Published On: Mon, Nov 22nd, 2010
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Cherokee Nation develops Virtual Library

The Cherokee Nation is in the beginning stages of developing a Virtual Library of Cherokee Knowledge, a web-based system designed to provide Cherokee citizens and the general public access to a comprehensive digital space filled with authentic Cherokee knowledge related to the tribe’s history, language, traditions, culture and leaders. 

The Cherokee Nation Education Services group recently received an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant that will help fund the project as well as optimize the opportunity for Cherokee students, citizens, researchers and scholars to access reference information on sources related to Cherokee history and events.

Corey Bunch, deputy group leader for Cherokee Nation Education Services, says this project will enable the tribe to secure professional consultation services from digital library specialists, historians and museum and library professionals.

“Anyone using this new development of preservation will be able to obtain the technology, software and equipment necessary for scanning, digitizing and cataloguing many of the tribe’s most significant documents,” said Bunch.

The virtual library will include many of the tribe’s most noteworthy documents and materials from the 1830s till present day. Currently the tribe’s archives contain thousands of important papers, writings, manuscripts, books, photographs and artifacts that document the epic history of the Cherokee people but access is limited by the location, form and fragility of the items.

This project will allow the tribe, through the consultation with professionals in the fields of digitization and historical documentation, to establish a leading database for all Cherokee cultural records to be placed in one centralized location for cultural preservation. 

Once online, the database will offer a critically important educational program to encourage cultural literacy and further develop technological capabilities of the Cherokee Nation and its citizens.  

“We look forward to the completion of this project and to providing other tribes in the nation the model and format so they, too, may collect, present and preserve their invaluable tribal records for generations to come, unlocking and interpreting the past for the education of their future generations,” said Bunch. 

The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2011. For more information regarding the Virtual Library of Cherokee Knowledge please call 918-453-5254.

– Source: Cherokee Nation

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