Archival Absence: The Burden of History / Ashley Glass-Falzetti

Beautifully argued and written, suggesting (and further analyzing) practices of marking absences in history, and it is quite productive for those in processing, cataloging, digitization, and system design to consider how they might mark absences. From the article: “At saakaciweeyankwi, the annual Myaamia language camp in Indiana, a non-Miami man showed up one evening to speak with elders. He hoped to learn more about the history of the land where his wilderness preserve is located. After some conversation, we figured out that he wanted some tidbits to put on signs around the property with Miami names for landmarks and maybe something about the Miami who lived there. After those of us who run the camp discussed our response, we told him that there is no doubt that Miami people lived on that land. Unfortunately, there are no Myaamia names for those landmarks because those Miami were either forced to migrate west of the Mississippi River or they were massacred. Either way, those particular place names were lost along with the names of the people who kept them. I sincerely suggested that he put that on a sign.” Falzetti analyzes the potential of similar such markers in archives and special collections, which has interesting implications for the design of digital collection systems.

Falzetti, Ashley Glassburn. 2015. “Archival Absence: The Burden of History.” Settler Colonial Studies 5 (2): 128–44. https://doi.org/10.1080/2201473X.2014.957258.

Indian Arts Research Center

The Indian Arts Research Center is a division of the School for Advanced Research, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution established in 1907 to advance innovative social science and Native American art. Since 2010, the Indian Arts Research Center has “pioneered a radically participatory approach to the stewardship of its Native American art collection” through initiatives such as its Native American Artists Fellowships and extensive, no-cost programming for the Native Community. The IARC also led the development of the excellent Community + Museum and Museum + Community guidelines, created through a three-year period of collaboration between Native and non-Native museum professionals, cultural leaders and artists.

Democratizing the Digital Collection: New Players and New Pedagogies in Three-Dimensional Cultural Heritage / Jane-Heloise Nancarrow

“Three-dimensional modeling and printing of museum artifacts have a growing role in public engagement and teaching—introducing new cultural heritage stakeholders and potentially allowing more democratic access to museum collections. This destabilizes traditional relationships between museums, collections, researchers, teachers and students, while offering dynamic new ways of experiencing objects of the past. Museum events and partnerships such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art “Hackathon”; the MicroPasts initiative; and Sketchfab for Museums and Cultural Heritage, encourage non-traditional methods of crowd-sourcing and software collaboration outside the heritage sector. The wider distribution properties of digitized museum artifacts also have repercussions for object-based and kinesthetic learning at all levels, as well as for experiential and culturally sensitive aspects of indigenous heritage. This article follows the existing workflow from model creation to classroom: considering the processes, problems, and applications of emerging digital visualization technologies from both a museum and pedagogical perspective.”

Nancarrow, Jane-Heloise. 2016. “Democratizing the Digital Collection: New Players and New Pedagogies in Three-Dimensional Cultural Heritage.” Museum Worlds; Oxford 4 (1): 63–77. https://doi.org/10.3167/armw.2016.040106.

‘Chuck a Copyright on it’: Dilemmas of Digital Return and the Possibilities for Traditional Knowledge Licenses and Labels / Jane Anderson and Kimberly Christen

An in-depth look at the history and considerations behind the development of the Traditional Knowledge labels, which pairs well with an investigation in to the TK Labels themselves. “This article focuses on the creation of an innovate network of licenses and labels delivered through an accessible, educational, and informative digital platform aimed specifically at the complex intellectual property needs of Indigenous peoples, communities, and collectives wishing to manage, maintain, and preserve their digital cultural heritage. The Traditional Knowledge (TK) Licenses and Labels answer a grassroots, global call by Indigenous communities, archivists, museum specialists, and activists for an alternative to traditional copyright for the varied needs of Indigenous communities and the cultural materials they steward. Local Contexts is a project and educational website dedicated to the production of new intellectual property frameworks for Indigenous materials that depart from colonial histories of collection and Western legal frameworks.”

Anderson, Jane, and Kimberly Christen. 2013. “‘Chuck a Copyright on It’: Dilemmas of Digital Return and the Possibilities for Traditional Knowledge Licenses and Labels.” Museum Anthropology Review 7 (1–2): 105–126. https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/mar/article/view/2169.

Local Contexts: The Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels

Providing a framework for sharing cultural materials that respects the wishes of the people to whom those materials belong, the TK Labels “are a tool for Indigenous communities to add existing local protocols for access and use to recorded cultural heritage that is digitally circulating outside community contexts.” They serve as framework for developing information system facets such as user accounts, access protocols, API features, and more.

“The TK Labels offer an educative and informational strategy to help non-community users of this cultural heritage understand its importance and significance to the communities from where it derives and continues to have meaning. TK Labeling is designed to identify and clarify which material has community-specific restrictions regarding access and use. This is especially with respect to sacred and/or ceremonial material, material that has gender restrictions, seasonal conditions of use and/or materials specifically designed for outreach purposes. The TK Labels also can be used to add information that might be considered ‘missing’, including the name of the community who remains the creator or cultural custodian of the material, and how to contact the relevant family, clan or community to arrange appropriate permissions.”

 

Anderson, Jane, and Kimberly Christen. n.d. “Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels.” Local Contexts. Accessed March 2, 2018. http://localcontexts.org/tk-labels/.