Fall 2018: From the Desk of the Curator

December 6, 2018

 

If I had to pick one word to describe the summer and fall at the GBL it would be FIRST.  Librarian Kelsey Grimm and Collections Manager, Jennifer St. Germain officially joined our staff in July, growing our professional staff for the first time by two!  We installed a new exhibit in our main gallery, a first for the present staff.  In partnership with IU Themester 2018, Animal-Spirit-Human, opened in October, followed by two related programming events in early November.  We are excited about the exhibit and the improvements it brought to the Mentoria Headdy Hall.

In early fall we learned that the Save America’s Treasures grant proposal we submitted over the winter was selected for funding.  Curating Angel Mounds Legacy Collection was one of only seven Museum Collection grants awarded by the NPS through an interagency agreement with the IMLS.  This is an important first for GBL, and Angel Mounds.  For the FIRST time since arriving on the IU campus in the late 1960s, the grant will allow the Angel Mounds legacy collection, (1939-1983), to be organized and housed in archival-quality containers.  Rehousing the collection is a first step in its eventual transfer to the new ALF 3 collections facility on the IUB campus.  The Curating Angel project will also organize the associated excavation records, create a complete digitized catalogue of the 1939-1983 images, reorganize the research collections, and no doubt spawn many new collections-based research projects.  We are excited to embark on this important FIRST!

In addition to these important firsts, we were also busy hosting researchers including some familiar to the GBL, former Curator of Collections, Dru McGill, and other Southeastern and Midwestern archaeologists David Dye, Paul Welch, Cheryl Munson, Ed Herrmann, and Cheryl Claassen. These researchers took an interest in the whole pot collection, state site files, Angel Mounds and other late pre-contact collections, and materials analysis laboratory. We also provided images from the 1974 Prairie Creek Field School to the Daviess County Museum, for a new exhibit and we are currently collaborating with the Indiana Historical Society on the You Are There 1939: Exploring Angel Mounds exhibit, planned for a spring 2019 opening. It is exciting to see all of this interest in GBL collections and facilities!

 

 

 

Melody Pope, Curator

Spring 2018 Newsletter

From the Desk of the Curator

Click here to read a message from Curator Melody Pope.


Collections News

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe received a grant from the Institute of Museum Library Services (IMLS) to digitize documents in the Great Lake Ohio Valley Ethnohistory Collection, a tribal history series related to their tribe.  As part of this grant, the GBL hosted two Shawnee archivists for a week-long workshop on archives preservation and access.

The GBL accessioned two new donations to its library collections, and four new donations to its archaeological collections.

Library Acquisitions

IU Lilly House Transfer Donation

GBL staff coordinated with the IU President’s Office and staff of the Eli and Ruth Allison Lilly House, the IU President’s Indianapolis residence, to transfer the Lilly Map to the James H. Kellar Library in February.  The Lilly Map is a “Map of Indiana” published by the National Map Company in the early 1900s. Mounted in a wooden frame, Eli Lilly, likely with help from Glenn Black, marked locations of different types of archaeological sites using color-coded pushpins. It is the first map to depict the locations of known archaeological sites in Indiana, now something accomplished with GIS with a click of a mouse. We are currently researching the map and planning to have it digitally scanned, photographed and eventually displayed at the GBL.  GBL Librarian Kelsey Grimm provides additional information on the map in an Artifact Spotlight feature on our webpage, check it out!

The Constance Strawn Donation

Constance Strawn, a former IU student, donated a collection of technological drawings and employee newsletters from the Goodman Manufacturing Company of Chicago, Illinois.  The newsletters date to the 1940s and are a fascinating source of social commentary by the company employees.  Also included in the donation are a set of blueprints from the Liquid Carbonic Corporation. Ms. Strawn acquired these items in the early 2000s.  See the GBL official blog The Dirt for a short post on the newsletters, “Electrical Mining” by GBL Librarian Kelsey Grimm!

Archaeology Acquisitions

The Garre Conner Donation

Garre Conner of Evansville, Indiana donated a handstone he found while hiking in the bed of Little Indian Creek in Monroe County.

The James L. Heflin Donation

James L. Heflin of Greenburg, Indiana donated archaeological collections from Phase I survey and Phase II testing at six Shelby County sites documented during archaeological survey for the Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC.  The survey, conducted between March of 2007 and May of 2008, documented both pre-contact and EuroAmerican sites on property owned by the Heflin family.

