Welcome to the Indigenous Digital Archive!

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is seeking applicants for our first Indigenous Digital Archive Fellows! Please see here for more information and how to apply. Applications are due by November 11, 2017.

The Indigenous Digital Archive is a project of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the New Mexico State Library Tribal Libraries Program and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. A free online resource for students, families, researchers, and communities, the Indigenous Digital Archive (IDA) is supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the New Mexico Historical Records Advisory Board, and a Knight Foundation prototyping grant.

Indigenous People's Day 2017 marks the start of our rolling launch of the IDA. We're doing a  rolling launch to bring you access to the site and material as soon as possible. The rolling part means that additional features are getting added on as the software parts are finished and tested. So not everything works right away. But there's enough to let you get in and start exploring!

You can click one of the topics along the top of the page (such as School or Tribe) or use the search bar to start exploring.  Or click on "Series" to explore by a group of related documents, such as all the annual reports from the early boarding school superintendents. Scroll down to see the list of entire documents rather than pages.

We're still tweaking things in the site design. We'd love to hear your suggestions or other feedback! Please send us a note at info@native-docs.org.

You can also sign up for email announcements of things like new material being added, and our pilot project of IDA research fellowships.

Where the Things in the IDA Come from

We've gotten the material from a few different sources. Some of it is scans from microfilm the US National Archives made of original documents. We've also scanned images of original documents from microfilm that the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center wanted to share.

Another source of material in the IDA is potentially you! We've built this platform to make it easier to get info from government records, but also to be able to critique what's there, "correct the record", or add fuller information by making comments and even uploading additional documents and photos. These are features that will come online as part of our rolling launch.

Our first round of documents that we've put in focus on records related to the early government boarding schools and Native rights to land and water. Here's the full list of what we currently have available.

We've started out by scanning from microfilm that already existed since that's the easiest way to get access to a large amount of government records. And since government jurisdictions overlapped, you need access to a large amount of documents to be able to get info on or follow a story or event.

We upload the images in bulk, as they were scanned. Then we have an online tool to group the images into  documents that come over to the IDA where everybody can see and search them. We call our online tool the Sorting Room, or Sorty. We have many images still in the Sorting Room waiting to come over to the IDA. You can see a short video of how the Sorting Room works here. Might you be interested to help group images in the Sorting Room and get them over to the IDA? Drop us a line (info@native-docs.org) and we can talk more.

Where the Topic Tags Come from

If a document is typescript, we run some computer processing on it to try to read the text, and then to add tags. (There's a short video about how we do this -- which also explains why there's some nonsense tags that need cleaning up. And if you're interested in helping out on this kind of thing please email us.)

If you're signed in, you can also add tags. For handwritten documents, we only have the tags that people add.

Features of the Indigenous Digital Archive

The IDA is built around making it easy to find documents of interest. Other features enable users to:

  • Add information about people, places, or events
  • Create a collection of documents of interest to you, and even add documents or photos to share
  • Offer counter-narratives to specific information found in the documents, in order to show a more accurate history
  • Redact portions of a document if sensitive information appears within it
  • Contribute information that is private or that you share - you can work on documents individually or collaboratively with other researchers or a class
  • Share findings with parents and grandparents to spark recollections of additional family and community history


These features are coming online in the next few weeks as part of our rolling launch.

Other Ways to Connect with the IDA

We're on Facebook and Twitter, and you can find some behind-the-scenes things at our project blog. And you can sign up for email announcements.

About Us

Meet our Advisory Panel.


The next couple of links below are to help when people demo the IDA site in talks and workshops. Feel free to explore!

Sample Archival Items:


Sample Finding Aid




Login Register

Welcome, to the Indigenous Digital Archive Project

Etiam porta sem malesuada magna mollis euismod. Fusce dapibus, tellus ac cursus commodo, tortor mauris condimentum nibh, ut fermentum massa justo sit amet risus. Donec ullamcorper nulla non metus auctor fringilla. Nullam quis risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo. Maecenas sed diam eget risus varius blandit sit amet non magna. Aenean eu leo quam. Pellentesque ornare sem lacinia quam venenatis vestibulum. Fusce dapibus, tellus ac cursus commodo, tortor mauris condimentum nibh, ut fermentum massa justo sit amet risus.

Vivamus sagittis lacus vel augue laoreet rutrum faucibus dolor auctor. Donec ullamcorper nulla non metus auctor fringilla. Etiam porta sem malesuada magna mollis euismod. Etiam porta sem malesuada magna mollis euismod.

Latest Annotations