Behind the Scenes

  • Queena Luu sets up piles of herbs for a story on Ling Yi.
  • Amrutha Kumaran takes photographs of an herbal assemblage for a story on Ling Yi.
  • Behind the Scenes
    Alaka Wali and Dhruv Mehta look at potential purchases for the collection at Patel Brothers.
  • Behind the Scenes
    Queena Luu, Alaka Wali, and Carolyn Johnson purchase collection items at Chinatown Market.

Launching A Project

The first step for any potential project is to convene a meeting and create a set of goals to be encapsulated by the project. The next step is to create a detailed proposal outlining the timing, funds, and specific aims or focus of the project- like conducting interviews or collecting objects. After establishing goals, the team needs to analyze existing information regarding the area of focus. Following this, research questions need to be generated that align with the goals of the project.

Fieldwork and Record-Keeping

The researchers take several trips to scope out neighborhoods of historical significance and find organizations, stores, and individuals that are interested in contributing to the project. In future trips, the researchers interview individuals, consult their opinions on the main research questions, and determine objects to be purchased for the collection. A time-consuming but crucial part of this step is documenting everything with detail - all consent forms, audio recordings, interview transcripts, and observation notes must be saved with the correct dates and the names of the researchers and subjects. Photographs and collection records must be archived with dates, locations, and descriptive captions. Although storage clouds and intuitive software make maintaining accurate records easier than ever, labelling and organizing files is always a challenge.

Putting It All Together: Analyzing the Field Notes

Researchers reflect on personal field notes and team meetings where observations are exchanged. Following this, the researcher begin to tease out the themes and viewpoints from interview transcripts and notes. The product of this analysis are disseminated via this website with the hopes that it will serve as a resource that will continuously be added to as more items and research is done for the Health and Wellness Collection.

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