In setting out to create this digital resource, I wanted to create a map that could expand the material on the internet about American Indian boarding schools. From my own research, the materials mostly consist of digitized primary sources, a limited amount of monographs and academic articles, scattered news articles, and other materials here or there. I came up with the idea to do this last semester while researching boarding schools for research seminar, and it has been exciting to see this come to fruition. There are still many additions I will add to this project, however, as I come to find more and more out about American Indian boarding schools. My hope is to continue to grow this project — as it is more than a simple class project — it is a topic I’m extremely passionate about.
To me, this map helps the history of American Indian boarding schools to become more accessible to not only those who are interested already, but also to others who stumble upon them. This thought was driven home during our conversations in class this last week on opening and expanding scholarly conversations. It is important to create digital resources that not only give historical context to the materials, but also to create digital resources that are accessible themselves. Many people are not familiar with searching an online archive, but would still want to be engaged with history and I believe that this map is a doorway for that.
In this course, it has really opened my eyes to all of the different digital resources at our fingertips. Digital history is an expansive field and is ever-changing. In my professional position, I work with digital content, but this class has helped me deep dive into understanding it and thinking deeper about it — especially from the perspective of the audience rather than just from my own. I think this course has really taught me how to be a better public historian — and has given me a lot of tools to better myself and my practice.