American Indian Digital History ProjectUniversity of Kansas
- Kent Blansett, Langston Hughes Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies and History, University of Kansas, and Co-Principal Investigator, Stories for All
- Jason Heppler, Research Director, American Indian Digital History Project; Senior Web Developer, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University
Founded in 2010, the American Indian Digital History Project works with Tribal archives, community members, organizations, and colleges to recover, preserve, and increase free & open searchable access to rare Indigenous newspapers, photographs, and archival materials throughout Native North America. It promotes accurate and responsible research and reporting that focuses on Indigenous nations, communities, and peoples. AIDHP’s organizational structure resembles a cooperative or partnership between the owners, universities, community partners, and other organizations. This autonomy is crucial towards cultivating the trust of Indigenous partners who have previously experienced disparaging histories with universities. Last year, AIDHP’s headquarters relocated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha to the University of Kansas.
The next phase of development for AIDHP includes our first goal which is to increase outreach to Indigenous governments, communities, individuals, and organizations. To achieve our goal, we plan to launch a mobile digitization lab or what we plan to call the “Indigenous Sovereignty Lab” that will visit Indigenous communities in rural, urban, and reservation spaces to collect, preserve, and share key archival sources (letters, newsletters, photographs, maps, and a host of other sources). The Indigenous Sovereignty Lab will help to further the trust relationship AIDHP’s cooperative mission by protecting & preserving rare archival materials for Indigenous partners. Our second goal is to hire internet programmers and designers who can help AIDHP improve the overall user experience on our website and help to launch new digital applications, including a Treaty and Indigenous tourism app.
Langston Hughes Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies and History, University of Kansas, and Co-Principal Investigator, Stories for All
Kent Blansett is a Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Shawnee, and Potawatomi descendant from the Blanket, Panther, and Smith families. He is the Langston Hughes Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies and History at the University of Kansas. Professor Blansett also serves as the founder and executive director for the American Indian Digital History Project. He has published numerous articles and book chapters including When the Stars Fell from the Sky: The Cherokee Nation and Autonomy during the Civil War and San Francisco, Red Power, and the Emergence of an Indian City.
Research Director, American Indian Digital History Project; Senior Web Developer, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University