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Repackaging Project 1

Running head: Repackaging Project for OSU Multicultural Archives

OSU Multicultural Archives:

Updated Native American Digital Collection Resources

Monique Lloyd

Emporia State University


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The mission of the Oregon State University Multicultural Archives is to collect,

preserve, and make available artifacts and historical records connected with Oregon’s

ethnic populations, specifically African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and

Native Americans. Providing additional information through links to other institutions

and entities which have similar goals is part of that mission.

The OSU Multicultural Archives related resources link

(http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/archives/oma/resources.html) currently has eighteen

links. Seven provide information about Native Americans, four about Asian Americans,

and two each about African Americans and Latinos. Three sites are composites. The

page is not ordered by ethnic group or by geography. Oregon and Washington are the

only two states represented.

The project is to expand and re-organize the information, beginning with the

Native American links. The geographical area will be extended to include Alaska,

Montana, Idaho, and British Columbia. Because digital collections are increasing at a

rapid rate,resources which are not extensive will be included as will those which have the

potential to be included at a later date, although the latter will be identified as being

potential sites.

This project is at the beginning stage and a webpage will not be designed until

research about all of the represented ethnic groups is completed. The annotated

bibliography has been prepared by state or province.


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Annotated Bibliography

ALASKA

Alaska’s Digital Archives, University of Alaska at Fairbanks (n.d.) Retrieved from

http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm4/pathway.php

Alaska’s Digital Archives provides photographs and information about Alaska Natives’

history and culture. This page allows the viewer to link to images by type of activity

(making a living, art, education, etc.), by geographical area, or by time periods. The

links bring the viewer to thumbnail images along with the title, subject, and description

of each photograph.

Alaska State Library (2007.) Retrieved from http://library.state.ak.us/hist/exhibits.html

This is a photographic exhibit on schools in rural Alaska which documents

activities and rural school life for Alaska Natives during 1931-1950. Information on the

site indicates that they are in the process of digitizing their collections, which will be

included in Alaska’s Digital Archives.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

British Columbia Digital Library (2007). Retrieved from http://bcdlib.tc.ca/general-

collections-us.html

This is not a link to a digitized photograph repository, but instead is a page of

links to collections of texts and other materials, some of which are related to Native

Americans. Canada is consolidating and centralizing their libraries and archives


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resources in order to make it easier to for the public to search for and access Canada’s

documentary heritage. See Library and Archives Canada at http://www.pch.gc.ca/pc-

ch/ac-os/collections_e.cfm for more information.

IDAHO

University of Idaho Special Collections (2007). Digital Memories. Retrieved from

http://www.lib.uidaho.edu/special-collections/dm/dm2007/jennie.htm

This site features offers brief descriptions of historical artifacts from their

collections. As they begin digitizing their collection, more photographs of Native

Americans may become available. This site has potential and should be watched.

MONTANA

University of Montana (2006). Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains.

Retrieved from http://www.lib.montana.edu/epubs/nadb/

This searchable database is a cooperative effort among several colleges (Montana

State University campuses at Bozeman, Billings, and Havre as well as Little Big Horn

College) and a museum (Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman). It is primarily

photographs, but also includes stereographs, ledger drawings, and other sketches.

OREGON

Lewis and Clark College (2005). Retrieved from http://www.lclark.edu/~archives/

This small digitized collection of fewer than 500 photographs contains only a

dozen or so of Native Americans. It hasn’t been updated for two years, but the potential

is there for future growth and expansion.


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Oregon State Archives (n.d.) Web exhibits and projects. Retrieved from

http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/banners/exhibits.htm

The 50th Anniversary Exhibits of the Oregon State Archives includes one on

the Whitman Massacre. It includes text, drawings, photographs of transcripts, and links

for further reference. This institution has the potential for providing additional digitized

records on the Native American population of Oregon.

Oregon State Library (2007). Oregon State Library Photo Website. Retrieved from

http://159.121.122.41/

While only a few of more than 40,000 photographs have been placed on the

website, all have been scanned and most have been researched and cataloged. There are

a minimum of several hundred photographs of Native Americans among them although

none are yet on the site. This website has a rich potential.

