Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project

News & Updates

Announcement on behalf of the Genoa Indian School Foundation:

The Native American students who attended the Genoa U.S. Indian School from 1884 to 1934 contributed to the history of Genoa, the state of Nebraska, and the United States through their presence, language, and culture. In recognition of the contributions of these students, the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation and the children of Dale and Alice Wolfe (Dale was a former student) annually offer a $1,000.00 college scholarship to a descendant of a former Genoa Indian School student. Please share this with any Genoa U. S. Indian School Native American descendant who you feel would like to compete for this scholarship. The application deadline is July 15, 2020. Copy of the application and instructions:

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  • Students may also obtain an application by writing to the Genoa Indian School Foundation at Box 382, Genoa NE 68640, or by contacting Nancy Carlson via e-mail at nfcarls@hotmail.com and by noting “scholarship” in the subject line.

 

What We are Doing Now

  • We're making improvements to the design of the project website.
  • We're preparing more than 300 pages of student censuses from Kansas City for upload to the project website.
  • We're finishing some basic clean-up work on photographs and scans brought back from Denver in late-February.
  • We're recording and drafting descriptions for the new Denver materials, starting with more correspondence, student applications, and student censuses.

What's Coming Up

  • We'll release the new design of the project website in early May and will create more design options for our Community Advisors to review soon after.
  • Working remotely, the project team will work through as much of the material already photographed and scanned as possible by May 30th.
  • The team will develop strategies for continuing the project's work through the summer months, even if travel restrictions remain in place.

What We've Done

Spring 2020:

  • We hired two more team members to help the project make progress on its goals.
  • We completed a trip to the National Archives in Denver before travel restrictions went into effect, and scanned and photographed more than 1,100 pages of Genoa materials.
  • We completed work and quality control reviews on more than 1,000 pieces of Genoa-related correspondence, 300 pages of student censuses, and even more student applications.
  • We received feedback on materials on the project website from our Community Advisors and started making some design changes based upon this feedback.

Fall 2019:

  • In September, we welcomed two new Undergraduate Research Assistants to the project team.
  • In September, the team also celebrated the milestone of importing more than 1,400 pages of student applications into the project’s content management system (Mukurtu), in preparation for eventual public release on the project website. 
  • We recorded and drafted descriptive metadata for 75 Genoa-related receipts.
  • We created standards and definitions for our descriptive metadata for Genoa-related correspondence.
  • We digitized VHS tapes of oral history interviews conducted at the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation over the past several decades.  We also cleaned up and enhanced the audio for these interviews, created transcriptions of the content, and created descriptive metadata for each interview.
  • We successfully imported more than 420 pages of additional student applications, 150 pages of Genoa-related receipts, and 180 pages of student permanent records, registration cards, records of pupil, and discipline reports into the project's content management system.
  • We completed our first trip to the National Archives branch in Denver, and scanned and photographed more than 700 pages of Genoa materials.
  • Members of the project team conducted an internal review of materials on the project website and corrected any data and/or design errors.
  • The Community Advisors Council met on November 15, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • We edited and processed all materials scanned and photographed during our first digitization trip to the National Archives in Denver.
  • We recorded and drafted descriptive metadata for roughly 700 pieces of Genoa-related correspondence.

Summer 2019:

  • We conducted a job search for two new Undergraduate Research Assistants.
  • We began planning for the Fall 2019 meeting of the project’s Community Advisors Council.
  • We began planning a trip to the National Archives in Denver, to digitize even more Genoa materials.
  • We created standards and definitions for our descriptive metadata for Genoa-related receipts and began work recording and drafting this metadata.
  • We worked on the project website, refining how it handles and displays documents and other materials.
  • Several members of the project team attended and presented at the annual reunion of the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation in Genoa, Nebraska.
  • We conducted successful test imports of student application files into the project’s content management system (Mukurtu).
  • We finished recording and drafting metadata for the student written records.
  • We finished editing and processing more than 2,100 images of materials scanned and photographed during our third digitization trip to the National Archives in Kansas City.
  • We created standards and definitions for our descriptive metadata for the student written records and began recording this information.
  • The team received training on archival photography and two members of the project team returned to the National Archives in Kansas City, where they photographed and scanned over 2,100 additional documents in five days.
  • We finished recording and drafting the descriptive metadata for all student applications digitized to date.

Spring 2019:  

  • We conducted interviews and hiring for the summer.
  • We created standards and definitions for our descriptive metadata for the student applications and we began recording this information for all student applications digitized to date.
  • The Project Manager received digital humanities training at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada and both the Project Manager and the team's Preservation and Audiovisual Lead attended the National Endowment for the Humanities Sustaining DH Workshop in Provo, Utah.
  • The team celebrated the news that the project was awarded a three-year Humanities Collections & Reference Resources Implementation Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • We made some basic changes to our website design.  
  • The Community Advisors Council met on April 12, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • We pulled and recorded the date of creation, names, and tribal affiliations present in the student applications we digitized, as part of our first pass at recording descriptive metadata for project materials.
  • We held the project's first informational webinar for the Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPO's) of the 40 nations which had children at the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation.
  • Members of the project team edited and processed more than 4,800 images of materials scanned and photographed at the National Archives in Kansas City.

Fall 2018:

  • We spent the latter part of the Fall editing and processing images of materials scanned and photographed at the National Archives in Kansas City.
  • In early October 2018, members of the project team attended the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition’s first national conference in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and presented on the project's work.
  • The Community Advisors Council met in Genoa, Nebraska on September 28, 2018.
  • Members of the project team attended the annual reunion of the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation in Genoa, Nebraska on August 11, 2018.

Spring 2018:

  • We convened the first meeting of our Community Advisors Council at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln University Libraries.
  • We presented on the project at the Nebraska State Museum's "Science Cafe" series, which was featured in a Nebraska Today news story.
  • We hired project staff.

Summer 2018:

  • We made two trips to the National Archives in Kansas City, conducted research in the archives, and scanned and photographed 4,835 pages of materials related to Genoa.
  • We held a training workshop with the developers of the Mukurtu content management system.
  • We connected with the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition about ways to support one another's work. 
  • We began building the project's infrastructure.
  • We met with community members who contributed material to be included in the project.

 


The Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project is a collaboration between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation; Community Advisors from the Ponca, Omaha, Winnebago, and Santee Sioux tribes of Nebraska; and descendants of those who attended Genoa. For additional information or other project-related inquiries, contact us.