American Memory:  Technical summary


URL for collection:

Collection Overview

Multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941. This collection consists of audio recordings, photographs, manuscript materials, publications, and ephemera generated during two separate documentation trips supported by the Archive of American Folk Song (now the Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center). Todd and Sonkin, both of the City College of New York (currently the City College of the City University of New York), took disc recording equipment supplied by the Archive of American Folk Song to Arvin, Bakersfield, El Rio, Firebaugh, Porterville, Shafter, Thornton, Visalia, Westley, and Yuba City, California. In these locales, the pair documented dance tunes, cowboy songs, traditional ballads, square dance and play party calls, camp council meetings, camp court proceedings, conversations, storytelling sessions, and personal experience narratives of the Dust Bowl refugees who inhabited the camps.
Source collection
The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, American Folklife Center.
Technical features
The documents in this collection relate to one another in multivalent ways: the performers turn up in recordings, photos, letters, and reports; the songs turn up in recordings and transcriptions; musical instruments turn up in recordings, reports, photos, and drawings. The framing texts for this collection -- the various explanatory texts and menus that form the "home page family" at the web site -- are rich in pointers and guidance to the materials proper.
Original material formats
Number of original items
714 -- (416 sound recordings, 275 documents, 23 photographs)
Status of collection
Available online.
Public access
Restrictions associated with this collection will require grantees to use only a subset of the sound recordings or address access management to protect possible legal rights of third-parties. The Library does not provide general public access to all items. See notes on rights and restrictions provided by the Library to users of this collection.

Aids to intellectual access

Type & granularity
Bibliographic records (not in MARC format, derived from relational database). Each bib. record describes a single item, which may be represented by multiple files. In addition to bibliographic records for individual documents, there are descriptions for groups of documents by category on HTML pages.
Linking to digital reproductions
Bibliographic record contains identifier used in name of directory that holds all associated files. Numbering system in place to link searchable text to page images and illustration images.

Digital reproductions

Total file-space for digital reproductions: 2.8 Gbytes

Types of material: [Sound recordings] [Documents] [Photographs]

Audio Service audio Service audio
Marker Filename extensions ".ram" and ".ra" Filename extension ".wav"
Formats RealAudio WAVE
Sample rate n/a 22.05 kHz
Word length n/a 16 bit
Channels mono mono
Modem setting 14.4 Kbps n/a
File size 30-400 Kbytes (.ra)
1 Kbyte (.ram -- for RealAudio metadata)
1-12 Mbytes
Quantity 416 416
Sample Sample RealAudio Sample WAV

page-images only
Archival page images Service page images
Marker Filename extension ".tif" Filename extension ".gif"
Formats TIFF Group IV GIF
Tonal resolution 1 bit 4 bits
Spatial resolution
300 dpi 50 dpi
Quantity (approx) 608 pages 608 pages
File size 66-165 Kbytes 35-260 Kbytes
Sample Sample archival page-image Sample service page-image

(searchable text + page-images)
Archival text file Page images
Marker Filename extension ".sgm" Filename extension ".tif"
Formats SGML TIFF Group IV
DTD American Memory (TEI conformant) n/a
Tonal resolution n/a 1 bit
Spatial resolution
n/a 300 dpi
Quantity (approx) 121 250
File size 2-165 Kbytes 25-240 Kbytes
Sample Sample SGML document Sample page-image

Photographs Archival image Service image Inline thumbnail
Marker Filename ends "u" Filename ends "r" Filename ends "t"
Tonal resolution 8 bit (grayscale) 8 bit 8 bit
Spatial resolution (approx) 300 dpi
2,500x3,000 pixels
300 dpi 150x100 pixels
Quantity (approx) 23 23 23
File size 30-90 Kbytes 8-25 Kbytes 6-20 Kbytes
Sample Sample archival Sample service Sample thumbnail

Library of Congress contribution to Digital Libraries Initiative - Phase II [Site Map]
Collections available: [List] [Rights] [Samples] [Handover]
Technical notes: [Documents] [Images] [Maps] [Sound recordings] [Motion pictures]