In January 2020 we began developing a microsite for the Blackfoot Digital Library (BDL) with the goal of providing access to the Blackfoot items imaged during the visits to museums and reuniting them with their associated knowledge and histories. The BDL is already home to thousands of digital records, cared for by Danielle Heavy Head, and regularly accessed by community members. The microsite will focus on providing a web space designed and optimized for this collection of 3D and spatial imagery.
In the introduction to the BDL, Narcisse Blood states that new and changing technologies can work against the people or be harnessed and used in their own worldview (Blood, n.d.). To harness 3D models in the Blackfoot worldview, our team is working to design an online space using the basic building blocks of web technologies and assembling them with Blackfoot ways of knowing to guide decision-making. Our vision for the site is to drastically change the way the items are presented, taking them out of the museum context and reactivating their Blackfoot relations, bringing them ‘home’ in a sense.
Cultural objects carry a value that is far more significant than their material or physical form; our challenge will be to find ways of making the digital models meaningful, paying close attention to metadata, annotation, and animation.
The site is still in development, we expect to make it public late summer, 2021.
Blood, N 2006, “Welcome | Oki to the Blackfoot digital library”, online video, https://www.blackfootdigitallibrary.com/digital/collection/bdl.