Back in April, 2021 the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced 225 award recipients who will be receiving $24 million in funding this grant cycle. NAU’s Cline Library Special Collections and Archives was honored to be one of those recipients. We will receive $350,000 over a three-year period to digitize 400 rare and aging films; ours and others belonging to our cultural heritage partners, the Hopi Tribe, the Hualapai Tribe, and Diné College on the Navajo Nation. These films will give us a glimpse of life in the American southwest of the Colorado Plateau in from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Our work began by ordering the technology that will be used to create the digital conversions and posting positions for a student intern and a project archivist. The project archivist hiring committee is diligently reviewing applications and preparing to interview candidates, the student intern, Olivia “Liv” Hall has been hired and is beginning to learn about the NAU films that will be converted and the people who created them. For this installment of our periodic NEH grant films project update, we’d like to introduce you to Liv.
Liv is a freshman at NAU who aspires to teach secondary history education. She’s known from a young age that she would one day be a teacher, but the level changed each year as her own grade level changed. It wasn’t until she began taking history classes and was taught by some incredible history teachers that she fell in love with history and her plans began to fall into place. Seeing her promise, archivist, Sean Evans has already forewarned her that he will spend the next three years trying to recruit her to the archival profession.
Liv chose to attend NAU for several reasons, some of them practical, some of them financial and some were just a reaction to the beauty of the region. She knew she would be attending one of the three state institutions, and with NAU’s education program, along with the Lumberjack scholarship, it took just one November visit for her to decide that NAU “was the best in-state environment,” for her.
The grant project student intern posting caught her eye because Liv thought she could learn a lot that she could bring with her to the classroom. She also liked the idea of returning history to the tribes by preserving their old and fragile films, as well as making them available for educational purposes.
When asked what one thing might surprise people about her, Liv pulled out her backpack to reveal an adorable embroidered image from The Little Prince.
She’s also embroidered Frog and Toad which was included on the Frog and Toad Instagram account and she was even asked to make another for one of the followers.
Unfortunately, Liv couldn’t break SCA’s “team cat” or “team dog” tie because although she’s had dogs in the past, she really wants a cat (a “nice cat”). It’s likely that Sean will be trying to recruit her on this matter as well.
Stay tuned for future updates about this grant project and one called Shades of Route 66, generously funded by an Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona grant. We’ll introduce new student interns and a project archivist. Also coming up in SCA are meetings of the Havasupai Tribal Council (Sept.) and the Hopi Cultural Preservation Council (Oct.).