Spring 2020 Newsletter

From the desk of the IUMAA Director

Click here to read a message from the Executive Director of the Indiana University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Ed Herrman.

From the desk of the GBL Director

Click here to read a message from the GBL Director, April Sievert.

From the desk of the GBL Curator

Click here to read a message from GBL Curator, Melody Pope.

This Semester at the GBL!

Getting Our Move On

Jennifer St. Germain, Collections Manager

When the Glenn Black Lab first opened its doors in 1971, it became the new home for two important collections. These consisted of the 2 million artifacts excavated from Angel Mounds under the direction of Glenn Black and a collection of over 400,000 artifacts transferred from the Indiana Historical Society. The GBL’s collections have grown significantly in the five decades since then and now total over 5 million artifacts and specimens. The collections also include associated records, reports, photographs, maps, films, field notebooks, library resources, archives, and other forms of documentation that chronicle the history of research and curation activities at the GBL.

There are also a large number of people for whom these collections hold meaning and value, including students, staff, researchers, tribal partners, volunteers, school groups and other patrons. Moving the collections safely from the building is a responsibility we undertake on behalf of them all.


Our enormous task officially began in October of 2019 when plans for major renovations to the building were announced to coincide with the merger of the GBL with the Mathers Museum. Planning the move included creating spreadsheets, timelines, and long lists of needed supplies. The entire staff chipped in to quantify the volumes of collections and materials in every space, identify appropriate boxes and packing materials, hire and train new assistants, and help get this move off the ground.

Large mobile carts were purchased and assembled to help transport more than 6000 artifact boxes to an offsite storage facility. Prior to moving, every box has to be evaluated, weighed, and barcoded for tracking in our collections management system. Heavier boxes over 35 lbs are split into multiple boxes to meet new shelf weight restrictions, and most boxes are padded out with ethafoam or other protective materials to better cushion artifacts for transportation (Fig. 1). The completed boxes are then loaded onto mobile carts, transported to our interim storage location, and re-shelved onto barcoded shelving units, often with the assistance of a mobile hydraulic lift. Between November of 2019 and when facilities closed for Covid-19 in March of 2020, the staff and students had moved nearly 3,800 boxes, totaling over 35 tons of artifacts! A special note of thanks goes to our collections assistants, Amanda Pavot, Noah Sandweiss, and Cally Steussy, who shouldered (literally!) much of this box moving work.

Prior to our closure due to COVID, we also started photographing and measuring our extensive collection of ceramic vessels before they get packed (Fig 2). These images and dimensions will help IUMAA staff plan for exhibits, research, and new storage and display solutions over the next few years.
Although the work of packing and moving collections has been suspended, we’ve continued to work remotely on renovation blueprints, new storage layouts, database updates, and other plans for the merger and future reopening as IUMAA. Moving the GBL collections may be challenging, but the renovation work and greatly improved storage conditions and workspaces will be well-worth the effort.

Collections Updates

Amanda Burtt

As assistant curator, I have worked closely with Dr. Melody Pope during the spring 2020 semester to help supervise both the Saving America’s Treasures – Angel Mounds Rehousing Project and with packing the type collection for the approaching move. Both projects rely heavily on student hourly workers and I have had the privilege of working with an amazing group of IU grads and undergrads. We accomplished a lot before we had to shut down for the Covid 19 pandemic. When the spring semester began, the SAT team passed the awesome milestone of finishing rehousing all faunal remains from the Angel Mounds site! We began working with the faunal material in the summer of 2019 and have had help from many dedicated students. While rehousing the fauna, we also began a type collection for Angel fauna, which essentially is a collection of extraordinary animal
bones (bears, cougars, raptor, etc.), interesting pathologies, or especially complete specimens. Additionally, the SAT crew identified 29 individual specimens of domestic dogs that will be investigated as part of my dissertation research. I am teaming up with Dr. David Polly and the IU Grand Challenges initiative to have isotopic analysis done on the dog remains to better understand the diets of dogs at Angel Mounds.

Since finishing the faunal rehousing, the SAT crew moved on to ceramics. We were all well trained and running smoothly with ceramic rehousing when we closed for the pandemic. Before closing, Dr. Pope and I established protocols for packing the type collection and had several students trained. We made good progress in a short time, likely due to the exceptional students who
were assisting the project.

While working remotely, my efforts have concentrated on organizing documents for future SAT work that will help streamline the project once it resumes. I have also been investigating application software for use in the new IU MAA. This new technology is evolving and there are a lot of exciting options to be considered.

Besides working on all the important GBL projects, I continue to work on my dissertation. In April, a volume that I both coedited and contributed a chapter, Dogs: Archaeology Beyond Domestication was published with the University Press of Florida. Very exciting! Currently, I am preparing a manuscript on wolf dietary behavior to be submitted this month, also very exciting!