The Elizabeth A. York Donation

Elizabeth A. York of Ellettsville, Indiana donated a pre-Columbian ceramic bottle and whistle.  Acquired in the early 1900’s by family members then associated with Malena Corporation Pharmaceuticals, established by Chauncey F. York, Elizabeth York was pleased to donate these items to the GBL, where they are currently on display in our lobby.

The Marcia Staser Donation

The family of Marcia Staser donated two Peruvian ceramic vessels.  Marcia Staser acquired the vessels in 1968 in the Zappallel region, near Lima.

Research requests and inquiries prompted a number of dives into the archaeology and archives collections. Staff worked with Mike Strezewski, University of Southern Indiana, to select carbon samples for radiometric dating in support of Strezewski’s new research initiative focused on the Middle Woodland Mann phase in Indiana.  Discoidals from several early Clark County Mississippian period collections were located for a research publication that Cheryl Munson is working on.  A request from David Dye from the University of Memphis sent us into the Eli Lilly Papers in the archives with the hopes of finding provenance information for two Mississippian bowls in the Lilly Collection previously studied by southeastern archaeologist, Philip Phillips. This inquiry also led us to the Indiana Historical Society Papers housed at the GBL.  Although we have yet to trace the history of these two particular vessels, reading Glenn Black’s weekly correspondence to the Indiana Historical Society revealed a wealth of information on Indiana archaeology and its administration during the first half of the 20th century, a research topic our curatorial staff will be pursing in the near future.

This spring we provided a copy of the George Winter painting, The Council of Keewaunay, on display in the GBL lobby, to the Smithsonian for a traveling exhibit.  We also provided images of Glenn Black to the Indiana Historical Society for an article on Black in their member magazine, INPerspective.


Trips and conferences

In early January GBL, staff attended the Miami Winter Gathering in Miami, Oklahoma.  In April, several staff members attended the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, held in Washington, D.C.  Several IU graduate students involved with the Learning NAGPRA Project gave presentations and GBL Archaeology Fellow Amanda Burtt co-chaired the symposium Innovative Approaches to Human-Canine Interactions. The D.C. meeting also provided opportunities for the GBL curator and collections manager to participate in collections-oriented workshops, to tour many of the Smithsonian Museums and take in the spring weather and beautiful cherry blossoms. Another D.C. highlight was the chance to see the current installation of Cars at the Capital, a 1984 Plymouth Voyager, the first Chrysler minivan. Who knew that there is a National Historic Vehicle Register (NHVR)?!

A 1984 Plymouth Voyager, part of the ‘Cars at the Capital’ exhibit on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The front of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Exhibits

Out With the Old: “Women in Archaeology”

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Glenn A. Black Lab of Archaeology created an exhibit to pay tribute to the archaeological efforts of the women of our past.  The exhibit was split into two parts: the first, a physical wall of photos in the GBL lobby; the second, a larger, digital collection of photos, with longer captions detailing the subject matter.  The photos were made available as part of an ongoing digitization effort by our media team.

In With the New: “Hats in Archaeology”

Produced in conjunction with the Mathers Museum of World Cultures 2018 exhibit “Heads and Tales,” our exhibit “Hats of Archaeology” takes a look at the various head fashions used in Indiana archaeology throughout the last century. The hats may not have been chosen explicitly to make a statement, but by looking at these photographs from our collection, we can get a sense of how people thought about clothing throughout the last century.


Field Work

Field work and artifact analysis for the Bean Blossom Creek survey are wrapping up. Over 50 new sites spanning the Archaic Period through recent history were recorded, documenting northern Monroe County’s occupation from 8000 BCE through the 1960s.

The GBL is also gearing up for a summer field school and excavations at Wylie House museum to celebrate IU’s Bicentennial. In order to remotely locate subterranean greenhouses built in the 1860s for Rebecca Wylie, the GBL has partnered with Todd Thompson, Director of the Indiana Geological and Water Survey, to perform a ground-penetrating radar survey in front lawn of the Wylie House. Interpretations are still pending data processing, but preliminary results indicate a ground disturbance in the location of the greenhouses.


Past events

We had a great time at the Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar and the 7th Annual Powwow.  Thanks for coming out to see us!

We also had fun celebrating IU Day.  We’re so grateful to be part of this amazing community of museums and institutions.

Follow us on social media for photos!  And don’t forget to check out our new series on Instagram — each Friday we share a different artifact!

Twitter Instagram Facebook


Best of Blogs

Here are some great pieces written by staff and students this semester:

“A Point in Time” by Isabel Osmundsen

“The Importance of Archaeology from the Not So Distant Past” by Aaron Estes


Volunteer and Intern Appreciation

The GBL was pleased to host two museum practicum students this spring.  Wells Scholar Victoria Kvitek worked as a collections care assistant and was able to gain valuable hands-on experience preparing new donations for storage and assisting with the relocation of the over-sized collection.

