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Inauguration 2009 Sermons and Orations Project


Specifications and Instructions

Thank you for your interest in this historic project. If you are planning to submit materials for the collection of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (AFC), we ask that you comply with the following specifications and instructions.

What We Are Collecting:

  • Audio recordings, video recordings and written texts of sermons and orations that comment on the significance of the inauguration of 2009, and were delivered and recorded between Friday, January 16th and Sunday, January 25th, 2009. All submissions must be postmarked by February 27, 2009, and accompanied by: (1) signed release forms (signed by the orator(s) and documenter(s)); and (2) a completed information form.
  • In addition to audio and video recordings and written texts, AFC is interested in receiving photos and printed programs from the gatherings during which the sermons and orations were delivered. Photos and printed programs should not be submitted unless they are accompanied by an audio recording, a video recording or a written text of a sermon or an oration.
  • NOTE: Do not submit materials beyond those specified. Should any part of the collection be found to include materials that the AFC deems inappropriate for retention with the collection or elsewhere in the Library of Congress, the AFC may dispose of such material in accordance with its procedures for such cases.

We Will Accept the Following Formats:

  • Audio: CD, WAV, MP3, cassettes or DAT. (Micro cassettes are not accepted.)
  • Video: DVD, digital video (miniDV, etc.), MPEG2, Hi-8, Betacam, or VHS
  • Photos: JPEG or TIFF digital formats, or high-quality photo prints.
  • Electronic files (for texts): Word, Word Perfect, PDFs, ASCII, RTF or text sent within a message via email to
  • Paper copies (for texts): sent to the address given below

Suggestions for Making High-Quality Audio or Video Recordings:

  • Use external microphones, if possible, rather than internal (built-in) microphones.
  • Try to reduce background noise that may obscure the words of the sermon or oration. If the words can't be heard, then the recording is of little value to the collection.
  • For video, please use a tripod to help ensure a steady image.
  • For video, pay attention to lighting and shooting angles to be sure nothing obscures what you are trying to record.
  • Check the length of any tape or CD you use to be sure you can capture everything you intended.

How to Submit Collection Materials:

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MAIL DELIVERY: Because USPS mail to the Library of Congress is subject to security-screening procedures that may damage submitted materials, participants are strongly urged to use FedEx, UPS, or DHL when sending materials to the Library.

Please send materials to:

Inauguration 2009 Sermons and Orations Project
American Folklife Center
Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4610
Telephone:  (202) 707-5510

NOTE:  Retain your own copies of the audio or video recording, written text, event program, photos and any other materials.  We are unable to provide you with gratis copies of materials after they have been submitted.


If you have questions, please send them to the Project via email (, or call the American Folklife Center at (202) 707-5510, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday-Friday.

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