Library

Kelsey Grimm, Librarian

In preparation for the renovations of our building and merger into IUMAA (prior to quarantine), the library collections were busy being packed into boxes! As of March 20th, 563 boxes of materials were packed and housed on shelves ready to be moved. As soon as we can get physically get back to work packing will resume, and then most of the library collections will be moved alongside the archaeological collections at the Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF).

Image down library aisle full of brown boxes.
Library collections in boxes (March 2020, photo courtesy Kelsey Grimm

No worries, though! Researchers will still have access to the materials while moved out… we’ll just need a few days lead to time to pull and transport them for you!

Congratulations! Dr. Watts Malouchos!

GBL Research Scientist, Liz Watts Malouchos, successfully defended her dissertation on May 5th. Her dissertation, Assembling Mississippian Communities: Integration and Identities in the Angel Hinterlands, explores relationships between the Angel Mounds center and outlying sites in the southwestern Indiana region. She conducted a non-invasive magnetic survey of the Stephan-Steinkamp site in Posey County, Indiana and detected at least 83 houses at the site. She also undertook targeted excavations of houses and domestic features. She found that one quarter of all the known houses in the countryside were precisely oriented in the same direction as Mound A and Mound F, the oldest mounds at Angel, and were aligned to the movements of the moon. She also noted a unique region-wide practice in which Mississippian Angel peoples collected millennia old stone tools from local Middle Woodland period sites for recycling and reuse. She argues that the lunar alignment of regional houses and mounds and reuse of ancient stone tools were integral practices for creating and maintaining Angel group identities and relationships across the region.

Image of woman holding piece of pottery as if explaining it.
Dr. Elizabeth Watts Malouchos

Volunteers, Student Workers, and Part Timers!

Thanks to all of those who worked with us this semester:

Archaeological:

  • Mackenzie Cory
  • Ariel Creal
  • Carley Divish
  • James Edens
  • Preet Gill
  • Mara Gordon
  • Maclaren Guthrie
  • Conner Hayes
  • Anne Hittson
  • Grace Nelson
  • Amanda Pavot
  • Karrigan Perkins
  • Ryan Peterson
  • Jorge Rios Allier
  • Haley Rogers
  • Brenna Roller
  • Noah Sandweiss
  • Emily Schopmeyer
  • Lauren Schumacher
  • Sheree Sievert
  • Matthew Staats
  • Cameron Strause
  • Cally Steussy
  • Evan Weis

Library:

  • Patrick Sovereign

Social Media and Outreach

  • Josie Myers

Be on the lookout for our new social media profiles!

Fall 2019 Newsletter

From the Desk of the IUMAA Director

Click here to read a message from the Executive Director of the Indiana University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Ed Herrman.

From the Desk of the Director

Click here to read a message from the GBL Director, April Sievert.

From the Desk of the Curator

Click here to read a message from GBL Curator, Melody Pope.

Group of people around artifacts on table in type collection room.
Plains Anthropological Conference tours at GBL (October 2019)

This Semester at the GBL!

Plains Anthropological Conference

The 77th Plains Anthropological Conference was held in Bloomington, Indiana on October 16-19, 2019. The Conference was organized by Dr. Laura L. Scheiber and Amanda Burtt of the Indiana University Anthropology Department. This was the first year the conference was held in Bloomington!

The Plains Anthropological Society promotes the study of North American
Great Plains cultures, and encourages the exchange of ideas and information at its annual Plains Anthropological Conference. The society encouraged papers, posters, and organized sessions on topics related to Anthropology and Ethnohistory on the Great Plains and adjacent regions.

Amanda stands next to her poster "Ripe for Research"
Amanda Burtt at the Plains Anthropological Conference poster session (October 2019)

Poster Session

Amanda Burtt organized a poster session with members of the Saving America’s Treasures Angel Mounds Rehousing Project for the Plains Anthropological Conference. The poster session was titled: Rediscovering Angel Mounds.

Abstract:

Research presented in this poster session highlight the ongoing efforts of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology in rehousing collections from Angel Mounds. Excavations at the Angel Mounds site (12Vg1) conducted during the WPA era recovered more than two million artifacts. With a Federal Save America’s Treasures grant, these collections are being removed from their original paper bags and boxes and upgraded with archival grade bags, tags, and boxes. A team of graduate and undergraduate students have been instrumental in this process, learning about curation practices while rediscovering the material remains of Angel Mounds residents. Posters represent various aspects of curating this legacy collection and the interests of those that have been on the front lines of this exciting project including research on curation practices and community involvement in archaeology, as well as archaeological investigation into food-ways, tool use, and fauna remains from Angel Mounds.

