NSU partners to host cultural, historical preservation event

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/30/2019 12:30 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Individuals can reconnect with Green Country’s rich heritage during a special preservation and restoration event Sept. 27-28 at Northeastern State University.

Held in conjunction with NSU’s homecoming celebration, the two-day event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Tahlequah campus, will feature digital preservation and oral history stations, as well as presentations and workshops – all showcasing the region’s top resources for preserving, restoring and sharing historical artifacts. The event is free and open to the public.

“Paving the Way: Green Country’s Cultural & Historical Preservation Initiative 2019” is a combined effort with state, tribal and regional entities made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Brenda Bradford, head of NSU Special Collections and Archives, said she’s eager to see the interesting history that could walk through her door during the event and is equally excited to capture it with the addition of much-needed, grant-funded archival equipment.

“I am hoping to generate excitement in our local history through our fantastic speakers,” Bradford said. “I want guests to walk away with digital copies of their material, an understanding on how to preserve their family history, and how to help safeguard and protect it. This is a great way to connect with community, share a variety of services available in our area and work towards future collaborative efforts.”

Guest speakers will cover topics such as local, NSU/Seminary and Cherokee history, preservation methods for family artifacts, as well as provide hands-on basic emergency care training for material in case of a manmade or natural disaster.

Individuals are invited to bring up to 10 historical artifacts – photographs, documents, letters, heirlooms and treasured memorabilia – for members of the NSU Archives team and Oklahoma Department of Libraries to scan/digitize at their preservation stations. Participants will be given a free flash drive loaded with their digitized items and the opportunity to share their respective and applicable history in forthcoming physical and digitally accessible collections that result from the effort.

Historical images, artifacts and documents related to Tahlequah and the surrounding Green Country communities, NSU, Seminary Hall and Native American-related items are of particular interest for the initiative, Bradford said.

An oral history station will also be onsite to capture stories passed down through generations or lived firsthand.

Initiative partners include the Cherokee Heritage Center, NSU Center of Tribal Studies, NSU Native American Support Center, Hunter’s Home, Cherokee Nation Tourism & Community Relations, Five Tribes Museum, United Keetoowah Band John Hair Cultural Center & Museum, Museum of Native American History – Arkansas and Osage Culture Center, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Tahlequah Chapter – Daughters of the Revolutionary War, NSU Alumni Center, Oklahoma Historical Society, NSU University Relations, Tahlequah Genealogy Society, Cane Hill Museum – Arkansas, War Memorial Park and Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, call 918-444-3220.

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