About the Site

Planning for the website began early in 2005 at the McNickle Center at the Newberry Library. Dr. Brian Hosmer, Director of the McNickle Center, and Dr. Loretta Fowler, Scholar-in-Residence, developed the idea of using the Newberry Library’s collections to highlight recent scholarship on Native peoples of the Midwest and to make this information available on an educational website designed for the general public. The Newberry Library received a planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Public Programs division in spring 2006 and a three-year implementation grant for 2009-11. The project began in January 2009, at which time Dr. Scott Stevens became the director of the McNickle Center.

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The Newberry Library in Chicago, founded in 1887 as a research and reference library to serve the people of Chicago, is the repository of collections of national and international scope. It is the second largest independent research library in the United States. The collections are particularly strong in Native American historical, linguistic, literary, and visual materials. Among those collections, the Ayer and Graff collections have more than 100,000 books, many thousands of pages of manuscripts and hundreds of drawings, maps, paintings, and photographs. The Newberry Library’s Center for Public Programs offers occasional exhibits, concerts, and lectures on American Indian history and culture. The “Indians of the Midwest, Past and Present” website is intended to build on the Library’s traditional mission to facilitate the production and distribution of high quality scholarship and its commitment to make the work of academic scholars accessible to the general public.

The Indians of the Midwest project has drawn on the expertise of a large network of Native and non-Native scholars affiliated with the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies. The Center was founded in 1972 to improve the quality of what is written about American Indian peoples. From that time forward, the McNickle Center’s staff, affiliated research projects, and fellows have played a major role in shaping modern scholarship on American Indian and Indigenous Studies, by sponsoring conferences, seminars, and workshops for scholars and teachers and by administrating several fellowship programs, some specifically for American Indian tribal and Indigenous researchers. The McNickle Center also is home to the Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies, a group of fifteen graduate-level institutions with significant programs in fields related to the collections.

Loretta Fowler, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, is responsible for the content of the website. She has published on Native American history, especially 20th century politics, gender, and age. Dr. Fowler wrote the text of “Indians of the Midwest, Past and Present,” selected the images, and conducted the video interviews. Brian Mornar, research assistant for the “Indians of the Midwest” project and Instructor in the English Department at Columbia College of Chicago, helped locate photographs, transcribed interview tapes, and served as technological liaison between the project and the web designer, Xeno Media. Scott Stevens, Director of the McNickle Center, administered the budget for the project and facilitated its completion. Xeno Media in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, designed and developed the website. Diane Minton was project manager. Mike Media Group in Chicago, IL did the studio and location camera work and the video editing for the videos produced for the “Indians of the Midwest” project. Operating the camera were Mike Digioia and Mark Lind, and Mark Lind and Kahrin Deines edited video.

The project benefitted greatly from the input of our advisory committee of scholars, who helped us in a variety of ways, including participating in a planning session and reviewing the website in its early and/or final stages.

Advisory Committee Members:

Dr. Patricia Albers, Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of
Minnesota, is an authority on Dakota and Ojibwa gender, history, economics, and representation. She evaluated an early version of the site.

Dr. Virginia Carney, President of Leech Lake Tribal College, Minnesota, evaluated the website.

Dr. Gregory Dowd, Professor of History and American Culture and Director of Native American Studies at the University of Michigan, is an authority on Native Americans in the colonial, evolutionary, and early national periods. He participated in a planning
session and evaluated the website.

Dr. R. David Edmunds, Watson Professor of American History at the University of
Texas at Dallas, is an authority on Native American history in the Old Northwest, including the history of the Fox and Miami. He participated in a planning session and evaluated the website.

Maria Escalante, Library Director at the College of Menominee Nation, Wisconsin, participated in a planning session and evaluated the website.

Dr. Brian Hosmer, H. G. Barnard Associate Professor of Western American History at the University of Tulsa, is an authority on economic history and cultural identity in the Great Lakes region. He participated in a planning session and evaluated an early version of the website.

Dr. John Low, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History and Programs in American Studies and Legal Studies, Northwestern University, is an authority on Potawatomi history and museum studies. He evaluated the site.

Dr. Diana Morris, Dean of Letters and Science, College of Menominee Nation, Wisconsin, participated in a planning session and evaluated the website.

Dr. Lucy Murphy, Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University, is an authority on the economic history and the role of gender in history in the Great Lakes region. She evaluated the site.

Dr. Larry Nesper, Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies
at the University of Wisconsin, is an authority on cultural identity and tribal sovereignty among Ojibwas. He participated in a planning session and evaluated the website.

Dr. Timothy Pauketat, Professor of Anthropology at University of Illinois at Urbana, is an authority on the Mississippian tradition in archaeology, including Cahokia. He participated in a planning session and evaluated an early version of the website.

Betty Redleaf, President of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, Michigan, evaluated an early version of the website.

Holly Ristau, Library Director, White Earth Tribal and Community College, Minnesota, evaluated the site.

Dr. Susan Sleeper-Smith, Professor of History at Michigan State University, is an authority on the history of the fur trade in the Great Lakes region. She participated in a planning session and evaluated the website.

Dr. Gwen Westerman-Wasicuna, Director of Humanities and Professor of English, Minnesota State University, Mankato, evaluated the website.

We also thank the individuals who made an important contribution to the Indians of the Midwest project by participating in video interviews:

Raymond DeMallie, Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University
R. David Edmunds
Josh Gerzetich, Cultural Educator, Oneida Nation Museum
John Low
Sara Summers Luedtke, Assistant Director, Oneida Nation Museum
Nancy O. Lurie, Curator Emeritus, Milwaukee Public Museum
Larry Nesper
Dawn Scher Thomae, Associate Curator, Milwaukee Public Museum

Thanks also to several members of the Newberry Library staff for help with this project:
James Akerman, Director of the Smith Center for the History of Cartography.
John Aubrey, Curator of the Ayer Collection
Jade Cabagnot, McNickle Center Program Assistant.
Douglas Knox, Director of Publications and Digital Initiatives.
John Powell, Photoduplication Manager.

Contact

Any questions? Email indiansofthemidwest@newberry.org. The content of this site is protected by copyright. None of the photos or videos can be downloaded without permission.

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