Recently in Free Websites Category

Harvard Digitizes American Indian Portraits

Harvard University's Tozzer Library recently digitized Photographs of North American Indians. ca. 1850-1879.

More information on this collection can be found here:

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"Indian Converts" Collection

From The Scout Report

First published in 1727, the remarkable book "Indian Converts, or Some account of the lives and dying speeches of a considerable number of the Christianized Indians of Martha's Vineyard" is now available in full online. Written by Experience Mayhew, the book provides remarkable insights into the lives and culture of four generations of Native Americans in colonial America. This digitized version was created at Reed College, and visitors can look through all four sections of the work, which include "Indian Ministers" and "Pious Children." Throughout the work, Mayhew details the books that different age groups were reading, provides insights into early New England pedagogy and childrearing practices, and also describes each individual in terms of their own genealogy and personal history. The truly fantastic thing about the site is that it also contains an archive with over 600 images and documents that further contextualize the work. Also, the site contains study guides designed for classroom use that cover artifact analysis, genealogy, and reading gravestones. [KMG]

Indian Converts

American Indian Responses to Environmental Challenges

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In August 2011 the National Museum of the American Indian launched a website "American Indian Responses to Environmental Challenges."

NMAI and Tribes Launch Environmental Web Site

The site is aimed at middle and high school teachers.

I thought it might be of particular interest here in Minnesota as the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is one of the four partners who developed this site.

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Native Daughters Website

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Fabulous new resource from the University of Nebraska

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Native Daughters is a collection of stories, profiles and multimedia projects about a diverse group of Native American women. They are healers and warriors, story tellers and law makers, leaders, environmentalists and artists.

Continuum Issue 9

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The University of Minnesota Libraries publication Continuum is now being published online. Here is the new url:

We Shall Remain (PBS) Watch for Free

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We Shall Remain is a groundbreaking mini-series and provocative multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. Five 90-minute documentaries spanning three hundred years tell the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective.

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What are photographs of Native Americans from the central and western parts of the United States doing in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society? The portraits in this web presentation were collected by four Bostonians during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Charles W. Jenks and Francis Parkman collected carte de visite and tintype portraits of American Indians during the 1860s as historical records of tribal groups and their role in contemporary American politics. After a visit to southern California, Boston collector Kingsmill Marrs brought home platinotypes of southwestern Indians taken by Adam Clark Vroman in the late 1890s. An anonymous donor was inspired to collect Joseph Kossuth Dixon's photogravures from the Wanamaker Indian expeditions of the early 1900s after hearing Dixon lecture in 1912.

Early portrait photographs of Native Americans, similar to those presented in this web exhibition, reflect a widespread public interest in Indian life during the 1860s. In the mid-nineteenth century, the popular carte de visite photograph introduced the faces of prominent public figures into homes across America. Easily mass-produced, uniformly sized, and cheaper to purchase than early cased photographs, these portraits were collected, in part, as a record of current political and social events and of the people who drove them. Patented by French photographer André Disdéri in 1854, cartes de visite were introduced to the United States in 1859. The craze for these photographic "calling cards" took off in the 1860s, leading Oliver Wendell Holmes to write in 1863 that "card portraits ... have become the social currency, the 'greenbacks of civilization.'"

These striking images of Native Americans depict the changing ways in which photographers portrayed native subjects during the latter half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. From 1860, when the first portrait in this collection was taken, to 1913, the nation experienced unprecedented growth and American settlers claimed lands previously held by Indian tribes. These images are attempts by photographers to document what they saw as the fading of Native American cultures and traditions, to illustrate periods of conflict between the U.S. government and the tribes, and, by the twentieth century, to evoke political sympathy for the cause of the "vanishing race."

Funding from the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation supported this project.


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