This collection has a unique variety of materials. Not only does it have both visual and textual primary sources, but it has many secondary sources as well. By creating a museum exhibit, one can explore the relationship between primary and secondary sources and learn first-hand how the presentation of information affects how it is understood.
Select a topic that is well documented in the collection, such as missionaries, Native Americans and Christianity, Native-American arts and crafts, canoes, fishing, totem poles, treaties, Indian schools, or folklore. Search the collection for pertinent primary and secondary sources. To browse secondary sources, search on Pacific Northwest Quarterly and Publications in Anthropology. Print out and arrange images and textual excerpts using the following questions (don’t forget to cite your sources in captions):
- What is your job as a museum exhibit curator? What do you want visitors to learn? What kind of experience do you want them to have?
- What is the value of primary and secondary sources? What would museum visitors miss out on if they saw only one or the other?
- How will you present your materials? Will there be a chronological, thematic, or some other type of order?
- What is the benefit of presenting a primary source first, and then a secondary source related to it? What is the benefit of the reverse order?
- How will you begin and end your exhibit? What is the role of materials placed at the beginning and end of an exhibit?
"When the pioneers arrived a hundred years ago, the familiar Nootkan (or Chinook) canoe was already the most widely used type on the Northwest Coast. It dominated the outer coast from Queen Charlotte Sound to Tillamook Bay and was admired and coveted by all the up-Sound and lower Columbia and Fraser River people. The faintly animal-like head, poised and alert, the flat bottom and almost level sheer, and the simple yet beautiful stern "knob"of this model are seen in public print almost weekly..."