Cultural Heritage Preservation: How-to

Cultural Heritage Preservation: Tools

Art for Refugees in Transition  Brief description:

History Pin – place for people to share photos and stories,
telling the histories of their local communities.

Digital Dynamics Across Cultures is designed to make Warumungu cultural protocols for the distribution, reproduction and creation of knowledge the primary logic of Internet search. By presenting “content” through a set of Warumungu cultural protocols that both limit and enhance the exchange, distribution and creation of knowledge, the site’s internal logic challenges default notions about knowledge sharing and access. As users navigate through the site, they will encounter the protocols that limit, define and account for a dynamic and multiply-produced understanding of knowledge distribution and reproduction.

Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too ) is a free and open source community archive platform that provides a standards-based, content management system adaptable to the local cultural protocols and intellectual property rights systems of Indigenous communities. Mukurtu began in 2007 as a community archive project with the Warumungu community. The word “mukurtu” means “dilly bag” in Warumungu and was chosen by Warumungu elders to name the system designating it as a “safe keeping place.” Mukurtu, a community archive, like the dilly bag, preserves cultural materials and is accessible based on a reciprocal system of respect and obligations to continue to maintain, create and circulate the materials and knowledge in responsible and respectful ways. – a web-publishing platform that allows anyone with an account to create or collaborate on a website to display collections and build digital exhibitions.

The Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal is a collaborative digital curation and multi-tribal archive project between Washington State University’s Libraries, Plateau Center for American Indian Studies, the Museum of Anthropology, the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian, Yakama Indian Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. The Portal allows tribal representatives and scholars add content, metadata and audio, video and text comments to individual items and collections. The portal highlights Native knowledge through the tribal knowledge fields allowing tribes to narrate their cultural materials.

Research with Respect: Ethical Approaches to Native American Cultural Research and Archival Practices.  (videos are at last two pages of Vimeo channel:

  • A project, co-sponsored by the School of Information Resources & Library Science (SIRLS) Knowledge River (KR) program and the UA Libraries, to raise the visibility and knowledge of research integrity issues on the UA campus by presenting a seminar on the ethical issues related to collection, management and accessibility of knowledge resources from Native American populations.  Also sponsored by the UA Office for the Responsible Conduct of Research, The UA Graduate College, and The Project for Scholarly Integrity, an initiative of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS).  The seminar, scheduled during Native American Heritage month on November 2, 2010.  Other Knowledge River projects of interest are at:


Cultural Heritage Preservation: Resource People

Kimberly A. Christen

  • Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies and Director of Digital Projects at the Plateau Center for American Indian Studies at Washington State University.  Her work explores the intersections of cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, intellectual property rights, the ethics of openness, and the use of digital technologies in and by indigenous communities globally.  Projects on which she has collaborated include Mukurtu, The Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, Digital Dynamics Across Cultures, and Digital Return.  Digital Return is a research network and online resource providing a place for dialogue and connection and direct links to people and projects related to the return of cultural and linguistic materials to Indigenous communities globally.


Other forms of capturing culture and memory (selected examples)