From the Desk of the Curator
Click here to read a message from Curator Melody Pope.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Collections: Marge Faber and Pat Harris
Thank you to all who gave their time this semester!