Mashantucket Pequot Museum Library and Archives Blog

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Seasonal Closing

Because the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center is closing seasonally this year, the Research Library, the Children’s Library, and Archives & Special Collections are closed beginning December 1, 2014. Please call (800) 411-9671 for additional information.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Maps of Early New England

Saturday, Nov 1, 1-2:30 pm
The European Mapping of Early New England

If you like maps, here's an opportunity to see some rare early maps in the Museum's Archives and Special Collections. Our guest is Matthew Edney, Osher Professor in the History of Cartography and director of the History of Cartography Project at the University of Maine. He plans to discuss early representations of European exploration and North American colonization with a look at historical maps and the cartographic shaping of New England during the 17th and 18th centuries. We will have examples from Museum’s collection of maps depicting New England from the 16th to the 20th centuries. In the Fleet Room. $10 for the lecture; Museum admission is not required. To register, call (800) 411-9671 or email by Oct. 29.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Books and Authors

October is a time to fall back into reading! We have two authors visiting the Museum this month which is great for all of us who love to read and who enjoy meeting authors.

On Saturday, October 11, Major Jason Warren lectures about his book, Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675-1676. Why and how did the Connecticut colony survive King Philip's War without heavy involvement in the fighting? Dr. Warren lectures at 1:30 pm in the Auditorium. You don't have to pay admission to the Museum for the lecture, which has costs $10, but you might want to because there is a 17th century encampment happening that day on the Farmstead. Call (800) 411-9671 or email to register.

The second author is Gerald Vizenor (White Earth Nation of the Anishinaabeg). He is an award winning well-known and respected writer who is professor emeritus of American Studies at Berkeley. His newest historical novel, Blue Ravens, was published this year by Wesleyan Press which is sponsoring his visit here.
"Aloysius Hudon Beaulieu created marvelous blue ravens that stormy summer." That's the first sentence of the story of two brothers who live on, and then leave, the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. From 1907, when they are twelve to 1924 when they are living in Paris, after serving in France during World War I, they travel far from their home but remain visionary painters and storiers. Come to the Research Library on Oct. 18, 1:30-3 pm. FREE.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gerald Vizenor

We are pleased that Gerald Vizenor (White Earth Nation of the Anishinaabeg) is visiting the Research Library on Saturday, October 18, 2014. He reads from, and talks about, his new novel, Blue Ravens, recently published by Wesleyan University Press which is supporting, in part, his visit here.

Join us to hear from one of the most well-known and respected Native writers of our time. 

1:30-3 pm in the Research Library. FREE! Call 860-396-6897 or email for more information.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dawnland Voices

Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England. Siobhan Senier, editor. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska, 2014.

Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Abenaki, Nipmuc, Wampanoag, Narragansett, Mohegan, and Schaghticoke voices, past and present, are collected in this hefty paperback. We turned first to the Schaghticoke section to read the essays by Trudie Lamb Richmond, former director of Public Programming here at the Museum, and who is, in the words of a colleague, “a living legend.” The writings gathered together here highlight the rich literary traditions of Native New England.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Major Jason W. Warren

What was Connecticut's role in King Philip's War? Why did the colony remain unscathed when many towns in Rhode Island and Massachusetts were destroyed? Find out the answers on October 11, 2014, when Major Jason W. Warren visits the Research Library. Major Warren lectures at 1:30 pm and signs books afterwards. Buy a copy of the compelling book at the Gift Shop!

$10 for the lecture; Museum admission is not required. Please call (800) 411-9671 or email to register.

Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675–1676

Volume 45 in the Campaigns and Commanders Series published by the University of Oklahoma Press, 2014.

Major Jason W. Warren, U.S. Army, received his doctorate in history from Ohio State University and served as an Assistant Professor of history at West Point. He is a strategist at the Army War College. Major Warren conducted research at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center about the participation of Pequot and Mohegan forces in King Philip's War.

