Science Museum of MN to expand online Ojibwe/Dakota collection

0
6502
views

{mosimage}

The Science Museum of Minnesota has recieved the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Museums for America grant for its Digitization Initiative, which will allow photos and information about the museum’s 1,000-piece collection of Dakota and Ojibwe ethnology objects to be inventoried, catalogued and posted online.

The two-year project, which will cover just a fraction of the museum’s collection of nearly 1.75 million artifacts from around the world, will serve as a model for future projects, with the hope that one day, a comprehensive catalog will be complete and available online for descendent communities, educators, students, scholars, collectors, scientists, and the public to access.

“The Science Museum’s collection of objects and artifacts is

world-class, and we’re very proud of it,” says Dr. Eric J. Jolly

(Cherokee), president of the Science Museum of Minnesota. “We’re so

pleased that IMLS recognizes and shares our enthusiasm for the value of

documenting and sharing our artifacts and objects, and we’re grateful

for their funding that helps us get our digital archiving and web

publishing component off the ground.” 

Some of the objects that

will be catalogued and published during this pilot project for the

Digitization Initiative include meticulously-crafted moccasins and

clothing, bandolier bags, parfleche containers, arrows, courting

flutes, saddle pads, birch bark containers, and even a full-size Ojibwe

canoe. 

“The Science Museum’s collection of objects and artifacts is

world-class, and we’re very proud of it,” says Dr. Eric J. Jolly

(Cherokee), president of the Science Museum of Minnesota. “We’re so

pleased that IMLS recognizes and shares our enthusiasm for the value of

documenting and sharing our artifacts and objects, and we’re grateful

for their funding that helps us get our digital archiving and web

publishing component off the ground.” 

Some of the objects that

will be catalogued and published during this pilot project for the

Digitization Initiative include meticulously-crafted moccasins and

clothing, bandolier bags, parfleche containers, arrows, courting

flutes, saddle pads, birch bark containers, and even a full-size Ojibwe

canoe. 

“Creating on

online database of the items in our collection is something the Science

Museum has been dreaming of doing for several years,” says Tilly

Laskey, curator of ethnology at the Science Museum of Minnesota. “This

grant award will allow us to share the incredibly diverse items in our

collection with their descendant communities. It provides a wonderful

opportunity to connect our collections to the communities from which

they came, provide a teaching tool to the public, and expand our

knowledge about the items that we care for. I’m really looking forward

to the feedback that it garners.” 

The project will provide

members of the Dakota and Ojibwe communities with unprecedented access

to objects that were created by their ancestors. At the same time, the

objects will be well cared for and preserved by the Science Museum’

conservation and stewardship. 

{mosimage}  

“The Science

Museum’s Digitization Initiative will initially benefit local Ojibwe

and Dakota tribes, but the infrastructure it creates will ultimately

benefit nations around the world,” adds Roxanne Gould (Odawa/Ojibwe),

consultant for Indian Education Programs for Minneapolis Public Schools

and member of the Science Museum’s American Indian Advisory Committee. 

The

Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of

federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.

The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with

state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and

knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional

development.

The Science Museum of Minnesota, located in St.

Paul, is among the nation’s largest science museums, it conducts

research and collects artifacts in paleontology, anthropology, and

environmental science, in addition to its ongoing work in exhibit

production and presentation. For more information about the Science

Museum of Minnesota, call 651-221-9444 or visit www.smm.org.