The main method of collection of information will be audio and video recordings of people who remember the local culture on the prairies. Ethnographic fieldwork provides direct information on people's perspectives; differently filtered than most other historical and sociological research. Interviewees can influence the choice of topics, the approach, and the emphasis. This project is designed to include both qualitative and quantitative aspects, combining the methods of sociology and folklore studies.

Four main approaches are envisioned for fieldwork interview sessions:

The first approach will be to ask a standard list of questions to all interviewees for the project. The responses to these questions will provide a baseline of information that can be compared across sub-regions, across ethnic groups, and across other variables.

The second approach will be to collect more in-depth oral histories from a smaller population of interviewees. The oral histories may vary from 2-15 hours in length, documenting the general lived and remembered experience of the person in question. Such taped memoirs will be allowed to flow in a variety of directions and cover a variety of topics. This approach contrasts with the first one in that it produces more idiosyncratic narratives but thicker and richer descriptions.

The third approach will be based on an exploration of family photograph collections. Historical photographs are an unusually rich medium for researchers of vernacular culture. Interviewees who are willing to share their photograph collections will be encouraged to show them to the researcher, identify their contents, reminisce about the subject matter portrayed, and to allow the researcher to duplicate the image. This approach will focus on visual and material documents which can complement the verbal narratives and images communicated through the first two approaches.