Contract: Living Energy Farm Digital Archive

Sociology 491: Into the Woods

Sarah Kinzer and Maureen Sullivan, University of Mary Washington

Mission Statement

Our mission in creating the Living Energy Farm Digital Archive is to successfully document the history, purpose, and collective living culture of the Living Energy Farm in Louisa, Virginia. To do this, we will conduct research and create an online archive, the artifacts of which will include basic information about the community, interview transcripts, pictures, meeting minutes, and newsletters. As well as storing visual data, we hope to include audio recordings of interviews with current members of the community. Hosted through Soundcloud, these recordings will allow listeners to hear firsthand accounts of life at the LEF. The goal of this website is to provide the data needed for an anthropological understanding of the Living Energy Farm and its members. Through this work, we hope to assist in a small way with the thorough documentation of projects to build successful alternatives to fossil fuel dependence.


WordPress: We will use WordPress to publish and format our website. This allows for easy and organized access for not only ourselves but for any possible visitors once the website is completed. Our domain will be

Soundcloud: This is the tool we will use to host audio recordings. With this, we will be able to record interviews with members of the community and organize them in a way that visitors can easily access and navigate.

Google Docs: This tool will be our primary means of allocating any data that has been collected. Each time there is new information that needs to be added to the website, it will first be put into  the shared document in order for it to be discussed and revised before it is placed on the website. Any information or data that is obtained will be held in the docs and used in the further advancement of the website. This information can range from pictures to interview transcripts to newsletters.

iPhone: iPhone’s will be used for both visual and audio recordings. The visual recordings will include pictures taken of both the community’s physical infrastructure and the people within the community. The phones will also be used during the recorded interviews with the members.

Garageband: We will use Garageband for any necessary editing of our audio recordings.


Sept 19: Decided to research Living Energy Farm

October 20: All pre-visit research is completed and organized in Google Doc

October 23: Website structure completed, ready for information to be added

November 1: IRB process completed aside from interview consent

November 4: Initial visit to LEF completed, consent for interviews

November 6: Website draft ready for peer review

November 10: Follow-up visit to LEF, interviews conducted

November 20: Audio from interviews published through Soundcloud, linked through site

December 4: Site completed

*Disclaimer: These dates are completion dates. The technical aspects of things such as the structure of the website, LEF visit, etc. will be started prior to the deadlines listed.


Maureen will hold responsibility for communication between ourselves and the members of the LEF. She will schedule our visit and maintain correspondence to ensure that the community is comfortable with our project at each stage. She will be responsible for data collection and interviews.

Sarah will be responsible for the digital work behind the project, including website design, sound editing, and organization of data. She will work with the UMW Digital Knowledge Center to overcome any technical issues with the site. She will ensure that all information is displayed in accordance to copyright laws, community consent, and best practices.