Museum at Warm Springs (2007). Awards and reviews. Retrieved from

http://www.warmsprings.biz/museum/aboutus/awards.shtml

This website announced that it has been awarded a National Park Service Grant to

photograph pictographs on reservation land and that it had also been awarded a grant to

photograph and create an archive as well as fund a digital repository at the museum. This

site should be added once the archive is placed online.

WASHINGTON

Seattle Museum of History and Industry (2002). Retrieved from


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http://www.seattlehistory.org/oral_history_database/oral_history_search.cfm

While this website currently has fewer than 100 digitized photographs of Native

Americans, it does have transcriptions of oral histories from tribal members, which is

unusual.

Suquamish Tribe/Historical Archives (1998). Retrieved from

http://www.suquamish.nsn.us/

This site contains only three photographs under “historical archives” and the page

has not been updated for almost ten years, but the hope is that as the tribe’s finances

improve because of casino earnings they will utilize a part of it to share their cultural

heritage. This site has potential.

Washington State University (n.d.) Frank Fuller Avery Collection. Retrieved from

http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/Holland/masc/xavery.html

This collection of more than 800 photographs taken from 1901 to 1916 when

Avery was assigned to the Coville Indian Agency. There are a number of photographs

of Native American school children.


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Conclusions

The results of this research add at least ten more sites with digital photographs of

Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest.

Additional sites were found, including the Smithsonian and the Library of

Congress, which contain digitized photographs and artifacts suitable for this resource

but the specifications indicated that they needed to be within specific geographical

boundaries. Collaborative digitization projects, such as the Northwest Digital Archives,

(http://nwda.wsulibs.wsu.edu/) which uses a union database of Encoded Archival

Description finding aids, will become more common.

There are several reasons for the lag in digitization of archival materials. One

important issue is money and this may be the reason that few tribal archives are

online. Perhaps as tribal financial fortunes improve because of gaming revenues and there

is increased interest in the tribe’s cultural heritage, that will change. Many museums and

other entities, including some historical societies, do not digitize their collections and

place them online as they are for-profit institutions.

It is also important to note, however, that Native American information users tend

to prefer to receive their information orally, through storytelling, as well as visually,

through observation and through art, and from tribal (community) and holistic

perspectives. There is also a preference for information that is presented through a spiral

process, rather than through a lineal one, and in a way which allows one to have time to

absorb it. This learning style does not adapt well to the use of digitized resources.

Another potential problem preventing digitization and online is the copyright


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issue. Many archives have materials which lack written permission which would allow

the materials to be made public. Some are so old it may be impossible to determine who

owns the copyright. This is problem that is discussed repeatedly on the archives listserv

and there do not appear to be any clearly consistent answers.

A third problem slowing the digitization of Native American photographs and

Artifacts, in particular, is that of ethical issues. The Protocols for Native American

Archival Materials (http://www2.nau.edu/libnap-p/protocols.html) provide excellent

guidelines, but following them will mean that some items, in particular those dealing with

or depicting religious ceremonies or oral recordings, cannot be digitized and made

available electronically.

However, even with these limitations, finding ways to increase access to cultural

materials will continue to increase as challenges are identified and addressed.


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References

Brown, M. (2003).Who owns native culture? Massachusetts: Harvard University

Press

Bunker, N. (2005). Primary source collections in the pacific northwest: an historical

researcher’s guide. Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited

Northwest Digital Archives (2007). Retrieved from http://nwda.wsulibs.wsu.edu/)

Patterson, L. (1992).Understanding and appreciating the unique needs of Native

Americans. Multicultural Aspects of Library Media Programs. Libraries

Unlimited, 54-60.

Patterson, L. (1995). Information needs and services of Native Americans. Rural

Libraries 15(2), 37-44.

Peterson, E. (2007). Tribal libraries in the united states: a directory of american

indian and alaska native facilites. New York: McFarland & Company

Protocols for Native American Archival Materials(n.d.) Retrieved from

http://www2.nau.edu/libnap-p/protocols.html

Simpson, L. (2000). Stories, Dreams and Ceremonies—Anishnaabe Ways of Learning.

Tribal College: Journal of American Indian Higher Education, 11 (4), 26-29