Molly stands next to her poster "Keeping UP with the Collections: issues with documentation of artifacts from Angel Mounds"
Molly Mesner Bleyhl at the PAC poster session (October 2019)

New Collections to the Library & Archives

This summer and fall, the archives have received several marvelous donations! Cheryl Munson brought boxes of records related to her work on GE Mounds; Kevin Crouch donated a few boxes of books and reports to be added to our collections; and Jonathan Reyman, former curator of the Illinois State Museum and member of the GBL Advisory Board, donated the papers of the Feather Distribution Project.

Image from back of lecture hall towards Jonathan Reyman pointing at screen.
Dr. Jonathan Reyman’s lecture on the Feather Distribution Project (September 2019)

The Feather Distribution Project, organized and coordinated by Dr. Reyman, collected over 14 million naturally molted feathers over a 34 year period from around the country to donate for use in the Pueblo nations. This archive of documents will be organized and a finding aid created in the near future!

In the digital-realm, Patrick Sovereign has been digitizing the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology Reports of Investigations abstracts and submitting them to Indiana University’s ScholarWorks database. To date he’s uploaded 117 of the more recent report abstracts.

Exhibits

Trowel & Brush Society

In August, a lobby exhibit called Trowel & Brush opened to highlight images and archival materials of past field schools run by Glenn Black. The name comes from The Trowel and Brush Society, which began in 1948 when Glenn Black thought to start an organization made up of those students who had worked at Angel Mounds under his tutelage. This exhibit showcases many images from past field schools at Angel Mounds and remembers the students who were part of this institution’s story.

Animal-Spirit-Human

We said goodbye to our latest Headdy Gallery exhibit this semester. Items were rehoused in November in preparation for the upcoming spring collections move.

You Are There 1939: Exploring Angel Mounds

You can still visit the Indiana Historical Society exhibit and interaction about Angel Mounds at the History Center in Indianapolis! Guests are transported back to the Depression era as workers with the Works Projects Administration study Angel Mounds, the once-thriving Mississipian town located in southern Indiana. Learn how archaeologists and workers survey the land, excavated artifacts, and process their findings.

Campus Archaeology Symposium

Organized by Elizabeth Watts Malouchos

On September 6th, 2019, archaeologists from IU campuses across the state and the wider Midwest convened at the Wylie House Museum (WHM) for IU’s first Campus Archaeology Symposium. The Campus Archaeology Symposium was inspired by the recent collaboration between the GBL and WHM to explore early campus landscapes and document and preserve campus cultural heritage at the 1835 home of IU’s first president Andrew Wylie. Funded through IU’s Office of the Bicentennial, the Campus Archaeology Symposium was organized to explore the buried archaeological record of the historic campus and to discuss how to balance university growth with preservation of campus cultural resources.

The symposium has held in the WHM’s Morton C. Bradley Jr. Educational Center, a restored 19th century barn, the perfect setting steeped in local history and charm to host our speakers and guests. The symposium started out with a delicious bagel breakfast spread and a welcome from GBL Research Scientist Liz Watts Malouchos. Next, the WHM Director Carey Champion and WHM Outdoor Interpreter Sherry Wise introduced the history of the Wylie House and a missed opportunity for archaeology (the foundation of the original Wylie carriage house was disturbed during a construction project) that inspired the partnership between WHM and the GBL. Then, GBL Director, April Sievert introduced our recent collaborative research project that culminated in a 2018 field school investigating two subterranean greenhouses at Wylie House that were used to overwinter flowers starting in the 1860’s. IUB Anthropology graduate student Molly Mesner Bleyhl presented next and spoke about the unique experiences of learning to do archaeology in a local and familiar landscape. Liz Watts Malouchos followed and provided a summary of the many recent campus archaeology projects at Wylie House and other locations on campus like the Griffy Research and Teaching Preserve and Campus Farm and Hinkle-Garton Farmstead. IU Historian James Capshew presented on the history of place-making at IU and how early students participated in sculpting the IUB natural and cultural landscapes that we know today. To round out the morning, John Summerlot Coordinator for Military and Veteran Services and IU history buff and Spencer Bowman IU undergraduate student and Bicentennial intern discussed their research on IU’s illusive centennial timecapsule buried at the original Seminary Square Campus. Undergraduate students and GBL/WHM interns Lauren Schumacher and Maclaren Guthrie also presented posters on their original research on campus archaeology and material culture at Wylie House.

