Digitized 17-18th Century Documents Shed Light on Nipmuc History

iSchool News - October 20, 2021

iSchool PhD student Lydia Curliss co-curated new online exhibit on the relationship between the indigenous Nipmuc communities and settlers.

A manuscript from the Reclaiming Heritage digital collection with text that reads: Reclaiming Heritage Digitizing Nipmuc Histories from Colonial Documents

Photos courtesy of American Antiquarian Society

This month, the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) released a new online exhibition, Reclaiming Heritage: Digitizing Nipmuc Histories from Colonial Documents, co-curated by iSchool PhD student and Nipmuc scholar, Lydia Curliss. This online resource presents fully-digitized versions of seven pre-1820 Indigenous-language imprints as well as digitized materials from four manuscript collections.

Supported in part by a Lapidus Initiative Fellowship for Digital Collections from the Omohundro Institute, Reclaiming Heritage provides more free, equitable access for Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous studies scholars to printed and archival materials directly related to the languages and lives of the Nipmuc people (upon whose homelands the AAS is built), and of other Indigenous nations across the northeast.

The preservation and reclamation of Nipmuc culture and language requires research within multiple archives nationwide and abroad, in book and manuscript collections known and yet unknown. Reconstructing Nipmuc language and history using written documents has been an ongoing project within the Nipmuc community since the 1970s and is a vital part of the tribe’s cultural revitalization efforts.

Read the full blog post here.