Ethnography: the study and systematic recording of human cultures; also: a descriptive work produced from such research.
Housed in Western's Department of Anthropology and Sociology, the Ethnography Laboratory is a research facility dedicated to the documentation of cultural life in the Southern Mountains.
Thomas Cole's depiction of Appalachian life, At Home in the Woods, 1847 (right).
The laboratory is currently focused on oral history interviews with people living in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The laboratory's facilities include professional field recording and transcription equipment, along with computer support for digital editing of audio recordings.
A wide range of opportunities exist for students to become involved and learn the documentary techniques useful to a variety of careers.
The laboratory was initially funded as part of a cooperative agreement with the Southeastern Region of the National Park Service.