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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 23, 2020

From Parchment to Podcast: The Collaborative Process of Building and Unlocking an Archive

Kristen T. Oertel, Renee Harvey and Diana Folsom
From the journal Anglia

Abstract

This project began with a deceptively simple question: “Were there runaway slaves in Indian Territory in the 1830 s and 40s?” The answer was complicated and relied upon the combined expertise of historians, archivists, curators, and collectors. This article describes how collaborative research, performed at the Helmerich Center for American Research at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, uncovered a long-neglected piece of history in Indian Territory. The collections, which contain diverse sources such as manuscripts written on parchment, archaeological artefacts, original art, and more recently, digitised documents, images, and videos, shape the way scholars answer their questions. Although scholarly research may appear to be an independent endeavour – the professor mining sources at a desk or writing alone on a computer – the reality, especially in the twenty-first century, is much different. What shows up on the page and, now, what results in a podcast, is rooted in a shared journey, beginning with an archivist or curator collecting and cataloguing materials and ending in cyberspace.

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Published Online: 2020-09-23
Published in Print: 2020-09-15

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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