Native News Network Staff in Native Briefs. Discussion »
Best in the Country
Native Brief: CHICAGO - Home to one of the world's foremost archives related to American Indians and the indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere, the Newberry Library has announced it will this November celebrate National Native American Heritage Month with an exciting new exhibition to accompany the recent launch of a permanent, educational website. The website is made possible by generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Several American Indians served on an advisory board to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of material that is available on the website. Teachers can access the site with assurance American Indian scholars have reviewed the material.
Conceived and developed by the Newberry's D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, "Indians of the Midwest" is a multimedia educational website that will engage and inform a broad public audience about major issues in American Indian history and culture. Marrying the library's rich collections on Native American history with state-of-the-art interactive web capabilities, the site will contribute to the public discourse on key contemporary issues involving American Indians - such as debates over gaming, the disposition of archaeological sites and objects, fishing rights, or sports mascots - that often lack historical and cultural context.
"The information on the 'Indians of the Midwest' website is organized around several broad themes that continue to resonate today but whose roots in the complex history of the region and its people are often misunderstood or distorted in public debate," said Dr. Scott Stevens, Director of the D'Arcy McNickle center. "In addition to historical collections, the site will also feature contemporary photos, interviews with contemporary American Indian scholars and tribal members, interactive maps, and links to tribal and other websites."
Visit the "Indians of the Midwest" website »
To further highlight these issues and enrich the public's experience with, and knowledge of, American Indian materials, the Newberry will mount an exhibition featuring a wide variety of historically and culturally significant items from its world-renowned collections, including: early colonial maps denoting Indian communities in the region; rare books and manuscripts related to indigenous cultures from the early colonial period to the present; and a variety of drawings and painting depicting various aspect of Indian life in the Midwest.
Opening November 2 and running through December 31, the exhibition will include computer stations on which the public can access the new website and demonstrations of how to best use the site by the lead scholar on the project, professor of anthropology Dr. Loretta Fowler.
As a collection of general Americana, the Newberry Library's Edward E. Ayer Collection is one of the best in the country and in the words of a former Yale University Library Curator, Ayer is "perhaps the finest gathering of materials on American Indians in the world."
In 1911, Edward E. Ayer (1841-1927) donated more than 17,000 pieces on the early contacts between American Indians and Europeans. Ayer, a member of the first board of trustees, was the first donor of a great collection to the Newberry Library. Since then, the Ayer endowment fund has enabled the library to collect in excess of 130,000 volumes, more than 1 million manuscript pages, 2,000 maps, 500 atlases, 11,000 photographs and 3,500 drawings and paintings on the subject.
The Ayer collection is rich in printed and manuscript accounts of the discovery, exploration, and settlement of the Americas. While the nucleus of the Ayer collection consists of an extensive body of literature that concerns the American Indian directly, there are five main subject areas within Ayer:
Serving the public since 1887, the Newberry is a world-renowned independent research library that is home to collections spanning six centuries. The D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies was founded in 1972. Its goals are to encourage the use of the Newberry collections in American Indian and indigenous studies improve the quality of what is written about American Indians and indigenous peoples; educate teachers about American Indian and indigenous cultures, histories, and literatures; assist American Indian tribal and indigenous historians in their research; and provide a meeting ground where scholars, teachers, tribal historians, and others interested in American Indian and indigenous studies can discuss their work with each other.
posted October 22, 2011 7:30 am edt
Thank you for visiting. We are loading the new Native News Network website. Visitors always come first, so if you click on a link only to find the corresponding page is unavailable, please use this link to contact us here ».
Then, tell us how we can help you.
I will contact you personally.