After a delightful lunch was enjoyed on the lawn next to the WHM garden, the symposium moved to archaeological projects and programs farther afield from our Bloomington campus. Jay VanderVeen from IU South Bend presented on his recent campus excavations and research linking participation in archaeological field schools to increased civic engagement. Paul Mullins from IUPUI followed and shared his research on the displacement of black communities to make way for the downtown Indianapolis campus. Then, Mark Schurr from Notre Dame University described how he combines traditional collegiate field schools with high school field schools to explore UND’s Old College. GBL Curator Melody Pope spoke about campus archaeology projects during her tenure at the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist on the University of Iowa’s campus. Finally, we had the great pleasure of hosting two keynote speakers: Lynne Goldstein, founder of the Michigan State University (MSU) Campus Archaeology Program (CAP) and Stacey Camp, CAP’s current director. MSU’s Campus Archaeology Program is the premier campus cultural resource program and serves as a model for sustainable, successful campus archaeology that we at IUB strive to replicate. Dr. Camp spoke about current CAP initiatives and the benefits of student learning and professionalization through exploring campus archaeology and history. Dr. Goldstein relayed the journey of her work in educating MSU’s administration in the importance of campus cultural heritage and leveraging the foundation of CAP. We here at the GBL were inspired by the interesting research and results of recent IU campus archaeology projects and how our colleagues across the state and at other academic institutions have built and sustained successful campus archaeology programs, preserving university past into the future.

Outreach

D&D and Archaeology

Kelsey Grimm, GBL librarian, hosted a successful event at the Monroe County Public Library in September discussing the connections between Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and archaeology. Archaeogaming is an emerging field of study dedicated to the archaeology both of and within games. Open world games, like Dungeons & Dragons, have culture, civilizations, and a history. Players that have an understanding of basic archaeology concepts can find their gaming experience enriched.

First Thursday

Collaborating with the Wylie House Museum, the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology showed off some of the artifacts found during 2018 summer excavations at the Wylie House!

Volunteer and Student Appreciation!

Thank you to all who gave their time this semester!

Collections: Jorge Luis Rios Allier, Ariel Creal, Preet Gill, Maclaren A. Guthrie, Anne Hittson, Victoria Kvitek, Amanda Pavot, Ryan PEterson, Brenna Roller, Noah Sandweiss, Lauren Schumacher, Matthew Staats, Cally Steussy, Cameron Ricci Strause

Library: Patrick Sovereign

Programming: Josie Myers

Follow us on social media:

Shawnee GLOVE digitized!

Update and troubleshooting help

Big news here in the library and archives! All 30 boxes of Shawnee Tribal History Documents from the Great Lakes-Ohio Valley Ethnohistory (GLOVE) collection have been digitized and are freely available online!

Screenshot of the Archives Online at Indiana University webpage, showing the Shawnee subseries inventory with links to the digitized images.
The GLOVE finding aid on Archives Online – Shawnee subseries (June 2019)

Thanks to the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma for including us on their Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) grant. We were able to partner together to improve accessibility to the archival resources found in our collections by digitization. With their help we hired a part-time worker, Selena McCracken, to digitize more than 12,000 pages of copied historical documents directly relating to the Shawnee experience in the Midwest from the 16th to 19th centuries.

GLOVE History

If you’re unfamiliar with the Great Lakes-Ohio Valley Ethnohistory project, let me give you a quick rundown. The US Justice Department hired a team of researchers at Indiana University, headed by Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin, to research land use and occupancy of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions (think the Midwest) for the Indian Claims Commission cases. Her small team spent over a decade in the 1950s and 1960s visiting any and all archives, libraries, and museums to find written information. They copied only those relevant documents (be they diary entries, letters, published books, etc.) and brought them back to IU, where they were organized by tribal group and then chronologically within each tribal group. These photocopies were used as references when compiling final ethnohistory reports submitted to the Justice Department as legal evidence. Normally, researchers wouldn’t keep their research notes after the final report has been written – but we’re SO THANKFUL these were kept.

Yes, we essentially have a collection of incomplete facsimiles, but what’s important is that they’re TOGETHER in ONE SPACE as a SINGLE COLLECTION. That’s what a collection is: objects particularly selected and brought together. Imagine being a researcher and trying to recreate this collection. Perhaps it would be easier with the Internet, but you’d still spend a lot of time searching… Secondly, our patrons want access. It’s really difficult to take a whole week to visit our facility and go through boxes and boxes of documents. It’s a privilege that not everyone has. My job as librarian and archivist is to make the materials accessible to those people. Digitization is our answer.

Accessing the Documents

Now an explanation on how you can access the collection! (With pictures!)

The finding aid, or written inventory, is available on Archives Online at Indiana University, in the Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Archives.

Screenshot of the Archives Online webpage header
Archives Online header (June 2019)

The collection is divided into multiple series (microfilm, maps, reports, etc.) but the Shawnee documents are found within the Tribal History Document Series.

You can click on “Shawnee” in the menu on the left to pull up the subseries.

Screenshot of the menu on the left side of the GLOVE finding aid webpage
The menu along the left side, highlighting the Shawnee option.

Alternatively, you can use the search box in the left side menu to search the citations found on the finding aid. Unfortunately, you cannot use the search box to search within the digitized documents.

When you arrive on the Shawnee page, you’ll see links to the three federally recognized tribes at the top. We’ve been able to achieve more with the support and guidance of these partners. I hope that it also contextualizes these documents by showing researchers that the Shawnee people are still around and very active.

