Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation - Grace Nicholson: Pomo Indian Stories, 1918

About the Project

Help us transcribe “Grace Nicholson: Pomo Indian Stories, 1918” (Box 263, Folder 1) from the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation Records. The Pomo stories were originally written by William Benson (Pomo) in his Native language and shared with Grace Nicholson.

William Benson (Pomo) was a renowned basket maker born in Clear Lake, California. William and his wife Mary Knight Benson (Pomo) found artistic and commercial success weaving traditional Pomo baskets. They traveled widely, exhibiting their baskets, and developing relationships with art collectors, such as Grace Nicholson.

Grace Nicholson was an art collector dealer who specialized in Native American and Asian arts and crafts. She moved to California following her parents and grandparents death, in 1901 and was soon purchasing Native American baskets and other artifacts in association with Carrol S. Hartman. Nicholson kept extensive diaries and notes on her buying trips through Native American territory, especially of the Karok, Klamath, and Pomo communities. Her notes included Native American legends, folklore, vocabulary, tribal festivals, basket making, the art trade, and living conditions. Native American artists with whom Nicholson established long-term business and personal connections included Pomo basket weaver Mary Benson (1878-1930) and her husband William Benson (1862-1937), as well as Elizabeth Hickox (1875-1947) of the Karuk tribe.

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Difficulty

(2 out of 5)
(details)

Level 1 --- BEGINNER

Content: all typed
Language: English
Format: letters, diaries, flyers, pamphlets, and one-page documents
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 2

Content: mostly typed, handwritten in print, or otherwise very clearly written/readable
Language: English
Format: memorabilia, advertisements, image captions, telegrams, diaries, letters, notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 3 --- INTERMEDIATE

Content: typed and handwritten materials in cursive or print
Language: English
Format: newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters/diaries/notes that may include annotations or margin notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: experience reading cursive writing may be useful

Level 4

Content: handwritten materials, primarily in cursive or somewhat difficult to read (predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries) , audio recordings that are relatively easy to hear/decipher, and scientific materials
Language: English and/or other languages that use Roman script but may require the use of diacritics (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.)
Format: audio recordings, letters, diaries, notes and other written materials, projects with templated fields and special instructions
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: some knowledge of non-English Roman-character/script languages and diacritics may be useful, as well as experience reading cursive handwriting. A general knowledge or familiarity with scientific terminology.

Level 5 --- ADVANCED

Content: handwritten materials in cursive (from the 19th century or earlier) or in a non-Roman script language, audio recordings that are difficult to hear or are not in English, specialty materials/projects such as numismatics projects and the Project Phaedra notebooks 
Language: foreign languages that use non-Roman characters (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek/Cyrillic, Native American and Indigenous languages, etc.) and English 
Format: audio recordings, columned data/tables, manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, currency sheets, coins
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: knowledge of a specific language and access to a keyboard with the characters in that language may be required for certain projects. Experience reading cursive handwriting and familiarity with 19th century (or prior) handwriting and conventions/abbreviations may be useful, as well as knowledge of scientific terminology, astrophysics data, or linguistics.

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