Researcher's Notebook weblog

December 31, 2008

January 2009 Research Meeting

Filed under: Monthly Meetings — @ 10:53 am

We will gather for the monthly research meeting this coming Tuesday, January 6, from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Knight Research Suite in the Publications Department’s office area.  We look forward to hearing about your current and planned research projects.

Debbie will talk a bit about researcher interest in the Dakota-language letters in the Stephen Riggs & Family Papers and solicit advice on that subject.

If you can’t make the meeting but would like to send a message to the group (raise a question, ask for research help, make an anouncement, or offer a suggestion), let Debbie or Kathie know. We can even post your message on the blog, if you want, and you can receive “virtual” answers! If you really want to get into blogging, we can make you a “contributor” and you can post messages yourself.

Please let Debbie or Kathie know if you would like to remove your name from the monthly reminder list.

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December 24, 2008

Holiday Hours

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 11:07 am

The Minnesota Historical Society Library will be closed Thursday December 25 and Thursday January 1.

The Library is open:

  • Wednesday December 24 only until 3:00 p.m.  
  • Friday December 26 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday December 27 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  “I’m New Here” class at 9:15.
  • Tuesday December 30 from noon - 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday December 31 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday January 2 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday January 3 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  “I’m New Here” class at 9:15.
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December 5, 2008

William Clark Papers at KSHS

Filed under: Research Tools — @ 11:10 am

The Kansas State Historical Society has an online searchable database of correspondence during William Clark’s tenure as the Superintendent, U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, Central Superintendency, St. Louis, and the tenures of others thereafter.

The database currently contains vols. 1-9, and vol. G–the only lettered volume in the series, which contains the last of Clark’s correspondence. It is an ongoing project, with more content regularly added.

The following microfilm of the Clark Papers is available for interlibrary loan: vols. 1-4 (reel no. MS 94); vols. 5-8 (reel no. MS 95); vols. 9-13 (reel no. MS 96); vols. 14-20 (reel no. MS 97); vols. 21-25 (reel no. MS 98); vols. 26-33 (reel no. MS 99).

Indian records include correspondence, 1813-1855; claims, 1807-1830; licenses and permits 1813-1825; descriptions, 1815-1817; journals, 1826-1835; property returns, 1840-1853; accounts, 1822-1853; and correspondence registers, 1837-1839, of the Missouri, Central, and St. Louis Superintendencies of Indian Affairs. The records contain information on the Indian emigration, treaties, the fur trade, claims, Indian education, roads, employees, meteorology, and steamboats. Indian agencies represented include the Osage, Sac & Fox, St. Peters, Upper Missouri River, and others; Indians represented include the Delaware, Fox, Ottawa, Sauk, Seneca, Shawnee, Sioux (195 results), and others.

The Chippewa are not listed on the front page as one of the searchable Native American nations, but I searched “Chippewa” and got 83 hits.

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November 19, 2008

1901 Church Building Available

Filed under: Interesting Information — @ 1:47 pm

An interesting tidbit for those of you interested in Minnesota church history:

AVAILABLE: All or part of a 1901 rural Methodist church in Renville County. Churchill is a ghost town near Hector. Its only building, a church built in 1901, as the Methodist Episcopal Church in Brookfield Township, will meet the wrecking ball soon if no interest is shown in the white clapboard structure.

For more information, contact Jill Wohnoutka, director of the Renville County Historical Society, which has owned the building since 1979.

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November 14, 2008

New Online Census Atlas of the U.S.

Filed under: Resources — @ 12:32 pm

Here is a link to a new online version of the Census Atlas of the United States

According to the State Data Center in the Indiana State Library, it has been more than eighty years since the last Census Atlas was published. This volume is rich in information about the American population from 1790 to 2000. The Ancestry section, in particular, shows many maps, including the Prevalent Ancestry in the U.S. for the year 2000 (Ch. 9, p.141). The Income and Poverty chapter is also helpful, with detailed maps (to the county level) as these topics relate to education, age, gender, and ethnicity.

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November 12, 2008

New Oral History Book

Filed under: Books, Resources — @ 4:06 pm

Mentioned at the October researchers meeting, and now out:

The American Indian Oral History Manual: Making Many Voices Heard

by Charles E. Trimble (Lakota), Barbara W. Sommer, Mary Kay Quinlan
Walnut Creek, Calif.: Left Coast Press, Oct. 2008
160 pages; $22.95 paper
(25% discount on web orders through November 16)

Oral history is a widespread and well-developed research method in many fields, but the conduct of oral histories of and by American Indian peoples has unique issues and concerns that are too rarely addressed. This essential guide begins by differentiating between the practice of oral history and the ancient oral traditions of Indian cultures, detailing ethical and legal parameters, and addressing the different motivations for and uses of oral histories in tribal, community, and academic settings. Within that crucial context, the authors provide a practical, step-by-step guide to project planning, equipment and budgets, and the conduct and processing of interviews, followed by a set of examples from a variety of successful projects, key forms ready for duplication, and the Oral History Association Evaluation Guidelines. This vital manual will be the go-to text for everyone involved with oral history related to American Indians.