Screenshot of the top of the Shawnee content page.
(June 2019)

Beneath is the actual inventory of Shawnee boxes. Feel free to use CTRL+F to search the text on the webpage. I find it’s the quickest way to locate particular boxes or years.

Screenshot of the beginning of the Shawnee box inventory. It begins with Box 8001, Folder 01, Item 001.
(June 2019)

Every item has a bibliographic citation and 1 or 2 links.

  • “View item(s)” is the digitized document from our collections.
  • “Full text…” is where our coder was able to find the original document fully digitized online. You can find the pages that precede or follow our document!
Screenshot after clicking "View item(s)" when a smaller window appears showcasing the digitized document.
The digitized document shows up when you click a “View item(s)” link (June 2019)

Troubleshooting…

If you find that our digitized image doesn’t pop up, check your browser’s security settings. Several researchers have found that they must turn off pop-up blockers and other security features before the item shows up.

In Firefox:

  • Click the lock symbol next in the left side of the URL box
  • Click “connection”
  • Click “disable protection for now”
Screenshot of the Firefox browser's URL box. the lock symbol has been clicked deploying a window declaring the "connection is not secure."
Firefox troubleshooting: click the lock to the left in the URL box

In Google Chrome:

  • Click the shield symbol found at the right side of the URL box
  • Click “load unsafe script”
Screenshot of the google Chrome browser's URL box. the shield symbol has been clicked deploying a window declaring "insecure content blocked."
Chrome troubleshooting: click the shield to the right in the URL box

Next steps

Making 12,414 pages of documents relating to the Shawnee experience is only the first step.

Our goal is to get the entirety of the Tribal History Document Series digitized. It will take time, but we’re chipping away at it.

Next we need to make the documents we’ve digitized text-searchable. As I mentioned above, you can’t search within the digitized documents, but that’s a useful feature and would be ideal for researchers. It would allow for even greater accessibility because screen reading software cannot “read” these pages yet.

There are a few drawbacks to using the Archives Online platform, namely that it wasn’t created for a collection of this size. You’ll quickly notice that to get to box 8028, you’ll have to scroll for a very long time. We have to list every item in order to link to the digitized files, which makes for a looooong list. It’s not ideal, but it’s what we’re working with right now. (The IU Digital Library staff have been wonderful helping set us up!) In the future, I think the GLOVE could have it’s own website. That would give us more flexibility to link between tribes, add subject terms, sort by categories, or add other forms of tagging.

Please let us know if you have any comments or questions about the Great Lakes-Ohio Valley Ethnohistory Collection. As the librarian/archivist in charge of these collections, I’m here to help you. So let me know!


More about IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

(The views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this blog post do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.)

#AngelArchaeo80

A social media event about 1939 Angel Mounds

by Kelsey Grimm

This summer, from May to August 2019, the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology will be hosting a social media event on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! We’re calling it #AngelArchaeo80 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of WPA excavations at Angel Mounds.

The Indiana Historical Society recently opened an exhibit, You Are There 1939: Exploring Angel Mounds, in which they used many of our collections. The IHS exhibit team used our archives to research 1939 Angel Mounds, our images and artifacts to bring the exhibit to life, and our staff to help interpret the exhibit and train their actors! It was a really exciting project for me, in particular, because the archives are LITERALLY being brought to life. If you didn’t know, the You Are There series at the Indiana Historical Society takes an image, a moment in time, and brings it to life with actors and props. Visitors to the exhibit can ask the characters questions about their life in that time period.

Anywho… I had the pleasure of teaching the actors about people and life at Angel Mounds in 1939. (Being the librarian for the GBL, but not an archaeologist, this was the subject that I most identified with.) I went through several of our manuscript collections (Glenn Black and Eli Lilly’s archives), the historical image collections, and associated excavation documentation to tease out this information. I know it was useful to the actors and now I have all of this random information about 1939 Angel Mounds bouncing around.

Now enters… social media! I’m using this random information to track events that occurred at Angel Mounds 80 years ago – kind of an #otd / #onthisday social media event. All sorts of information are being related about the people, the archaeology, the weather, and technology!

Check us out on:

Don’t forget to send us any questions you have about Angel Mounds!

NAGPRA in the Archives

October 23, 2018

by Kelsey Grimm, Librarian

Early this month I had the fortune to attend the 11th Annual International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museum in Prior Lake, Minnesota. This is a wonderful conference all around and brings together those who work to protect and advance indigenous cultures. There are day trips and workshops in the days leading up to and a variety of sessions during the two day conference. This was my second time attending.

The session that most piqued my interest occurred on the second day: “NAGPRA in the Archives: Repatriating Records” presented by Meghan Dorey of the Myaamia Heritage Museum & Archive and Joe Halloran and Jeff Holth of Jacobson Law Group.