Anthropology graduate student Molly Mesner rehoused the lithic artifacts from the 1967 expedition to the Mann site led by GBL’s first director, Jim Kellar.

Darlene McDermott volunteered her time this semester to continue her practicum project from the fall, completing catalog information for the whole vessel collection.

Anthropology graduate student Catherine Smith and business and history major Colin Gliniecki worked on Angel Mounds documentation for repatriation.

Selena McCracken, information and library science graduate student, is digitizing the Shawnee tribal history documents, and Logan Carte, Cox Scholar Intern, assisted with cataloging the Jonathan Reyman collection of southwest archaeology books.

Hannah Rea, journalism and history major, volunteered her time to coordinate our social media blogs and posts, and to publish our newsletter.

Thank you to all who gave their time this semester!

Summer/Fall 2017 Newsletter

From the Desk of the Curator

Click here to read a message from Curator Melody Pope.


Summer Conferences

Learning NAGPRA, Santa Fe

In August, the Learning NAGPRA project held its third and final collegium meeting on the campus of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The group was assembled from across North America, from Washington State to Washington, D.C. Three days of meetings solidified curriculum materials to be used in college courses, case studies and web-based training, which will become available for use in spring 2018. We toured the art storage, curation, and museum studies teaching facilities at IAIA. We rounded out the trip with a visit to Saint Dominic Feast Day at Kewa Pueblo, where hundreds of dancers celebrated and many homes opened their doors to feed visitors delicious meals. Many thanks go out to our hosts for the meeting, Jessie Ryker-Crawford and Felipe Colón, faculty of the Museum Studies Program at IAIA.

-April Sievert

ALA Conference, Chicago

The American Library Association (ALA) conference was held in Chicago, Illinois, June 22-27 at McCormick’s Place. This is my second time attending the ALA conference and it still feels HUGE. I’m so incredibly grateful that I get to attend and hear the amazing things that are happening in libraries and archives all over the country (and, really, the world). The city is wonderful and I enjoyed my time just tooling around different bookshops and museums before the conference began. At McCormick’s Place, I attended sessions on instructing as a librarian; inclusion across libraries, archives, and museums; outreach practices; and giving voice to diverse collections through digitization. We have big dreams for the Kellar Library and assisting those who could use our incredible document collections. Look out for new developments in our library, coming soon!

-Kelsey Grimm


Fall Conferences

GBL staff had a busy fall conference season.

Curator Melody Pope, along with Director April Sievert, Collections Manger Jennifer St. Germain, Librarian Kelsey Grimm, and Registrar Terry Harley-Wilson, presented, “Confronting Collections at the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology for the 21st Century” in a symposium titled “Archaeological Collections Management in the Midwest During the Curation Crisis,” at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Inc., in Indianapolis.  Pope and Graduate student Molly Mesner also presented a paper at the Midwest Archaeological Conference, “Polishing Our Understanding: Microwear Analysis at the Mann Site.”

A few weeks later we were off to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the 74th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference where Pope and Sievert co-organized with former-GBL Curator Dru McGill a curation symposium titled “Innovative and Best Practice Approaches to Legacy Collections-Based Research in the Southeast.” Both Pope and Sievert also contributed papers in the symposium.  Pope presented “From Research to Exhibit Development and Beyond:  Unleashing the Impact of Legacy Collections at the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology,” and Sievert presented “Repatriation, Records, and the Legacies of Collecting.”

“The acknowledgements of women working in archaeology has notably flourished in recent memory, but who were the pioneering American women of our profession?” (from the Abstract of “Women at Work: Acknowledging Women’s Legacy in Archaeology”)Click here to read more about the poster symposium our Librarian, Kelsey, and Leslie Drane organized at this year’s Midwestern Archaeological Conference.


Collections News

We’re almost done cataloging our general collection of books! This process started last year and was greatly aided by two Jesse H. and Beulah Chanley Cox Scholar awardees who spent eight hours each per week working on copy-cataloging our books. We are organizing our collection according to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) system which groups similar subjects together. Our catalog of books has been made available online, too! This means anyone can search our collection of books by title, author, subject, publishing year from the comfort of their home. Just visit our LibraryThing catalog to see for yourself!

The Glenn A. Black Lab accepted several donated collections over the summer and fall:

The Charles Theodore Jacobs Collections

The family of Charles Theodore Jacobs donated field notes and photographs from the personal papers of Charles Jacobs, who was a member of the 1949 Angel Mounds field school.  This donation was very timely and will be a great contribution to the Angel Mounds Field School Archive.  Click here to read more about Charles Jacobs’ archaeology adventures.