“This is an excellent guide and sourcebook for anyone conducting oral history projects in Native American and Alaska Native contexts. The guide is equally helpful for those working in villages, reservations, and heterogeneous schools. Although written with the Lower 48 in mind, the book’s suggestions and information are relevant throughout North America. The writing is good and clear, the organization helpful, the suggestions right on point. The section on intellectual copyright is a particularly valuable contribution to the literature. The guide is both timely and timeless: its treatment of the ever-changing realm of recording equipment, which wisely references Internet resources, will remain useful for many years to come.”

-Patricia H. Partnow, Ph.D.
Vice President of Cultural and Educational Services
Alaska Native Heritage Center

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October 31, 2008

November 2008 Meeting

Filed under: Monthly Meetings — @ 10:01 am

We will gather for the monthly research meeting this coming Tuesday, November 4, from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Knight Research Suite in the Publications Department’s office area. Yes, it is Election Day and we’re still going to meet! To “celebrate” Election Day we’re going to have a potluck.  No particular theme, bring whatever you want.

We look forward to hearing about your current and planned research projects. A new member wants to propose a “writers group,” so those of you who are trying to put pen to paper think about that possibility. If there is time, we will discuss the Protocols for Native American Archivial Materials. Take a look before you come.

If you can’t make the meeting but would like to send a message to the group (raise a question, ask for research help, make an anouncement, or offer a suggestion), let Debbie or Kathie know. We can even post your message on the blog, if you want, and you can receive “virtual” answers! If you really want to get into blogging, we can make you a “contributor” and you can post messages yourself.

Please let Debbie or Kathie know if you would like to remove your name from the monthly reminder list.

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October 24, 2008

Additions to September Research Meeting Minutes

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 10:21 am

 Mary B reported that her publishing company, Park Books, was about to bring out a new volume titled Trails of Tears: Minnesota’s Dakota Indian Exile Begins, with articles contributed by many members of this research group.

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October 23, 2008

“Trail of Tears” Authors at Pond House Sunday

Filed under: Events — @ 1:48 pm

From the folks at the Gideon Pond House:

Hope you can join us this Sunday for possibly the largest gathering of authors of Minnesota history we’ve ever had at the Gideon Pond House!  Sounds like we’ll also have beautiful weather for a hike on the trails in Pond Dakota Mission Park …

“Trail of Tears: The Minnesota Dakota Indian Exile Begins”         
Sunday October 26, 2:00 pm
This program will be presented by most of the book’s contributing authors:  Thomas Shaw, Stephen Osman, Alan Woolworth, Mary Bakeman, Curtis Dahlin, Lois Glewwe, Carrie Zeman, Walter Bachman, Corinne Marz, and John LaBatte.  The book is a series of essays that extends from Camp Release following the decisive battle of Wood Lake to the Lower Sioux Agency, with two marches from there:  those that were tried and prisoners to Camp Lincoln in Blue Earth County, and their family members-women, children and elders-who were taken to the internment camp at Fort Snelling.  It includes information on Sibley’s army of 1862, the emotional reaction of the white soldiers assigned to guard the Indians, and what has happened over time.  There will be a special mention of the Gideon Pond House in the presentation.  All the authors have made previous presentations at the Pond House or on our tours and are some of the most renowned historians in the state of Minnesota.  The book published by Prairie Echoes Press will be for sale and the authors will be available for signing.  House tours at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.  Program and tours are free.

The Gideon and Agnes Pond House is located in Pond Dakota Mission Park, 401 East 104th St., Bloomington, between Portland and Nicollet Aves.  For more information contact Mark Morrison at Bloomington Parks and Recreation at 952-563-8693, or after hours call Jay Ludwig at 952-484-0477, or visit our website.

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October 10, 2008

October 2008 Meeting Minutes

Filed under: Meeting Minutes — @ 4:14 pm

Thirteen people attended the meeting.

At Peg’s suggestion, the next meeting on November 4, Election Day, will be a potluck, clarified by Kathie as a brunch potluck - anything goes.  Bringing a dish from Potluck Paradise is optional.

Deb announced that the cookbook she wrote with Rae Eighmey based on 1950s Midwestern community cookbooks, Potluck Paradise, is just out from MHS Press.  She asked on behalf of a researcher in South Dakota where to find a list of people released at Camp Release; suggestions included the Dakota War microfilm, the Riggs Papers, and checking with Carrie Z.

Kathie announced that the Hill papers that the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) received from the Hill Library have been cataloged in PALS under the title Hill Family Collection.   Eventually all six sub-sections will also have their own catalog records.  There now are hot links to spreadsheet inventories for each section (J.J. Hill, Louis W. Hill, Maude Hill, Reed-Hyde, Dorcy, and Walton).  Also, archivist Duane Swanson would like to know if there are certain parts of the collection that researchers are most interested in.  Those might get more detailed cataloging or even digitization.  Suggestions are welcome.