My job as Librarian of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology means that I had to quickly learn about the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). I haven’t directly had to understand the law, but most of my colleagues are in constant communication with the NAGPRA office of Indiana University. They are working with several native communities to repatriate ancestors and associated objects. Because of these NAGPRA conversations concerning the archaeological collections, the GBL has been able to collaborate and partner with these native communities on other projects, some that directly have benefited the library and archives. NAGPRA is something that I’ve been aware of, but not had to directly understand.

Throughout “NAGPRA in the Archives,” Meghan Dorey, Joe Halloran, and Jeff Holth told the story of how two Miami Council Books were returned to the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

Upon taking the job of Myaamia Heritage Museum & Archive Manager, Meghan found a file of photocopied documents titled Miami Council Books of the mid-19th century. It was useful at the time just as a reference document, but eventually Meghan wanted to find out where the physical documents were. Her personal research led her to the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma…90 miles from the Myaamia Heritage Museum in Miami, Oklahoma. Within the Thomas Richardville manuscript collection she found the Miami National Council Book (1860-1862). When visiting the collection to obtain better digital images of the Book, a staff member went to bring the book to Meghan and instead brought a second Miami Council Book!*

When Meghan returned, she believed that these items should be returned to the Miami Tribe. They were detailed accounts of tribal affairs, records of meetings, and copies of letters. She did more research and presented her thoughts to the Tribe’s leaders. They agreed and contacted their legal representatives. It was decided to just ask the Gilcrease Museum if they would return the Miami Council Books to the Miami Nation – unsurprisingly, they replied no.

This led to a two-year process of collecting information and preparing a case for why the Miami Council Books should be returned to the Tribe. They discussed using replevin to obtain the documents – a procedure enabling the recovery of property taken wrongfully or unlawfully, pending a final determination by a court of law – a procedure used by the National Archives Records Administration of the United States. The second option was by using NAGPRA.

NAGPRA is legislation that provides institutions receiving federal funding with a process for transferring Native American cultural items – human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony – to lineal descendants and federally recognized tribes. An object of cultural patrimony is an object that possesses continuing cultural, traditional, or historical importance to the heritage of a group. Think about what the Declaration of Independence means to the United States… it is not owned by a single person; it represents the history of a nation. It is a document, yes, but it is an object of cultural patrimony too.

The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma was preparing to take their case before the NAGPRA Review Committee. They are not the official deciding body, their decisions are not legally binding, but they do hold a kind of weight – a precedent would be set if they were to decide if a document/manuscript were an object of cultural patrimony.

Days before the review hearing, the Gilcrease Museum returned the Miami Council Books to the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. This was outside of any legal or official system. The NAGPRA Review Committee therefore decided to not review the case since the materials had been returned. No precedent has been set on the matter of documents being repatriated.

What does any of this mean to you?

NAGPRA legislation is not taught in library and archive settings.

I would hazard that most archivists have not even heard of NAGPRA. It is nowhere on their radar, unless they happen to be affiliated with a museum working to repatriate Native American ancestors and funerary objects. NAGPRA has been focused on ancestors and funerary objects, not documents, not records. Should they?

I don’t have those answers yet, fully, but believe archivists need to be aware of NAGPRA. It might mean repatriating documents to tribes, but it might not. It means bringing the tribes to the table. It means better understanding the collections we’re tasked with preserving.

 

*As a side note, archival finding aids do not usually list every item within the collection. Finding aids are general inventories to give a potential research the idea of what might be found in the collection… not to list every item. It is not unusual to see that a staff member did not initially bring the correct item.

Recent Library Donation: ‘Electrical Mining’

March 21, 2018

What does “Electrical Mining” have to do with archaeology?

We just received a wonderful donation of the periodical here at the GBL Library!

Electrical Mining” was a monthly periodical produced by the Goodman Manufacturing Company of Chicago, Illinois, beginning in the early 20th Century.

A short history:

The Goodman corporation had its beginnings in the late 19th Century, when the first Goodman locomotive was created by Elmer Ambrose Sperry. His brother-in-law, Herbert Goodman, began marketing the equipment in 1890. The company was formed April 23, 1900, when it took over the electrical business from Link Belt Company and was able to move production to a facility at Halsted Street and 48th Place. By 1904, Goodman locomotives were delivering freight to merchants in tunnels beneath Chicago’s downtown streets; by 1906 the company had launched into international exportation. In the 1930s Goodman began manufacturing diesel-powered versions of its mining locomotives for hard rock mining. In 1965, Goodman was sold to Westinghouse Air Brake Co., but was purchased by investors in 1971. Goodman Equipment Corporation ceased operations in 2003 when Bateman Trident South Africa acquired most assets and Williams Distribution, a division of W. W. Williams Company, acquired all of the parts and intellectual material necessary to continue making the products.

By 1903 the company began producing short monthly magazines containing all sorts of goings-on about the company and mining at large.