The Timmy Kendall Collection

Timmy Kendall donated his collection of 28 projectile points that he had collected during his tenure at Purdue University where we conducted agricultural field research between 1975 and 1977.  During his field inspections we collected projectile points from the surface of sites in Tippecanoe County.  Mr. Kendall’s points will be integrated into our projectile point comparative collection.

The Kent Vickery Collection

Kent Vickery (1942-2011) earned his doctorate in Anthropology at Indiana University in 1976.  His dissertation is titled “An Approach to Inferring Archaeological Variability.”  He retired as Professor of Anthropology from the University of Cincinnati.  Collections and field records from some of his early field work in Indiana conducted at Mounds State Park, Yankeetown, Angel Mounds, and the Mann site were transferred from the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology to the GBL in late November. Thanks to DHPA staff Rachel Sharkey, Megan Copenhaver, and DNR Forestry Archaeologist A.J. Ariens for facilitating the transfer.

Federal Collections

The GBL curates federal collections for the USDA Hoosier National Forest and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC).  Over the summer and fall we received three survey collections from Hoosier National Forest and two survey collections from NSWC.


Exhibits

Out With the Old: “Shawnee Pottery”

In an ongoing effort to reclaim the beauty of traditional Shawnee pottery, a collaboration was launched between archaeologists, scholars, and tribal members to rediscover the ancient ceramic technologies that were disrupted by European colonization.  This resulting pottery was on display at the Glenn Black Lab as part of the 2016 Themester.

In With the New: “Mapping Indiana Territory”

In keeping with the Themester 2017 theme of “Diversity, Difference, Otherness,” Glenn Black Lab staff, Native historians, and scholars collaborated to create an exhibit that demonstrated Indiana’s representation in maps.  It juxtaposes images of examples of EuroAmerican-made maps and images of indigenous representations of the Indiana and Ohio Valley landscapes, in order to point out how problematic it is to favor western world views and ways of knowing over others.


Field Work

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the GBL, and the bicentennial anniversaries of the State of Indiana, Monroe County, and Indiana University, we feel that there has been no better time to emphasize local archaeological research and resources.

To explore the deeper history of Bloomington and wider Monroe County, the GBL initiated a survey project during the summer of 2017 to identify and document new archaeological sites in the region. The GBL received a grant award from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. This grant enabled GBL Associate Research Scientist Elizabeth Watts Malouchos and a crew of intrepid students to investigate eight previously unsurveyed nature preserves in the Bean Blossom Creek drainage basin in the northern half of Monroe County. Although the Bean Blossom Creek survey is still ongoing, thus far the crew has surveyed a great deal of acreage, dug over 1600 shovel test pits, and identified just over 50 new archaeological sites ranging in origin from the Archaic to Historic Periods. In the process, students have gained experience and learned new skills in survey methodology, archaeological excavations, artifact identification and processing, avoiding yellow jackets, and charming neighbor dogs. It has certainly been a successful and enjoyable summer and fall of fieldwork!


Volunteer and Student Appreciation

Students

           Bicentennial Intern: Maclaren Guthrie

           Collections: Colin Gliniecki, Oliver Hourihan, Darlene McDermott, Jennifer Musgrave, and Catherine Smith

           Library: Logan Carte and Lydia Lutz

           Programming: Hannah Rea

 Volunteers

           Collections: Marge Faber and Pat Harris

Thank you to all who gave their time this semester!

In Memoriam: Charles Theodore Jacobs

The following is part of a donation by the family of Charles Theodore Jacobs.

Charles Theodore Jacobs

(September 12, 1925 – May 27, 2017)

Charles T. Jacobs was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At the age of 18, Charles enlisted in the U.S. Navy and proudly served our country on board the U.S.S. SIMS (APD-50). Upon his return from WW2 in 1946, Charles began taking classes at Beloit College under the GI Bill. Charles took some pre-med courses, but quickly became more interested in archaeology, anthropology, and geology. In the summer of 1948 Charles took part in an archaeological excavation at Diamond Bluff, Wisconsin, which was described in the newspaper article found below.

Diamond Bluff – 1948
Charles and fellow digger working at Diamond Bluff

In 1949, Charles headed south to Indiana and took part in a summer field school at Angel Mounds under the direction of Glenn A. Black.

