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From Nunavut to Micronesia: Feedback and Description, Visual Repatriation and Online Photographs of Indigenous Peoples

Author(s): David A. Smith

Journal: Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research
ISSN 1911-9593

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Two pioneering web projects, Project Naming, created by Library and ArchivesCanada and the Inuit, and the Traditional Micronesian Navigation Collection atthe University of Hawaii Library are examined. These sites make direct use of theinternet to improve descriptions of their photographic holdings related toIndigenous peoples and to share these images with remote communities and theworld. Through the creation of a system of "visual repatriation" and "feedback"and description, the people of Nunavut and the atoll of Satawal (in Micronesia)have the opportunity to view and identify photos of their ancestors, relatives andthemselves online while at the same time sharing their knowledge with each hostinstitution to improve the quality and accuracy of its descriptions.The author concludes that, while challenges remain, these innovativeapproaches have helped foster meaningful relationships between, and rewardsfor, the participating host institutions and Indigenous peoples. In addition it isargued that the two projects bode well for: future collaborative efforts betweenlibraries/archives and remote user-groups, understanding of our holdings, andthe quality of our services to researchers.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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