Our recent donation was salvaged in the early 2000s by a former student of the GBL’s director. We now have 43 issues of “Electrical Mining” from the 1940s.

And let me tell you…they are FASCINATING.

Just take a look at some of the covers.

They’re beautiful. Many are hand drawn, others are photographic, but they all reflect the times.

It’s amazing to flip through these magazines and see how World War II affected the people at home: how many men enlisted and therefore weren’t working; how the women stepped up and took over the men’s positions; shortages of butter; summaries from the war department. It’s also amazing to see that life did go on at home: bowling league scores; the latest mining equipment; family illnesses; marriages and births; poems; roller skating party photos.

These notes are often right next to each other! A notice for “Orchids for Order” is listed next to one saying “Coal is a war essential” and a notice on “Revised procedure for handling new equipment…”

It’s nice to have this little diversion come across my desk. From looking on World Cat, no participating repository holds these 1940s issues of “Electrical Mining.” These magazines are maybe a little off-topic for an Archaeological library, but they remind this librarian that life happens all at once: the good, the bad, the sad, and the mundane. These magazines are little glimpses into the history of the Midwest.

Resources:

“Rail-car Maker Finds Gold Underground.” (1990 Jan 02). Chicago Tribune.

“Williams Distribution to Support Goodman Equipment Corp. Locomotive & Personnel Carrier Lines; Follows Acquisition of Goodman by Strategic Partner.” (2003 June 18). BusinessWire.

“Goodman, Herbert E.” Inductee Database. National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum.

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!

Women at Work

The acknowledgements of women working in archaeology has notably flourished in recent memory, but who were the pioneering American women of our profession? For over a century, women have taken on many roles in archaeology with varying levels of professional education and have been successful in contributing to the field. Whether toiling over lab work or excavating great features, these archaeologists have not always been given proper recognition for their work. This session highlights the contributions of several female archaeologists from across the Midwest and brings to light the often undervalued contributions of those who helped make archaeology what it is today. By telling these stories we hope to starts a conversation about the politics of recognition, and inspire others to provide a more complete understanding of women’s influence in shaping archaeology and the Midwest.

Abstract for “Women at Work: Acknowledging Women’s Legacy in Archaeology”

My inquiry into Midwestern female archaeologists began last year when the Indiana Historical Bureau sent a call for papers for their spring conference Hoosier Women at Work in the Sciences. Those of us working at the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology (GBL) got pretty excited. We wanted to find a way to participate because we knew that the records we use daily were often written by women. Women made a huge impact on the work accomplished here at the GBL. Thus began our journey…

After submitting my proposal for the conference and getting accepted, I began researching three particular women with strong ties to the collections of the GBL: Ida Black, wife of our namesake Glenn Black; Frances Martin, an aprofessional archaeologist who worked alongside Glenn at archaeology sites for years; and Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin, the maestra who orchestrated the Great Lakes-Ohio Valley Ethnohistory Project. Each woman had differing levels of education, influence, and immersion in their disciplines, but all contributed to growing archaeological and ethnohistorical work in the Midwest.

Ida can be seen in our image collections alongside Glenn at Nowlin Mound in the early 1930s; she was his constant companion throughout their years at Angel Mounds, too. Frances Martin received a college education, but viewed archaeology more as a hobby to enjoy every weekend. Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin held several college degrees and essentially founded the discipline of ethnohistory. Her work and foresight in the 1950s at Indiana University led to the creation of the Great Lakes-Ohio Valley Ethnohistory collection; a documentary assemblage made up of hundreds of primary and secondary documents pertaining to Native American occupancy of the region over three centuries. (It’s what I consider one of the laboratory’s greatest treasures.)

Image of archival boxes for the Great Lakes Ohio Valley Ethnohistory Collection
Boxes from the Great Lakes-Ohio Valley Ethnohistory Collection. (Image by Bailey Foust)

I presented a short talk on these women at the Hoosier Women at Work in Science, Technology, and Medicine in April 2017.

In conjunction to the historical research I was conducting on these women, several coworkers and I utilized the GBL’s image collections to create a photography exhibition showcasing some of the women documented working at past field schools. The online photo exhibit was set up in March 2017.

Black and white image of Frances Martin crouched at Yankeetown site.
Frances Martin at Yankeetown, 1950. (ICO N3383)

We couldn’t just stop there, though.

While researching Ida, Frances, and Erminie, I noticed the lack of readily available information on Midwestern female archaeologists. I found published books about old world, classical female archaeologists (think Greek/Roman/Egyptian), some concerning Southeastern and Southwestern American female archaeologists, but very little concerning the Midwest… (See below for a short bibliography detailing these works.)

That, I thought, was a problem.

Luckily, others I work with thought it was a problem too. Leslie Drane, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at IU, and I coordinated a poster symposium for the 2017 Midwest Archaeological Conference held this past October in Indianapolis. We invited participants from the region to highlight notable women from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa. If we couldn’t find published materials about Midwestern female archaeologists, we were going to write them ourselves!

