The Mukurtu CMS team, along with Folklife Specialist Guha Shankar from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, were welcomed back to the Zuni Public Library in Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico on June 21-22, 2016. The goals of the visit were to invite community members to explore and comment on the Curtis Cook collection of photographs returned from the American Folklife Center to the Zuni community. The collection includes a range of photos of community life from the 1960’s and 70’s. In addition our teams continued work we started in March recording community members for their Zuni dictionary as part of their Mukurtu site and provided training to library staff in audio recording and editing.
On the first day, Guha gave Jennifer Lonjose, Librarian at the Zuni Public Library, an introduction and hands-on training with digital audio recorders and covered best practices for conducting oral history projects. Jennifer also received a crash course in editing and managing audio recordings using Audacity, a widely used audio editing software. In the afternoon, community members of all ages came into the library to view the photos, share stories and record words for their Zuni dictionary featured in Mukurtu. The next step will be to edit and process those recordings, and then begin entering the information and files into the Zuni Mukurtu site for community access and use.
On the second day, Curtis Cook returned to Zuni and was able to record his own recollections of his times living in Zuni, stories about the photos he took and community members he worked with. It was also Cook’s published dictionary that is the catalyst for the recorded version. With over 4,000 Zuni words the project will be ongoing! There is much work ahead for Jennifer and the Zuni Public Library staff, but our team is looking forward to our next visit, and continuing to support all the exceptional work being done in Zuni.