Paul Swain, Part 3
The Working Waterfront Festival Community Documentation Project
The Working Waterfront Festival Community Documentation Project is an ongoing oral history project documenting the history and culture of the commercial fishing industry and other port trades. The project was begun in 2004 in conjunction with the Working Waterfront Festival, an annual, education celebration of commercial fishing culture which takes place in New Bedford, MA. Interviewees have included a wide range of individuals connected to the commercial fishing industry and/or other aspects of the port through work or familial ties. While the majority of interviewees are from the port of New Bedford, the project has also documented numerous individuals from other ports around the country. Folklorist and Festival Director Laura Orleans and Community Scholar/Associate Director Kirsten Bendiksen are Project Leaders. The original recordings reside at the National Council for the Traditional Arts in Maryland with listening copies housed at the Festival's New Bedford office.
Azure Dee Westwood
Mr. Swain is a retired port agent who worked as a lumper, a fisherman, and an auctioneer at the old New Bedford fish auction. In this interview, Mr. Swain discusses his career as a port agent, the changes in his job, the auction, and the industry. He describes in detail both his work as a port agent and how the auction worked.
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