Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project

News & Updates

What We are Doing Now

  • We're preparing for our August 7th meeting with the Community Advisors' Council.
  • We're adding materials to the project website and cleaning up some of the ways these materials display and are organized on the website.
  • Our project Co-Directors are planning a timeline for the public launch of the project website.
  • Our project Co-Directors are developing strategies for continuing the project's work in the Fall of 2020, even if some travel restrictions remain in place.

What's Coming Up

  • We'll finish some basic clean-up work on photographs and scans brought back from Denver.
  • We'll get all remaining materials the project has scanned and photographed to date on the project website and complete some data clean-up work that will make it easier for users to browse through materials once the website becomes public.
  • We'll make some additional changes to the project website based upon feedback from our Community Advisors.

What We've Done

Spring and Summer 2020, to date:

  • We added nearly 3,000 pages of material to the project website.
  • We made improvements to the design of the project website.
  • We created descriptions for more than 600 pages of student censuses, about 75 more pieces of correspondence, and nearly 500 pages of smaller document sets—including student schedule cards, transfer certificates, medical records, vacation requests, government reports, school graduation materials, and other student information forms.
  • The entire project team transitioned to working from home due to the COVID-19 health crisis. University-imposed travel restrictions also meant we had to postpone trips we had planned to scan and photograph more Genoa materials at the National Archives in both Denver and Kansas City. We also postponed a website design focus group with our Community Advisors, which pushed our planned date for the public launch of the project website to the Fall 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.