1949 Field School at Angel Mounds
Charles (right) at Angel Mounds – 1949

In June of 1950, Charles graduated from Beloit College with a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in anthropology and archeology. Shortly after graduation, Charles headed to Hazen, North Dakota, for a summer excavating trip with the River Basin Survey (RBS), a unit of the Smithsonian Institute. The RBS archaeologists had a prioritized list of sites to excavate and study before the sites were destroyed by the reservoir waters of various flood control, irrigation, and hydroelectric power projects.

News Article on 1950 dig near Hazen, North Dakota
Mandan Indian Lodges in North Dakota

After his work on the RBS, Charles returned to Kenosha, Wisconsin. He got married, took a job in the insurance industry and moved to suburban Chicago to raise a family.
Charles never forgot the enjoyment and thrills he had working with fellow archaeologists as they uncovered artifacts that helped to understand, document, and preserve the history of Native American cultures. Charles loved to take his children and grandchildren to museums where he could show them exhibits about ancient civilizations. Whether walking in the woods or strolling on a vacation property, Charles would often stoop down to examine an object to see if perhaps it was an artifact from the past. He had the pleasure of speaking about the life of an archaeologist to his granddaughters 5th grade class.
In 1990, Charles attended an archaeologist’s reunion where he met several of his life-long friends from his digging days. Many photos and stories were shared about their archaeology adventures.

From the Desk of the Curator – Summer/Fall 2017

December 2017

Melody Pope, Curator

This summer and fall have been about confronting the collections, particularly the GBL legacy Angel Mounds and Lilly collections.   Collections Assistant and bioanthropology graduate student Catherine Smith dove into the field records associated with the Angel Mounds Collection and began systematically compiling information on mortuary and archaeological contexts needed to complete NAGPRA inventories.  Collections Assistant Alex Elliott has assisted in time studies completed on selected Angel Mounds artifact and faunal collections, which resulted in our discovery that we have some mold issues to confront in our legacy collections. Collections Manager Jennifer St. Germain designed new data entry templates for both osteology and archaeology for NAGPRA documentation.

This year’s Indiana Archaeology Month poster and t-shirt theme, Eli Lilly’s Legacy, had us confronting the Lilly Collection for suitable images for both items, as requested by the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.

The 2017 Archaeology Month Poster and T-shirt featuring two birdstones from the Lilly Collection.

This semester we were happy to host two museum practicum student projects, both of which are also focused on the Lilly Collection.  Jennifer Musgrave began compiling biographies of the Lilly Collection accessions as part of a museum practicum project.  The Lilly Collection consists of over 35,000 items and 76 accessions.  This project is opening doors for exploring the role of private collectors and collecting in the first half of the 20th century and is engaging us in new ways with the Lilly Collection, its various “collectors” and the changing and sometimes contentious relationships between academics, collectors, and collectors-turned underwriters of archaeology. This project is not only spawning new research and exhibit themes, but it will also be incorporated into a planned Collections Catalogue publication.  For the second project, Darlene McDermott began the task of documenting the GBL whole pot collection.  For this project we are developing descriptive metadata fields and protocols for photographing each vessel, starting with accession 18, which is part of the Lilly Collection.

President Michael A. McRobbie hosted an IU Collections Summit in early September, which provided lots of good feedback and an opportunity to meet other IU curatorial staff.  We are gearing up for lots of collections care work in the coming months leading up to the opening of the new planned IU collections facility, ALF3, short for Auxiliary Library Facility 3 (yes, there is an ALF 1 and 2).

In keeping with the Lilly legacy theme, we had the opportunity to visit the Lilly House in Indianapolis, which also serves as the Indianapolis residence of IU President McRobbie and his wife Laurie.  We were invited to the house by Laurie to view a large wooden map created by Eli Lilly to mark the locations of archaeological sites he and Glenn Black had compiled throughout the state.  We are hoping soon to transfer the map to the GBL for public display. Not only is the map a legacy to the work of Eli Lilly and Glenn Black, but it will hopefully spawn new work and additions to the Indiana state site file.

A portion of the Eli Lilly map showing the locations of archaeological sites.

With the help of volunteers Marge Faber and Pat Harris, the first phase of work to reorganize the education collection was completed. We are looking forward to having the collection updated in our database to facilitate the next phase of work, which will identify theme-based teaching modules.

And last but not least, work was completed for a NEH grant for rehousing the historic photographic collections over the summer, which included the purchase of a new freezer for housing negatives and prints.  Collections Assistant Bailey Foust has digitized over 5,000 black-and-white negatives and 6,000 color slides, many of which are available on Indiana University’s Image Collections Online.

Melody Pope, Curator of Collections