250 Slices
Medium 9781442265790

“The Books of the Office of My Charge”

Collections ePub

Jenny Marie Forsythe

Graduate Student in the Department of Comparative Literature, University of California, Los Angeles, 450 Humanities Building, Los Angeles, CA 90095; jmforsythe@gmail.com

Abstract Heloise Hulse Cruzat and Laura Louise Porteous spent decades of their lives feeding the quill and ink symbols scratched onto eighteenth century Spanish and French colonial judicial records to their typewriters. Cruzat worked for the Louisiana Historical Society (LHS) from 1917 to 1931 as a translator of French colonial records, and Porteous worked from 1920 to 1948 on the Spanish records. Translation was a central part of the process that transformed the colonial notarial and judicial records into historical documents. In this case study, one Spanish judicial record is compared to Porteous’s corresponding English “Index” entry. Examining such work closely allows us to spotlight what Porteous chose to omit; moreover, her “Index” entry becomes a tool for reading between the lines of one Spanish colonial judicial record.

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Medium 9781442267794

Indigenous Articulations

AltaMira Press ePub

Abstract Examines the ways that curators have attempted to represent multiple forms of indigenous experience and politics in exhibition, including the successes and failures of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC (Smith), the hybridizing curatorial legacies of René d’Harnoncourt (Lutkehaus), and the contemporary “transpacific fusion” artworks of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (Levell).

Paul Choat Smith

National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC

On Tuesday, May 21, 2010 The Rolling Stones released a new and improved version of their 1972 masterpiece, Exile on Main Street. It includes ten previously unreleased tracks, and is aimed at suckers like me, who bitterly denounce record companies for releasing the same record over and over, in different formats, and nonetheless buy each new version.

I love both the record and the title, which is a perfect summation of the Indian situation. Our dispossession transformed Europe, and later the United States, into the greatest powers in world history. Unlike colonialism in Africa and Asia, no Indian nation states survived the colonial project, not one. What was that about? Why couldn’t they give us a little, toothless, sell-out, politically irrelevant state somewhere, with a seat at the UN and a military controlled by the CIA? But we got nothing, except exile, even in the few places where the indigenous are the majority.

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A Guide to Early Modern French Louisiana Sources

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Mélanie Lamotte

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, Newnham College, Sidgwick Road, Cambridge CB3 9DF, United Kingdom; melanie. lamotte@cantab.net

Abstract Recent decades have witnessed steady and significant historiographical interest in the history of early modern French Louisiana. The field presently boasts a dynamic set of analysts actively investigating primary sources across America and France. In addition, many French Louisiana sources and historical issues remain unexplored, thereby suggesting that the historiography of early modern French Louisiana will continue to grow substantially. While numerous inventories of Louisiana sources have been published, few have specifically focused their attention on early modern French Louisiana documents. Several of these guides contain information that is no longer valid by pointing to sources that have been moved or have subsequently disappeared. In addition, many sources are being made more readily available through digitization and the creation of online databases. This article provides much-needed guidance on identifying and using French Louisiana sources. It lists the sources available and investigates their nature, details of access, state of preservation, as well as their state of digitization. It also suggests potential uses and interpretations that might be gleaned from such source material.

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Medium 9781442267626

Letter from the Editor

AltaMira Press ePub

This issue of Collections presents articles focused on innovative interpretations of how we interact with our diverse collections. We care for and must record our interactions with these objects but the methods we employ have changed radically over the years.

Most of us, in whatever role we assume in our museums, archives, or repositories, have incorporated photographic imagery into our records. Alwynne Beau-doin and Jennifer Petrik discuss the use of this most helpful medium and its impact on our collecting practices. The examples they share are from archaeology, but their relevance easily extends to other types of collections as well.

In “Thinking Outside the Museum Box” author Yun Shun Susie Chung sets forth an insightful discussion about Fermilab, a state-of-the-art laboratory site. She argues that it can be considered an ecomuseum, a nontraditional type of museum that involves decentralization of the museum building and a community-oriented, democratic approach to heritage management of the “working museum.” Chung urges museum professionals to further study these institutions.

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Medium 9781442265790

The Allure of the Archives

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Arlette Farge, translated by Thomas Scott-Railton

New Haven: Yale University Press. 2013. 152 pp. ISBN: 9780300176735

Reviewed by Matt Brennan, Ph.D candidate, Tulane University, Department of History, 6823 St. Charles Ave., 115 Hebert Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118; mbrenna2@tulane.edu

In her remarkable book The Allure of the Archives, first published in 1989 and now available in Thomas Scott-Railton’s fine English translation, Arlette Farge offers an incisive examination of the historian’s craft for researchers and archivists alike. Though rooted in her extensive experience using the judicial archives of eighteenth-century France, Farge’s deft blend of anecdote and analysis offers insight into the process of historical inquiry that transcends topical, temporal, and geographic boundaries. The Allure of the Archives thus illuminates the ways in which archives and archivists shape the strategies for viewing, organizing, questioning, and synthesizing materials that comprise the historical imagination. As Farge writes, “[t] he archive is an excess of meaning,” yet her handbook for research, interpretation, and writing successfully suggests the approaches by which historians uncover their understandings of the past from the archive’s sometimes overwhelming depths (31).

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