Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library has completed digitization of its archive of Great Smoky Mountains National Park materials and has made it accessible to the public.
Anna Fariello, associate professor at Hunter Library, presented at the 2015 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums held this year in Washington, D.C. Fariello’s presentation, “Curating Community: A Team Based Approach to Exhibition Development,” described the making of a touring exhibition that used a team-based approach to achieve a community perspective.
Through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Fariello led an exhibition team in creating an exhibit focusing on Cherokee language and culture using sound recordings as the basis for presenting a coherent story. Rather than translating from English, as is often done, the exhibit text was excerpted from conversations originally recorded in Cherokee. A native speakers’ group conversed with instructors from WCU’s Cherokee Language Program about historic photographs and artifacts. Their conversations were transcribed, translated, and included on the 15 panels that make up the exhibit.
Exhibit panels use smart phone technology and QR codes to link text and images to Hunter Library’s online archive. By pressing an on-screen “play” button, a visitor can listen to the Cherokee syllabary as it is spoken. Visitor evaluations revealed that hearing the language – even while not understanding a single word – expanded the meaning and sensory impact of the exhibition, Fariello said. The exhibit, Understanding our Past, Shaping our Future, is currently on view at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching through November.
Fariello also was selected to attend a workshop at Google headquarters. The daylong workshop, Tools for Preserving Indigenous Knowledge, was sponsored by the Google Outreach Program and focused on mapping.
— Contributed information
Anna Fariello, associate research professor and director of Hunter Library’s Craft Revival Project, has been named to two international posts.
The Cherokee Preservation Foundation awarded $50,000 to Anna Fariello, associate professor with Hunter Library, to continue the library’s Cherokee crafts documentation project.
Anna Fariello, associate professor of research and director of the Craft Revival Project at Western Carolina University, is a recipient of a Brown-Hudson Folklore Award from the North Carolina Folklore Society.
Anna Fariello believes that artifacts – somewhat like windows – can act as passageways to a culture’s soul.