During the spring semester of 2015 and the fall semester of 2016, two cohorts of students at the University of Alaska Anchorage learned archival research skills as part of their methodological training in the course, Ethnohistory of Alaska Natives, which subsequently led to the development of further individual research projects. As part of the course, students provided metadata to folders within an archival collection. This article explores the semester long projects, including the hardships of finding and using culturally appropriate metadata, lessons learned, and the impact the project had on students, the archivist, and instructor.
Veronica L. Denison received an MLIS from Simmons College in 2013. She was an archivist at the University of Alaska Anchorage/Alaska Pacific University for six years, and is currently the University Archivist at Kansas State University. She lives and works on land historically home to many Native nations, including the Kaw, Osage, and Pawnee, among others. Furthermore, Kansas is the current home to four federally recognized Native nations: The Prairie Band Potawatomie, the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas, the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, and Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska. Medeia Csoba DeHass is an Instructor of Anthropology at Des Moines Area Community College and a Visiting Scientist at the ARCTICenter of the University of Northern Iowa. She is a National Science Foundation CAREER grant awardee, and her projects explore ethical considerations and Indigenous perspectives in using 3D technology in digital heritage preservation. She lives and works on the lands of the Baxoje or Ioway, Meskwaki, and Sauk people in Central Iowa. Alexandra Taitt is the Community & Curatorial Programs Coordinator at the Anchorage Museum and is a Ph.D. Student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her research focuses on digital heritage preservation in the Bering Strait region of Alaska. She lives and works on the homelands of the Dena'ina People in Anchorage, Alaska. Alyssa Willett is a graduate assistant at the Colorado State University in the Department of Occupational Therapy’s Assistive Technology Resource Center. She completed her prior graduate work at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where she explored movement and pedagogy of Alaska Native and Contemporary Dance, and published work on health management and care in past populations. She is currently completing her fieldwork in outpatient pediatric occupational therapy and hopes to use dance as a medium to help youth and adult populations in rehabilitation settings. Willett lives and works on the lands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations and peoples.
Denison, Veronica L.; Willett, Alyssa; Taitt, Alexandra; and Csoba Dehass, Medeia
"Teaching Archival Research Methods through Projects in Ethnohistory,"
Journal of Western Archives: Vol. 12:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol12/iss2/4