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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hats Off To You!

Susan Hyde, a benefactor of ARROW, Inc., 1951. National Congress of American Indian records, Photo folder 138, National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.

This image is for anyone who has ever processed an un-organized, unlabeled, collection of photographs and completed the Sisyphean task without crying (too much).  After much squinting through a magnifying glass at tiny name labels, the National Congress of American Indians photographs have been processed. Though processing this collection had its share of frustrations, an entire box of folders labeled ‘miscellaneous’ being just one, the overall experience was incredibly fulfilling.  NCAI was, and still is, an important and influential organization in serving the needs of Native American tribal governments and communities. Making these photographs more discoverable will help to highlight NCAI’s rich history through the faces of its leaders. There is something satisfying about going back through folders and realizing you now recognize the faces staring back. For me, I’ll never be able to look at photographs of NCAI leaders Helen Peterson, Joseph Garry or Clarence Wesley, to name a few, the same way again. Be on the lookout for an updated finding aid in the near future! 

Rachel Menyuk
Archives Technician, NMAI Archive Center

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