So, did you make any New Year’s resolutions for 2017? “Take up a new hobby or activity” is a popular one, and with genealogy and family history consistently near the top of the list of most popular hobbies in America, it’s no surprise that our librarians see a surge of aspiring genealogists come looking for their Colorado roots each January. Or maybe you’ve decided that 2017 is the year you’re finally going to get all your family papers and heirlooms organized and stored just the way you want them. Either way, the Stephen H. Hart Library & Research Center is ready to help you succeed. Continue reading “Resolved: Family History in 2017”
Since History Colorado joined the National Digital Newspaper Project (NDNP) in August 2016, project supervisor Kerry Baldwin and project manager Ann Sneesby-Koch have worked with the project’s advisory board to select titles culled from History Colorado’s collection of more than 1,000 Colorado newspapers on microfilm. Pooling the board’s collective expertise in historic newspaper collections, digitization and Colorado history, we arrived at a working list of 18 titles. By September 2018, 100,000 pages from across these titles will be incorporated into Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov), the fully searchable online database that provides free access to digitized US newspapers produced by the NDNP (a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress). Continue reading “Extra! Extra! 18 Historic Colorado Newspapers Selected for the Library of Congress Chronicling America Database”
A couple weeks ago the Pueblo Move Project crew got to talking about our favorite pieces that we’ve found in the last few months since starting the project. There have been some incredible artifacts, including General William Palmer’s roll-top desk, David Moffat’s music box imported from France in 1936 (inside there are a series of bells that are periodically struck with tiny bee-shaped mallets while the music plays—well, presumably anyway), and a teeny-tiny cannon used for Fourth of July salutes from 1861 to 1876. Continue reading “A Little Background in the Warehouse…Literally”
The processing of the Aultman Studio Collection at History Colorado is still underway! However, I had to pause this week, as I had a bit of a mystery on my hands. It all started with an Aultman Studio portrait that depicts a steely-eyed man wearing an embroidered buckskin coat. According to the Aultman Studio Register, this formidable looking man is none other than Christopher “Kit” Carson II, son of the famous frontiersman Kit Carson. Continue reading “The Man in the Buckskin Duster: A Kit Carson Mystery from the Aultman Studio Collection”
History Colorado has actively pursued the implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA, since the passage of the law in 1990. By developing strong relationships with tribes, museums and government agencies across and beyond Colorado, we’ve been able to repatriate—or rebury on tribal lands—854 individuals and 2,108 associated funerary objects. (Note that “individual” can refer to part or all of a human’s remains.)
NAGPRA does not specifically address reburial, yet History Colorado has regularly heard during consultation that reburial is the ultimate goal of repatriation. Some tribes prefer to take their ancestors to their reservations. Others prefer that their ancestors be returned to land as close as possible to the place where they were removed. This can sometimes be problematic because tribes no longer live where their ancestors once did and have no land readily available there. In an additional challenge, repatriating museums seldom own or manage land, or if the land in question is owned by private citizens or the federal or state government, each will have a variety of policies and regulations governing its use.
In 2012, in an effort led by the two Colorado Ute Tribes, History Colorado and several state and federal agencies began meeting to address the issue of land for reburial. These efforts culminated in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was signed in late 2013. The signatories have facilitated several burials since then.
History Colorado was recently involved in two multi-tribe, multi-agency reburials: one facilitated by the MOU and the other by the collaboration that the MOU has forged. It is always a great honor when our staff are invited to participate. In the first reburial, four tribes, two museums and three federal and state agencies came together to rebury thirty-one repatriated individuals. In the second, seven tribes collaborated with five museums to rebury 168 individuals. In both cases, the differing traditions of tribal participants were shared and respected. Other details of these reburials are not provided out of respect for the privacy of the occasions. But these two events speak to the power of collaboration in getting the work of NAGPRA done.
— Sheila Goff, NAGPRA Liaison