In 2014/2015, Arizona State University (ASU) Libraries, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center, and the ASU American Indian Studies Department completed an ASU Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) seed grant entitled “Carlos Montezuma’s Wassaja Newsletter: Digitization, Access and Context” to digitize all ASU held issues of the newsletter Wassaja Freedom’s Signal for the Indian, which Yavapai activist-intellectual Carlos Montezuma, MD (1866-1923) self-published during 1916-1922. The grant team additionally selected a portion of the ASU Libraries Carlos Montezuma archival collection for digitization to provide a more complete picture of Dr. Carlos Montezuma’s life and work.
The ASU grant team produced a searchable online collection on the ASU Digital Repository and created an online exhibition in conjunction with the IHR Nexus Lab’s Developing Wassaja Project. The Nexus Lab’s role at ASU is to grow the digital humanities through interdisciplinary collaborations bringing together humanities, science, and technology. The Nexus Lab partnered with the grant team to create the Developing Wassaja Project which provided an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students at ASU to engage in electronic publication through web application development.
The resulting web platform, Wassaja: A Carlos Montezuma Project, provides context for this digitized collection and facilitates community interaction, including a partnership with Dr. Montezuma’s home community the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. In this webcast, Digital Projects Librarian Matthew Harp, Developing Wassaja Project team member Joe Buenker (subject librarian), and grant team member Joyce Martin (librarian and curator of the Labriola National American Indian Data Center) will discuss and demonstrate the resources created and the resulting partnership with the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. The webcast will focus on identifying collaborators and needed skills to engage in Digital Humanities research and on identifying the stages of a collaborative project.
Participants will gain insight on working directly with diverse communities; overcoming technical limitations of traditional institutional repositories; collaborative strategies with faculty, research centers, and cultural heritage societies; solutions for moving hidden collections into an engaging digital exhibition; integrating digital humanities research and instruction with library curation; and preparing for long term costs and management issues.