Nine participants created beautiful, thoughtful posters that can now be viewed on an online poster gallery hosted on the MAC website.

This isn’t the end of our inquiry. Several of us would like to submit our biographies to journals or history magazines in order to broaden our audience. Perhaps some other bigs things are in the works too?! Our work is only just beginning…


A bibliography  of female archaeologists and resources
  • Adams, Amanda. (2010). Ladies of the field: early women archaeologists and their search for adventure. Vancouver: Greystone Books.
  • Allsebrook, M. Nesbit, & Allsebrook, A. (1992). Born to rebel : the life of Harriet Boyd Hawes. Oxford [England]: Oxbow Books .
  • Browman, David L. (2013). Cultural Negotiations: the role of women in the founding of American Archaeology. University of Nebraska Press.
  • Classen, Cheryl. (1994). Women in Archaeology. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Cohen, G. M., & Joukowsky, M. (2006). Breaking Ground: Pioneering Women Archaeologists. University of Michigan Press.
  • Gacs, Ute, et al. (1989). Women Anthropologists: selected biographies. University of Illinois Press.
  • Kehoe, Alice B. & Emmerichs, Mary Beth. (1999). Assembling the past: studies in the professionalization of archaeology. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
  • Nelson, M. Cecile, Nelson, S. M., & Wylie, A. (1994). Equity issues for women in archaeology. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association.
  • Wallach, Janet. (1996). Desert queen: the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell: adventurer, advisor to kings, ally to Lawrence of Arabia. New York: Doubleday.
  • White, N. Marie, Sullivan, L. P, & Marrinan, R. A. (1999). Grit tempered : early women archaeologists in the southeastern United States. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
  • Zeder, Melinda A. (1997). The American archaeologist: a profile. Walnut Creek, California: AltaMira Press.

Banned Books Week 2017

September 26, 2017

Ahh… Banned Books Week is here! The week has finally arrived celebrating everyone’s right to read whatever they want (September 24-30, 2017).

If you take a look at 2016’s Top 10 most challenged books, most of the titles are fictional, young adult novels that are often cited for strong language, explicit sexuality, drug/alcohol use, or being inappropriate for the particular age group.

Don’t think challenged books are limited to fiction, though; nonfiction is often challenged too. Books that portray religions other than Christianity, racial tensions, wartime situations, or abusive relationships are often viewed as inappropriate for the school aged. These topics are situations that make people, usually the parents of young adults, uncomfortable.

But isn’t that the point?

Shouldn’t we be asking our young adults, our children, our colleagues, and friends to read things that might be uncomfortable? To face the challenges of the world from the comfort of our couch rather than encountering them wholly underprepared in the real world? Our society is constantly in flux, whether we like it or not, and people would rather disregard those that think differently than to understand a differing viewpoint. Perhaps we should read uncomfortable literature and take a walk in someone else’s shoes to better understand someone else’s situation.

It’s allowed to read outside of your “age group” too. Children’s books for adults! Teen literature for kids! Everything for everyone!

Kelsey, the librarian, suggests:

So, take a step outside your normal reading genre and stand for banned.

Image of a fist raised behind an open book
2017 ALA Banned Books week logo

AIRS Portal — February 2017 Oklahoma Trip

February 14, 2017

by Kelsey Grimm, Library/Archive Coordinator

The Glenn A. Black Laboratory, in partnership with several federally recognized tribes, is interested in knowing what American Indian resources and services are located at its home institution. Indiana University houses numerous American Indian resources and research materials at various collecting and service-providing units across its Bloomington campus; each separately housed and administrated. These resources offer a wide array of media and programming and represent the history and heritage of recognized tribes from across North America.

Tribal researchers have expressed interest in these many collections, though current access methods can be confusing, daunting, and time-consuming. In an effort to better understand the variety and number of these collections and services, staff at the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology circulated a survey to IU Bloomington repositories. A preliminary report summarizing the initial findings was written and the GBL team set out to personally contact tribes in order to gain perspective on how these IU collections can better serve their communities.

April Sievert, Director of the GBL; Jennifer St. Germain, Collections Manager; and Kelsey (Emmons) Grimm, Librarian, spent February 7th through February 9th in Oklahoma meeting with cultural heritage personnel from seven tribes. Information gathered during these meetings will remain anonymous during reporting, but was incredibly helpful when thinking about how the resources and services at Indiana University could be presented to audiences outside the University.

Our hope for this grant’s outcome is a webpage that describes and points to the many repositories and service-providing units at Indiana University with American Indian materials; think of this like a sign post that links out to those institutions’ webpages and makes understanding and accessing their collections a little easier.

We hope this trip is the first of many conversations, and that our relationships with our tribal partners are strengthened by future collaboration.