Book cover and photo courtesy of the University of Oklahoma Press.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

American Indian Youth Literature Award Ceremony

On June 29, the American Indian Library Association hosted the 2014 American Indian Youth Literature Award ceremony at ALA in Las Vegas. The audience cheered the winners and laughed with multiple award-winning author Tim Tingle, whose key note speech was filled with humor and emotion. 

Click here to go to Tu Books site with more photos of the ceremony. Tu Books, an Imprint of Lee and Low Books, published the Young Adult award winning book, Killer of Enemies, by Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki).

Friday, July 18, 2014

Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675-1676

Saturday, Oct. 11, 1:30-4:30 pm
Meet the Author: Major Jason Warren

Learn about King Philip’s War through a modern military lens in this intriguing presentation by U.S. Army Major (Dr.) Jason Warren about his book, Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675-1676. King Philip’s War, one of the bloodiest conflicts in American history, saw many towns in Rhode Island and Massachusetts destroyed, while Connecticut remained unscathed. The book refocuses Connecticut’s role in the war and discusses how the colony achieved success by establishing a policy of moderation towards the Native groups living within its borders. Major Warren lectures at 1:30, and signs books, 2:30-4:30, in the Research Library. $10 for lecture; Museum admission is not required. To register, call (800) 411-9671 or email by Oct. 9.

Gerald Vizenor

Gerald Vizenor
Saturday, October 18, 2014
1:30-3 pm
In the Research Library

Gerald Vizenor, prolific novelist, poet, literary critic, and citizen of the White Earth Nation of the Anishinaabeg in Minnesota, reads from and signs copies of his new novel, Blue Ravens. Vizenor retells his uncles’ stories of growing up on the White Earth Reservation, where their family was known for operating tribal newspapers. He follows their saga as soldiers, fighting on the battlefields of Château-Thierry, MontbrĂ©hain, and Bois de Fays, during WWI. After their service, his uncles return to the White Earth Reservation, only to find that they are captives in their own land. Eventually, they leave again, going to Paris to pursue their creative dreams. 
Gerald Vizenor in Paris
Gerald Vizenor is Professor Emeritus of American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His novel Griever: An American Monkey King in China, won the American Book Award and the New York Fiction Collective Award. He was the primary author of the White Earth Nation's newly ratified constitution. Mr. Vizenor's appearance at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum is supported in part by the Wesleyan University Press, publisher of Blue Ravens.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2 New Pathfinders Books

7th Generation, an imprint of Book Publishing Company in Summertown, Tennessee, has added two new titles in their high interest, quick-read series, Pathfinders

Tim Tingle (Choctaw) continues Danny Blackgoat’s story in the second of three books about the Navajo teenager taken prisoner during the Long Walk of 1864. Look for Danny Blackgoat: Rugged Road to Freedom and you will want go back and read the first book, Danny Blackgoat, Navajo Prisoner which was named the 2014 American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book for Middle School.

Gary Robinson writes about contemporary American Indian boys exploring their heritage through sports, canoe trips, powwows, and more. His latest book is Son Who Returns. Fifteen year old Mark Centeno spends the summer with his Chumash grandmother: “I had attended one of the largest gatherings of Native people in the country. And I had danced the Men’s Traditional style like my grandfather before me.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Russ Cohen

Russell A. Cohen stopped by the Research Library last fall and noticed that we did not have a copy of his book, Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, in our reference collection. He promptly gave us a copy and generously included a large handful of shelled shagbark hickory nuts and some delicious cookies made with hickory nuts. The cookies disappeared the next morning at a staff meeting, but we saved the nuts and shared them during the Native Cooking demonstration on the Farmstead. We all now know how hard it is to crack and pick the meat out of shagbark hickory nuts.

Russ, who is Rivers Advocate, Division of Ecological Restoration, Department of Fish and Game, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is coming the Museum on Wednesday, April 23. At 11:30-12:15 pm, he talks about the food we can find in the spring. From 1-2 pm, he talks about finding and preparing summer and fall foods. Maybe you will be able to "shop" in the fields and forests this spring and summer.

