Western History & Genealogy Blog

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Collection Surprise

National Museum of the American Indian

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) papers detail the efforts of a group of engineers dedicated to improving the education of American Indian students and recruiting them to science and engineering careers.  While the correspondence, reports and meeting minutes of this society chronicle their work since 1977; there is an unexpected surprise in the collection.

Norbert Hill, Executive Director of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society from 1983 to 1997, also served on the board of directors of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI).  This collection, thus, contains the correspondence and meeting minutes of the newest Smithsonian museum reflecting the controversy of the move from New York City to Washington, D.C., and containing a lively discussion of issues such as repatriation and the educational value of display items.

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