Yale Indian Papers Project Collaborates with Harvard on Mellon Funded Initiative

In collaboration with Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Massachusetts Archives, the editors of the Yale Indian Papers Project are pleased to announce an award from the Mellon Foundation’s Council on Libraries and Information Resources (CLIR). Under the auspices of CLIR’s Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Program approximately 4,500 manuscripts held at the Massachusetts State Archives will be imaged and made available to the public on two digital platforms, the Yale Indian Papers Project’s New England Indian Papers Series and Harvard Radcliffe’s Digital Archive of Native American Petitions Project.  These materials, the majority of them petitions, date from the 17th century through the mid-19th century and document the lives of many in the Indian communities of the colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

OPED mass indian petition

Signatures from a Petition of Natick and Punkapoag Indians to Massachusetts Governor John Leverett and Council Praying for the Return of an Indian Man Unjustly Imprisoned during King Philip’s War, 1676. Massachusetts Archives, Volume 30, document 229


In an effort to provide intellectual access to a subset of these documents, the editors and interns of the Yale Indian Papers Project along with Cheryll Holley, chief of the Hassanamisco band of the Nipmuc Nation, Cedric Woods, director of UMass’ Institute for New England Native American Studies, and scholars from the Mashpee and Aquinnah communities will select and transcribe documents that are particularly significant with respect to the history and culture of Massachusetts Native people, documents touching on important events within individual communities as well larger themes affecting Massachusetts and New England Native people as a whole.

  3 comments for “Yale Indian Papers Project Collaborates with Harvard on Mellon Funded Initiative

  1. Ann Souza
    February 2, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    This is great News Will Papers of the Narragansett Indian of Rhode Island be included in this imitative.

  2. Faries Gray
    February 4, 2016 at 3:59 am

    This project sounds very interesting. I see that you have some different Tribes represented but the Massachusett Tribe has been excluded. Is this intentional? Natick and Punkapoag were both Massachusett village’s. During settlement they were converted into the first two praying towns. Again both Massachusett praying town. Not sure how far along this project is but seeing how many of these archives will have to do with the Massachusett Tribe we the Massachusett Tribe have serious concern our history will not be represented by your current panel. Again we do wish to be included.

    Faries StrongMedicine Gray
    Sagamore of the Massachusett Tribe

    • Paul Grant-Costa
      June 11, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      An update to this comment. Last summer, the editors presented to the Massachusett Tribal Council. Currently, the community is a part of the Project’s editorial work on its NHPRC and NEH related endeavors.

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