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The 2008 Heritage Trust Project Grant Recipients
A living culture: Old and new totems in Alert Bay, British Columbia
A living culture: this totem in Alert Bay, British Columbia, is part of the largest and oldest collection of Kwakwaka'wakw cultural artifacts which the U'mista Cultural Society is working to document and digitally preserve. Photo by U'mista Cultural Society

Center for the Study of Peace and Reconciliation (CsPR)
Tokyo, Japan

Chiang Mai University Library
Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.

Flimmer Film AS
Bergen, Norway

The Music Library of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
St. Petersburg, Russia

U'mista Cultural Society
Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada

Villa Ocampo
San Isidro, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina


Center for the Study of Peace and Reconciliation (CsPR)

Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University
Tokyo, Japan

Hitotsubashi University is a public institution in Tokyo that specializes in the social sciences. Its Graduate School of Social Sciences employs Japan's leading scholars in a variety of disciplines including sociology, social research, anthropology, political science, and history. The graduate school formed the Center for the Study of Peace and Reconciliation (CsPR) in April 2007.

CsPR conducts social scientific research on peace and reconciliation and the related issues of conflict, violence, and memory. One of CsPR's goals is to build multimedia digital libraries and archives to accumulate, organize, preserve, and improve access to the vast amount of research on war, peace, and reconciliation. This will help establish CsPR as a leading international research and reference center in this arena, combining studies on Japan's past and present experiences with ongoing peace-building efforts around the world.

The graduate school's Social Research Laboratory has a wealth of materials accumulated through more than 40 years of social research on Hibakusha (atomic war victims). These include life-history research notes, interview tapes (audio and video) and transcripts, research cards, memorandums, oral history records, questionnaires, and answer sheets. There is also a large collection of Hibakusha movement papers (leaflets, minutes, memorandums, and tapes of meetings and other activities). Other projects such as World War II studies and cultural and social anthropological surveys of current and former conflict zones also have accumulated large amounts of research and archival materials.

CsPR believes it has a duty as a research center to preserve these materials and make them available to the public. The EMC grant will enable CsPR to digitize audio and video tapes and documents. It will also support the purchase, design, coding, and installation of an online database and procurement of digital scanners, video and audio capture equipment, and hard disk storage.

"The EMC grant is very significant for the development of CsPR," says Professor Yoshiko Ashiwa, CsPR Co-Director. "It recognizes the importance of our work to promote the study and understanding of peace and reconciliation. It also gives us the resources to initiate a specific project, which is the establishment of a digital archive. On behalf of the members of the center, I express heartfelt thanks to EMC for its support."
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Chiang Mai University Library

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai University is Thailand's oldest, largest, and most renowned institute of higher education. Located near Bangkok, the city of Chiang Mai is rich in culture and traditional arts—a hub of political and commercial activity as well as a center of Theravada Buddhist learning.

The Chiang Mai University Library (CMUL) has been involved in the research and revival of the vernacular northern Thai language, which was nearly extinct. The sources of this language are traditional manuscripts written on mulberry paper, tree barks, and palm leaves. These are still kept in many of the 1,000 temples in the region that are culturally linked with other Buddhist communities in northern Lao PDR, southern Yunnan in China, and the Shan states in Myanmar. Most manuscripts were written in the 18th and 19th centuries, but a few date back to the 16th century. The originals are not well kept in the monasteries and are in danger of being eaten by termites and other tropical insects.

CMUL catalogued manuscripts from 100 of these temples in the 1980s and began the microfilming process, yielding 350 reels.

CMUL is sponsoring a digitization initiative that aims to make this documentary heritage more visible and accessible to the public. An EMC grant will cover preservation staff members' expenses and will enable the purchase of a scanner and Web server. It also will fund an expert in Northern Thai language to write abstracts in modern Thai for each digitized manuscript; English translations will be made available.
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The Edgar Allan Poe Museum

Richmond, Virginia, U.S.

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, houses one of the world's finest collections of renowned author Edgar Allan Poe's manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia, and personal belongings. It was in Richmond that Poe grew up, married, and first gained a national literary reputation. The museum has been a Richmond institution for 85 years. Poe's broad appeal is reflected in the fact that the museum attracts more than 17,000 visitors from around the world each year.

Called "America's Shakespeare," Edgar Allan Poe created or mastered the short story, detective fiction, science fiction, lyric poetry, and the horror story. The Poe Museum documents his accomplishments with pictures, relics, and verse and celebrates his life through exhibitions, lectures, publications, special events, and educational programs. In April, the museum will host an exhibit that depicts some of Poe's works in the form of comic books and other graphic adaptations.

To make Poe's collection more broadly accessible, the museum has begun to scan documents and photograph artifacts. The intent is to create virtual exhibits for the museum's website that will coincide with Poe's bicentennial celebration in 2009. The EMC grant will fund staffing and equipment to support this digitization project as well as acid-free storage of materials.

Katarina Spears, the museum's Executive Director, says, "Although Poe always identified himself as a Virginian, his life and works truly belong to the world. The EMC Heritage Trust Project has given the Poe Museum the opportunity to make this extremely rare and valuable historic collection available for research and enjoyment on a global scale while preserving it for the generations to come. We are thrilled by this opportunity."
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Flimmer Film AS

Bergen, Norway

Since March 2004, Flimmer Film, a Norwegian film production company, has sponsored workshops in digital storytelling. All ages have participated—from children to senior citizens. The stories are turned into documentary films shown on local and national television stations, and in movie theaters, churches, and community centers.

In Flimmer Film's 20th-century oral history project called "My days," senior citizens relate short, personal stories about experiences from their everyday lives. These anecdotes provide a glimpse into what was important to them and why.

