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Notes & News
Open Exhibits project funded by the National Science Foundation
Open Exhibits is an open source software project designed to transform how museum professionals and other educators assemble interactive computer-based exhibits for use in museums, schools, and on the Web. This project is spearheaded by Ideum, a multimedia exhibit and web development company located in Corrales, New Mexico, in partnership with the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. The National Science Foundation Informal Science Education program is funding this three-year project.
NM CADRe project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The New Mexico Cultural Assets Digital Repository and e-Community - NMCADRe - has received $135,718 from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to develop a collaborative digital repository for New Mexico museums. Led by the Maxwell Museum, the repository will be established in partnership with the UNM Center for Advanced Research Computing (CARC) and the New Mexico History Museum Palace of the Governors Photo Archives. Long-range plans include partnering with state institutions, local museums, historical societies, archives, tribal governments and community centers. Catherine Baudoin, Curator of Photographic and Digital Collections, and Tim Thomas, Deputy Director of CARC, are co-PIs of the three-year project.
This innovative facility will create, acquire, and present digital assets and operate as a clearinghouse for best practices in conversion, preservation, and accessibility for New Mexico’s rare and threatened visual treasures. The repository will provide a cost effective and robust long-term data storage capability and a public access Web site to foster and support collaboration and education across disciplinary, social, political, and geographical boundaries.
NM CADRe is the only project in New Mexico funded this year by the IMLS Museums for America program, acknowledging the importance of photographs and objects as essential to preserving the visual record of art, history, and natural history of the state. NM CADRe will support community involvement, student success, and advanced digital research. It will give teachers, children, students, and scholars both locally and globally, the opportunity to share in the wealth of resources the state of New Mexico holds.
Ellis Archives Donated to the Maxwell Museum
Florence Hawley Ellis taught anthropology at UNM from 1934 to 1971, but her professional career spanned an even longer period – from her first teaching job in 1928 until her death in 1991. During those six decades, she published extensively and also generated huge volumes of unpublished research papers, notes, maps, and photographs, most of them relating to New Mexico’s prehistoric and living cultures. For years, the Ellis archives remained in Dr. Ellis’s house, and research access was limited. The Maxwell Museum holds many of the archaeological artifacts from her collections, but without access to the field notes, researchers were reluctant to study the artifacts.
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Studies Tsama Collections from Maxwell Museum
In 1970, Florence Hawley Ellis led a field school at Tsama Pueblo in the Chama Valley of Northern New Mexico. The site was occupied from the late 1200s until the early 1500s, so forms an important bridge between the Ancestral Puebloan villages of the Pueblo III period and the Pueblo world documented by the first Spanish explorers and colonists. The site is important because it ties in with the late pre-historic migrations of the Pueblo people – for decades, archaeologists suspected that when the Mesa Verde region of southwest Colorado was depopulated, many of those people moved to the Rio Grande region. Proof of that migration was elusive, in part because many immigrants mixed in with existing Rio Grande populations. The exception seems to have been on the fringes of the Rio Grande region, in places such as Tsama Pueblo, where the Mesa Verde immigrants encountered few existing settlements and were under less pressure to assimilate.
Museum Receives Clovis Point from BLM
In late April, the Maxwell Museum received a most welcome and prized donation: a complete Clovis point. The point was discovered as an isolated artifact on a parcel of Bureau of Land Management land a short distance southeast of the small community of La Cieneguilla, about 2 miles southwest of the Santa Fe Municipal Airport. The point is made of a beautifully patterned red to pinkish red petrified wood, and exhibits a complex network-like pattern of cross-cutting red veins on a lighter pinkish red background. Clovis points within the Rio Grande Valley are few and far between, and only two actual occupation sites are known. Isolated points such as this one may represent the loss of a spear during the pursuit of a wounded animal. However it came to be at this place on the landscape, the unfortunate hunter’s loss is our gain, and we have the BLM and Judy Kowalski to thank for this wonderful addition to our collections.
Excavations at Conejito Shelter
In early 2006, the Office of Contract Archeology monitored construction of the Mid-American Western Expansion natural gas pipeline near Counselor, NM (about mid-way between Cuba and Farmington) when a prehistoric shelter enclosed by large boulders was discovered buried under 3 meters of natural sand. The site, called Conejito Shelter, was an exciting archeological find because it retained intact cultural deposits from five superimposed occupation layers. The lower layers were especially significant as they retained unusually well-preserved remains of burned seeds and fauna.
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