resolution copies of the newsletter will be archived monthly on the DAI, keeping a permanent record of the work of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and the implementation of the ICH Strategy for the province.

  • ICH Update page on DAI

  • DAI main page

  • Thanks to Slavko Manojlovich and Don Walsh of the DAI for their assistance in archiving the Update.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Planning Cultural Documentation Projects: A Practical Workshop

    On Monday, November 3, David A. Taylor, from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, will lead a practical, three-hour workshop on how to develop plans for cultural documentation projects.

    He will take participants through the process of planning a project, addressing such factors as the identification of its goals, primary focus, financial requirements, and available resources, as well as the selection of documentation equipment and techniques, the use of consent forms, the development of products derived from documentary materials, and the organization and preservation of sound recordings, photographs and other materials generated through field research.

    This workshop will be beneficial to people who are contemplating cultural documentation projects of all sorts, ranging from short-term projects involving a single researcher to complex, long-term projects involving many researchers.

    “Proper attention to planning is crucial for the success of any cultural-documentation project,” says Taylor. “As well, if funds are needed to carry out a project, the presence of a clear, detailed and logical plan is very often a crucial factor in determining whether applications for grants are successful.”

    The workshop, which is being sponsored by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, will be held on Monday, November 3, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, at The Lantern, 35 Barnes Road, St. John's. Those wishing to participate should contact Dale Jarvis, Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer, at 1-888-739-1892 ext2 or email in order to reserve a spot.

    The deadline for registration is October 30th. There is no charge for the workshop.

    About David Taylor

    Dr. David A. Taylor is the head of research and programs at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C. His work includes planning and carrying out research projects and public programs concerned with American, ethnic, regional, and occupational cultures; providing technical and reference assistance to cultural institutions and individual researchers; presenting public lectures about American traditional culture; and leading the Center’s research and programs unit. He also serves as the head of acquisitions for the Center's Archive of Folk Culture, the nation's first archive devoted to traditional life and, with over four million items in its collection, one of the largest repositories of its kind in the world. He is the founder and director of the Center's annual field school for cultural documentation, which was launched in 1994. He has directed a number of team-based, multi-disciplinary, field-documentation projects for the Center, including the “Italian-Americans in the West Project,” the “Maine Acadian Cultural Survey,” and the “Working in Paterson Project.” He has served as a member of the United States delegation to the World Intellectual Property Organization's intergovernmental committee on folklore, traditional knowledge and genetic resources.

    Taylor’s areas of specialization include field-research methodology, material culture, maritime culture, and occupational culture. In addition to his work for the Center, he has carried out independent field research on these topics in Maine, Florida, Newfoundland, and Norway. He is an expert on traditional watercraft, and is proud of the fact that his field research and writing served as the basis for the creation of the award-winning Winterton Boat Building and Community Museum, in Winterton, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. Outside of his work at the American Folklife Center, Taylor is involved with research and writing about European and American decorative arts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    He holds a B.A., in anthropology, from the University of Maine, and an M.A. and a Ph.D., both in folklore, from Memorial University of Newfoundland.