In collaboration with the Council of Bergen and the programme Den Kulturelle Spaserstokken (an organization that helps fund cultural activities for senior citizens), Flimmer Film is conducting oral history workshops at senior's homes and in senior centers in the county of Hordaland. During these workshops, the film crew helps the participants recollect their memories, compose their stories, and bring them to life.

Their stories are recorded digitally and combined with images to create individual documentary films lasting two to four minutes. They combine a narrated piece of personal writing (as a voice over), personal photographs, drawings, letters, and art work, along with a musical soundtrack.

The narratives are expected to contribute to official social history records and also will serve as source material for further historical research. This is a pilot project that Flimmer Film hopes to expand nationally in 2009.

The EMC grant will allow the stories to be translated from Norwegian into English and to be posted on a website. "Thanks to EMC, we will be able to present the stories from 'My days' to an international audience and make a long-lasting, online digital archive," says Eli Lea, Flimmer Film Project Manager. "This is fantastic for us, since we believe personal stories are very special and unique—they help us to learn about ourselves and to connect with other people. We hope the stories will inspire people of all ages and nationalities to tell their stories, because we all have a story to tell!"
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The Music Library of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra

St. Petersburg, Russia

The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Russia's oldest symphonic ensemble, was founded in 1882. The Music Library was established at the same time. It houses one of the most significant musical collections in Russia, numbering about 150,000 pieces.

The collection primarily consists of musical scores, sheet music, and books and periodicals about music. The library keeps records of every concert and has preserved all posters, playbills, and programs from concerts held in the Philharmonic since 1921.

Among the more valuable items are musical scores signed by such renowned composers as Johann Strauss, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Sergei Slonimsky. One of the library's unique possessions is the "golden book," which contains personal notes, testimonials, and recollections about the orchestra by some of the world's greatest musicians starting in the 1920s. The library also houses a large collection of autographed portraits of famous musicians.

All records have been kept by hand up to the present day; most exist on paper in small boxes. Many of the items—musical scores, for example—are showing signs of significant wear and deterioration.

"The EMC grant will provide the hardware and software necessary to scan and digitally catalog this priceless collection," says Natalia Drozdetskaya, Special Projects Department Manager for the Music Library. "With this technology, the library will be able to preserve and make the collection widely available via a website, thus making the library part of the international cultural community."
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U'mista Cultural Society

Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada

The U'mista Cultural Society is dedicated to keeping alive the cultural heritage of the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation. Formerly known as the Kwakiutl, the Kwakwaka'wakw is an indigenous nation that has existed for thousands of years. Today, it consists of 5,500 people living on Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Throughout their history, the Kwakwaka'wakw people have spoken a common language—Kwak'wala-even though they lived in multiple locations on or near Vancouver Island and had different names for different groups.

Some of the tribes have abandoned their villages and disappeared. A few have assimilated into other tribes.

The Kwakwaka'wakw people are well known for expressing themselves through art inspired by the animals in their mythology. Their attire for the potlatch, or sacred community-gathering ceremony, consists of headdresses, aprons, leggings, and wristbands. Woodcarving takes the form of animal-inspired masks, rattles, totem poles, and canoes.

The U'mista Society wants to create a comprehensive web-based, multimedia, digital database to document the largest and oldest collection of Kwakwaka'wakw culture in Europe (held by the Ethnological Museum in Berlin). The project will bring together a team of specialists from Canada, the U.S., and Germany to document this collection, which was assembled beginning in 1881 by Johan Adrian Jacobsen, a Norwegian-born explorer and collector. The Kwakwaka'wakw material ranges from utilitarian items to spectacular masks and ritual regalia.

Digitizing the Berlin museum's Kwakwaka'wakw collection is important for several reasons. It will enable the U'mista Society to become part of the Reciprocal Research Network (RRN), an open-source, web-based, federated museum information system co-sponsored by the University of British Columbia. The RRN makes heritage materials related to Canada's Northwest Coast First Nations (indigenous people of Canada) available to researchers and the general public. Andrea Sanborn, Executive Director of the U'mista Cultural Centre, says, "With the EMC grant, this culture and history will be accessible for the first time to scholars, the Kwakwaka'wakw people, and others in our community and around the world. We thank the EMC Heritage Trust Project for its support."
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Villa Ocampo

San Isidro, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Victoria Ocampo (1890-1979), a well-known Latin American cultural figure, founded and published Sur, the most important literary magazine of its time in Latin America. She was a pioneer in her efforts to connect Latin American writers and intellectuals in Europe, the U.S., and India.

Villa Ocampo was Ms. Ocampo's house, an imposing, French-Victorian style mansion. It served as a gathering place for many distinguished 20th-century Argentine and foreign luminaries such as Graham Greene, Alfonso Reyes, Albert Camus, Aldous Huxley, Le Corbusier, Octavio Paz, Maurice Ravel, Jorge Luis Borges, and Rabindranath Tagore. They read, discussed, and mulled over many critical ideas and projects of the times.

Villa Ocampo hosts an important collection of art and furnishings as well as Ms. Ocampo's library of 12,000 books, 1,000 periodicals, photographs, letters, and personal papers. About 1,300 of the books are inscribed by well-known authors.

Ms. Ocampo willed her properties to UNESCO, which only supports the operating costs of the house. The Argentine government has helped renovate the house and surrounding gardens, which is now open to the public and receive about 20,000 visitors a year. Other small grants have helped restore some of the furnishings, artwork, and perform minimal work on the library. But the books and documents, stored in boxes, are dirty, damaged, and suffering the effects of humidity.

Nicolás Helft, executive director of the Villa Ocampo Project, says, "The EMC grant will allow us to finish the conservation work and to digitize a substantial part of the collection—thus making it available onsite and online to scholars who are studying Latin American and European culture and to the general public."
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