His talks are part of our Earth Week celebration and are free with Museum admission and free to Museum members.  If you have ever wanted to forage for food, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn about eating wild plants and to meet an engaging forager.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

John Eliot

Want to know more about John Eliot and the influence of the first bible printed in any language in America? The Museum’s copy of the second edition (1685) of the Eliot Bible is on display in the Research Library, Wed.-Sat., 1-5 pm, through April 26, 2014. In addition to the Bible, we have a small display of works about John Eliot, including a handful of theses devoted to him, and we have many microfilms of historical documents including: A brief narrative of the progress of the gospel amongst the Indians in New-England, in the year 1670, written by John Eliot. London: Printed for J. Allen, 1671.

Eliot Bible

Friday, February 28, 2014

Eliot Bible on Display

Saturday, Mar. 1-Saturday, Apr. 26, 1-5 pm
Eliot Bible on Display in the Research Library

Here’s a rare opportunity to see our second edition of the Eliot Indian Bible, which was printed in 1685, and combines both the Old and New Testament in one volume. Missionary John Eliot translated the Old and New Testaments into the Natick dialect of the Massachusetts language by taking the phonetic form of the Algonkian/Massachusetts language and using the English (Roman) alphabet to convey the words. His translation was aided immensely by Native preacher and Harvard student Job Nesutan, and the printing was made possible by the assistance of James Printer, a Nipmuc printer’s apprentice.  The Bible’s legacy represents a complex history of cultural interaction involving literacy education, religious conversion, and challenges to Native oral tradition. Free.

Saturday, Mar. 1, 1-3 pm
A Conversation about America’s Oldest Bible
Join a conversation in the Research Library about the Eliot Bible with two of the nation’s leading scholars on the intersection of Indians, language, and religion.  Jessie Little Doe Baird, Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project founder and director, vice-chairwoman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and MacArthur Foundation Genius Award recipient presents with Brown University history professor Linford Fisher, author of The Indian Great Awakening. The discussion is in War Theater I and is free with Museum admission, free to Museum members. Plan to visit the Research Library after the talk to view the Bible.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

2014 American Indian Youth Literature Awards

2014 American Indian Youth Literature Awards

The American Indian Library Association is pleased to announce the 2014 American Indian Youth Literature Award winners. The awards were created to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians, Alaska Natives, Canadian First Nations, and Native Hawaiians. The winning and honor titles convey the past and present of the American Indian experience and are given in three categories—Picture Book, Middle School and Young Adult. 

Picture Book
Award Winner:

Caribou Song: 
Atihko Nikamon/Ateek Oonagamoon

Tomson Highway, author
John Rombough, illustrator
Fifth House, 2012

Middle School
Award Winner:

How I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story
Tim Tingle
The Roadrunner Press, 2013

Middle School
Honor Book:

Danny Blackgoat, Navajo Prisoner
Tim Tingle
7th Generation, 2013

Young Adult 
Award Winner:

Killer of Enemies
Joseph Bruchac
Tu Books, 2013

Young Adult 
Honor Book:

If I Ever Get Out of Here
Eric Gansworth
Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rachel Sayet

Moshup: Enduring Aquinnah Wampanoag Stories

Fortunately the snow held off on Saturday, January 25, when Rachel Sayet gave an excellent talk based her extensive research about Moshup which culminated in her Master’s thesis from Harvard University Extension. As a young girl living at Mohegan, Rachel learned traditional stories of giants and little people from her elders. The giant, Moshup, is always connected to the land and sea of southern New England. Mohegan and Pequot people as well as Aquinnah and Mashpee Wampanoags have many stories about Moshup which have been passed down for hundreds of years. In the 1920s, Rachel’s great-aunt Gladys Tantaquidgeon began recording Moshup stories among the Aquinnah of Martha’s Vineyard. Rachel demonstrated that while many different people have recorded Moshup stories, each from a unique perspective and for different purposes, these stories have always connected the Aquinnah Wampanoag people to the landscape, thereby reinforcing sovereignty for their nation and ensuring their survival. Rachel’s engaging presentation was well received by an interested and thoughtful audience in the Research Library.