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Decolonizing Education: Native Americans

This guide was originally created for the use of instructors and students in the reACT Decolonizing Education Experiential Learning Program funded by the 2022-2023 TLTC Curriculum Grants. Specifically: ARCH460; ARCH478; ARCH601; ARCH678; CHBE473; ENCH648

Databases on Native American HIstory and Culture

American History in Video: Provides the largest and richest collection of videos that are available online for the study of American history, with 2,000 hours and more than 5,000 titles on completion. The collection allows students and researchers to analyze historical events, and their presentation over time, through commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries.

American History: 1493-1945: Focuses on documents of colonial history, the revolutionary era, the formation of the United States, westward expansion, and Native American relations, as well as slavery, and abolition. Additionally, focus on the Civil War told through thousands of soldiers’ letters from the time of Lincoln's election through Reconstruction, America’s nineteenth-century growth, the World Wars, and the inter-war years.

American Indian Correspondence: Presbyterian Historical Society Collection of Missionaries Letters: A collection of nearly 14,000 letters by Presbyterian missionaries to American Indians. The missionaries served among many different tribal groups and their letters describe many aspects of Native American society and culture.

American Indian Histories and Cultures: This collection of digitized manuscripts, works of art, recent American Indian newspapers, rare books, photographs, and maps, drawn from the Edward E. Ayer Collection at the Newberry Library, Chicago, documents American Indian life over four centuries.

American Indian Movement and Native American Radicalism: FBI reports of activities of the American Indian Movement and other activist Native American groups in the late 1960s and 1970s, including the occupation of Wounded Knee (1973).

American Indian Newspapers: Publications of a range of Native American communities including titles produced in the United States and Canada from 1828 to 2016. Includes national periodicals as well as local community news and student publications. Topics covered include the civil rights era and the American Indian Movement (AIM), education, environmentalism, land rights, and cultural representation.

American Race Relations: Global Perspectives, 1941-1996: Derived from the archives of the Central Intelligence Agency. Searchable digital archive of primary source documents covering foreign perspectives of American racial issues in the mid-20th century. Also covers race relations in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

American West: Comprised of original manuscripts, rare printed books, maps, and ephemeral material from the Everett D Graff Collection of Western Americana at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Allows scholars to explore tales of frontier life, Indigenous Peoples, vigilantes, and outlaws.

Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement: focuses on unearthing and digitizing the histories of civil rights activism by the everyday citizens of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American/Pacific Islander communities. The collection includes unofficial letters, correspondence, demonstration plan outlines, transportation logs and plans, meeting minutes, programs from worship services, and photographs. The first collection in development will focus on the African-American experience and will draw on primary source materials from predominantly Black colleges and universities, historical societies, public libraries, community archives, and other institutions.

Church Missionary Society Periodicals: Features publications from the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and the South American Missionary Society between 1804 and 2009. The Church Missionary Gleaner, started in 1838 by Charles Hodgson, was adopted by CMS as a two-penny magazine with rich woodcut illustrations to record and inform the public of its activities; it went on to become Yes Magazine and was published until 2009. It also focuses on the publications of the Church Missionary Society medical mission auxiliaries, the work among women in Asia and the Middle East, newsletters from native churches, student missions in China and Japan, and 'home' material including periodicals aimed specifically at women and children subscribers.

Colonial State Papers: A collection of thousands of scanned documents and bibliographic records relating to English activities in the American, Canadian, and West Indian colonies between the 16th and 18th centuries. The earliest English settlements in North America, encounters with Native Americans, piracy in the Atlantic and Caribbean, the trade in slaves, and English conflicts with the Spanish and French are all covered in this database.

Ethnic NewsWatch: Full-text bilingual (English/Spanish) database of 200 publications of the ethnic, minority, and native press. 1990 to the present. Multidisciplinary - news, culture, and history.

European Views of the Americas: This bibliographic database is based on European Americana: A Chronological Guide to Works Printed in Europe Relating to the Americas, 1493-1750. The database contains more than 32,000 entries and is a comprehensive guide to printed records about the Americas written in Europe before 1750. It covers the history of European exploration as well as portrayals of Native American peoples. A wide range of subject areas are covered.

Frontier Life: This multi-archive collection captures the lives, experiences, and colonial encounters of people living at the edges of the Anglophone world from 1650-1920, covering North America, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Includes documents on the creation of new states, trade networks, and movements of people in these regions, alongside the marginalization and decline of Indigenous peoples.

Meriam Report on Indian Administration and the Survey of Conditions of the Indians in the U.S: a survey of conditions on Native American reservations in twenty-six states sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and published in 1928. Following the report, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs conducted extensive hearings that were published in 41 parts totaling nearly 20,000 pages and collectively titled Survey of the Conditions of the Indians in the United States.

Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers: Provides access to a collection of 400 U.S. newspapers, with over 1.7 million pages of content. Coverage includes a cross-section of publications from political party papers, illustrated papers, as well as major papers and African American, Native American, women's rights, and labor group publications.

North American Indian Drama Second Edition: Contains 244 plays by 48 playwrights. More than half of the works are previously unpublished, and hard to find, representing groups such as Cherokee, Mohawk, Creek, Choctaw, Pembina Chippewa, Ojibway, Lenape, Comanche, Cree, Navajo, Rappahannock, Hawaiian/Samoan, and others. North American Indian Drama allows in-depth browsing and searching of both the bibliographic and the full-text elements within the database.

North American Indian Thought and Culture: This database integrates autobiographies, biographies, Indian publications, oral histories (in audio and transcript form), personal writings, photographs from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other collections, and drawings, documenting native American peoples throughout the country.

Popular Culture in Britain and America 1950-1975: Provides access to archival materials related to popular culture in the UK and the US from 1950-1975. Includes manuscripts, print materials, photographs, and video clips. Topics covered include politics, fashion, youth culture, the onset of Rock and Roll, campaigns for black power, civil rights, and women’s liberation.

Smithsonian Global Sound: includes published recordings of the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings label and archival audio collections of Folkways Records, and of Cook, Dyer-Bennet, Fast Folk Musical Magazine, Monitor, Paredon and other labels. Also included are field recordings collected on the South Asian subcontinent made available from the Archive Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE), sponsored by the American Institute for Indian Studies. Music recorded around the African continent in the mid-20th century by Dr. Hugh Tracey for the International Library of African Music is here, as are nature sounds, spoken stories, and memoirs. Album cover art and liner notes have been scanned into the database. Only 3 simultaneous users are allowed.

Discovering Archival Collections

ArchiveGrid: Provides online access to nearly a million descriptions of archival collections held by thousands of libraries, museums, historical societies and archives worldwide. ArchiveGrid includes over 7 million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more. With over 1,400 archival institutions represented, ArchiveGrid helps researchers looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies.  Search on topics, e.g., Piscataway Indians.