Yale Indian Papers Project Awarded Second NEH Grant

The Yale Indian Papers Project has received a Scholarly Editions grant of $225,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support “The New England Indian Papers Series: The State of Connecticut Collection, 1783-1869.”  Slated to begin in the spring of 2014, this award will allow the Project to add nearly 700 primary source documents written by, about or for Connecticut Indians to its open access electronic archive.

“In an increasingly competitive funding environment this award is not only an affirmation of the work that we do but also underscores a shared commitment to the region’s Native communities,” said Dr. Paul Grant-Costa, the Project’s Executive Editor.  

The materials in “The State of Connecticut Collection, 1783-1869” will come from sources as varied as County and Superior Court records, passed and rejected legislation of the General Assembly, personal correspondence, journals and photograph collections, making virtual and intellectual access to otherwise disparate material a reality for an untold number of students, teachers and researchers, Native and non-Native.

Drawn from the collections at the Project’s partner institutions — the Connecticut State Library, the Connecticut Historical Society, the New London County Historical Society, the Indian and Colonial Research Center, and Yale University Libraries — the documents reveal a continued Native American presence in the region from the time of the Early Republic to just after the American Civil War. When combined with material imaged, transcribed and annotated in a previous phase of the project, the full collection will allow researchers and the general public to explore nearly 250 years of New England Native American history, community, culture, sovereignty, land, migration, law and politics, as well as issues of gender, race, and identity.

The document image below represents a portion of an Eastern Pequot overseer record detailing state-paid expenses for part of March and April 1834.  In addition to providing goods and services to tribal members, such as bedding for Phoebe George, clothes and tobacco for Samuel Shantop and shoes for Henry Shantop, the overseer made note of payments made to neighboring non-Natives for improvements to reservation land.  (Original at Connecticut Historical Society and Museum.)  For more information on “The New England Indian Papers Series” or the Yale Indian Papers Project, visit http://www.library.yale.edu/yipp or contact indianpapersproject@yale.edu.


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