American Indian Studies Research Institute: Week 7


With the grants sheet submitted for collaboration with AISRI faculty, I had some time to return to the digitization project I was working on – packages of photos, which were taken in anthropological field work in Montana in the 1930’s. Those photos which had been rolling up on the sides were now significantly more flat from the weight of books piled on top for the last few weeks. By combining all like prints and negatives with like prints and negatives in the same packages, I was able to organize everything into 3 packages instead of 7, grouped according to the 3 tribal groups identified by writing on the packages. At present, they are stored in new packages that will keep them flat and delay the onset of dust a lot longer, until their next phase is decided.

One of many takeaways from the digitization of those photos was the difference in representing data and representing a narrative. As we map metadata to sheets to represent these photos, numeric details like unique identifiers can not become more important than the order which they are arranged. This data is not being made available to free agents to rearrange and reinterpret in their own databases. These photos represent primary examples of important narratives because a ceremony, for instance, is photographed in parts 1-9. Those parts can not be taken out of context just because the parts are now moveable. We are obligated to keep the order of the narrative together because each part makes up the whole.

After consulting more with AISRI faculty, I was guided to add a few more columns on the sheet that would make it clear who can apply for which grants. I had added a column for “Who Can Apply” when I learned that some grants were specifically for tribal governments, some were specifically for non-profits, etc., but it still wasn’t clear which ones AISRI could apply for. Another helpful method of determining whether we can and should apply is to look at the previously funded programs of each agency to see if it is aligned with AISRI goals.

I was also advised to create a new section for IU specific grants. I am starting to learn about the IU Foundation, crowdfunding, and research fellowships, which I’ve always wanted to know more about. Research is hard work, I’m happy to know that researchers can afford to live while doing such hard work, I just don’t have the patience for it. I’m more of a project person, which may be obvious by all this hopping around.

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