Academic journal article The Arkansas Historical Quarterly

From the Archives: The American Native Press Archives and Sequoyah National Research Center

Academic journal article The Arkansas Historical Quarterly

From the Archives: The American Native Press Archives and Sequoyah National Research Center

Article excerpt

LAST OCTOBER, A RECEPTION IN LITTLE ROCK marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the American Native Press Archives at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 1983, the creators of the archives, Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., and James W. Parins, were working on the American Indian and Alaska Native Newspapers and Periodicals Project, which produced a three-volume reference guide to Native newspapers and periodicals (Greenwood Press, 1982-1985). Littlefield and Parins had also compiled A Biobibliography of Native American Writers, 1772-1924 (Scarecrow Press, 1981), which, with a supplement issued by Scarecrow Press in 1985, became the standard reference for the field. In addition to citations for poetry, drama, and fiction, the bibliography includes essays on many topics; myths and legends; satirical pieces in various dialects; personal reminiscences; letters and communications to the federal government; legal documents such as treaties, laws, and case briefs; and other genres.

In the course of this massive bibliographic undertaking, the project evolved from a joint effort of the Department of English and the Ottenheimer Library to the freestanding Sequoyah Research Center. The center now "collects and archives products of the Native press and materials related to Native press history, collects and documents the works of Native writers, constructs bibliographic guides to Native writing and publishing, creates digital editions of writers' works, and conducts and publishes original research."

Before 1925, perhaps 95 percent of published writings by Native Americans appeared in periodicals. Consequently, the ANPA claims to be "the world's most comprehensive resource center for the study of Native literature during that era." Today, the archive maintains about 2200 serial titles in hard copy and microform, covering the period 1828 to the present. …

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