Barb announced the publication of more of her work on oral history and Native Americans, including a Native American oral history planning document and manual for interviewing veterans.  Her book on the topic will be published soon.  These publications include discussions of legal and ethical issues and use of interviews by scholars and noted the need for Indians to take control of the oral history interviewing that is done.

Peg reported that her book on children in Minnesota history has reached critical mass:  time to stop researching and start selection, organization, and writing.

Rhoda reported that she was the only historian on a panel on the History of Minnesota’s Prosperity at the Humphrey Institute, along with economists, a demographer, and a geographer. The focus was on the post-World War II era.  Fifty people, many of them schoolteachers, attended.  In her presentation Rhoda emphasized the progressive tax structure and that the state has had greater equality among its citizens than many others.  Deb will call the Humphrey Forum to ask for a copy of the program for the MHS collections.

Nancy discussed her attendance at several events aimed at preserving church buildings in Southeast Minnesota, noting a change in the level of community interest in some of these structures since she began her work researching early churches in the area several years ago.  She noted that one problem sometimes encountered is the true age of a particular church building, often connected to a claim to be the oldest church in an area or county.

Bruce K. reported continuing work on his Helen Sibley manuscript and announced that David Grabitske’s book on Sarah Sibley will be published soon.  He volunteered to do a presentation at an Osher Learning Center series that Ann P. suggested could be made up of MHS researchers who attend this meeting.  Kathie wondered out loud about hosting such a series at the Minnesota History Center.

Stephen is part of a small Cloud Man committee convened by the city of Minneapolis to mark the site of his village on Lake Calhoun with an interpretive education marker of some kind.  Cloud Man descendants are also on the committee.  He also did some work on a banjo at the Sibley House made by a Civil War soldier.  He plans a trip to campsites of Minnesota units at Corinth, Mississippi and Helena, Arkansas.  The History Channel may be interested in a documentary Stephen is assisting with on the 1st Minnesota, Company F, most of whom were from Red Wing and had connections with Hamline University.  He also suggested the 151st Field Artillery as a WWI unit to focus on later in the possible series.

Jeff is working on a proposal for a Shakopee Historical Park at the Samuel Pond site on the edge of the town, with plans for historic signage on Chief Shakopee, the Dakota village in the area, the Pond Dakota mission, Oliver Faribault, and the Battle of Shakopee.

Linda noted the possible re-do of the Faribault House at Murphy’s Landing.  Some buildings that were moved there may be moved to their original sites or elsewhere. In her far-flung research she continues to make connections among missionary families and other church people from New York’s burned-over district, Oberlin, Ohio, Jacksonville and Galesburg, Illinois, and the Minnesota country in the 1830s and 1840s. For example, John Johnson Enmegahbow and George Copway attended the Ebenezer Manual Labor School in Jacksonville.  She told the group that Hennepin County Libraries have a subscription to the APS database of digitized 19th-century periodicals. Linda is writing an article on the Higher Pedagogy for a book on the history of American education to be called “Separate and Unequal.”

Bruce W. reported the publication of a new book by Angela Cavender Wilson, What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland, by Waziyatawin, Ph.D., published by Living Justice Press.  Among many other topics, the book discusses the Wolfchild lawsuit, suggesting that it is divisive within the Dakota community and also that the plaintiffs are motivated by money. He did not think that this is entirely fair. He observed that many of the plaintiffs he has spoken to are interested in reclaiming their heritage. Offering some pragmatic advice to fellow authors around the table, he noted that his experience promoting his recent book, We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People, suggests that local historical societies are better places to organize book talks and book signings than bookstores.  He has sold far more books at historical society presentations.  Bruce will present two papers this fall.  The first is “Women, Men, and Canoes,” at the Algonquian Conference in Minneapolis at the end of October; the second is “The Myth of Forgotten Treaties” on a Minnesota panel at the 2008 Ethnohistory conference in Eugene, Oregon, Nov 12-16.  That panel will also include Brenda Child, discussing the Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850-51, and Annette Atkins, speaking on Dakota mixed-blood people during the Dakota War of 1862.  [Deb - let's add links to the 2 conferences]

Jennifer O. is researching the history of the Mille Lacs Reservation from the 1920s to the present for a study Bruce W. is working on.  She has read 45 years of the Mille Lacs Messenger.  Research group member Virginia M. is doing work in the Minnesota State Archives for the same project.  Jennifer also reported on a study of a big rock in South Dakota (2600 pounds).  The study led her to do a lot of research on Samuel Hinman of the Episcopal Church in South Dakota, and in particular a missing talk he gave about the rock at the Smithsonian Institution in 1881.  She and Bruce W. summarized the success of the preservation of the Pilot Knob area in Mendota Heights.

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