Mishoomis Collection Library
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"Not what we give, but what we share, for the gift without the giver is bare."
"Mishoomis" means Grandfather in the Ojibwe language and grandfathers are known to teach the younger generation.
The Mishoomis Collection Library, consists of American Indian/Alaskan Native scholarly research materials which are housed in the AILRC office. The original library started with 8 books. Dr. Rosemary Ackley Christensen and her sons Dane and Barry Christensen in memory of their grandfather and great-grandfather James Ackley, donated over 1000 additional resources. To honor Rosemary's grandfather we named the library, "The Mishoomis Collection Library."
There is a plaque in the library to honor our donors.To add your name to the list, a gift of 100 books (old or new) is needed.
Any overstock that we have accumulated has been donated to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Mash-Ka-Wisen Treatment Center, Sandstone Prison Chapel Library, the Red Cliff Library and others.
The Friends of The Mishoomis Collection Library who have donated 100 or more books include:
Dr. Rosemary Ackley Christensen, Dane and Barry Christensen, Dr's. Linda and James Belote, Carol Newman, Dorothy Olson, Bonnie Wallace Hagland and Ronald E. Hagland.
If you have any questions about donating books to the library call:
(218)726-6379 or toll free 1-800-232-1339.
Mishoomis Library For American Indian Studies Information on Current Collection interests
The Mishomis (Ojibwe for grandfather) collection is located in the American Indian Learning Resource Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Its focus is serving the needs of students studying American Indians and Alaskan Natives of North America.
A recent interest for the library is a concentration on contemporary American Indian Scholars; their papers, publications and writings. The current and coming generations need to hear what American Indian people write and think about issues. For too long the emphasis has been on non-Indian scholars thinking and writing their opinions on American Indian life, thought, world view and anything else that comes to mind. Of course, many, if not most of these people have been very helpful, written excellent materials and their works are used in many places. But we need to hear from, read about and think about our American Indian and Alaskan Native Scholars; their ideas, comments and recommendations.
We are beginning our collection with collected papers from a contemporary Alaskan Native scholar, Dr. William George Demmert Jr.(Tlingit/Lakota) presently Professor at Western Washington University, Woodring College of Education, Bellingham, Washington but in earlier years Co-chair of the Indian Nation at Risk task force, first Head at the rank of Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Indian Education, Director of Indian Education Programs for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and former Commissioner of Education for the State of Alaska. His papers include interesting items from the first years of the National Indian Education Association. He was the first treasurer of the organization and designed it famous logo, used for years by NIEA.
Please let us know if you are interested in talking about donating your papers to the collection. Contact either of us: Rosemary Ackley Christensen: email@example.com (920) 490-8572 or Rick Smith, Director of AILRC at UMD firstname.lastname@example.org (218) 726-6293.
A Gift of Rare Books
UMD receives an impressive collection of books about the lives and histories of indigenous people.
Pharmacy Professor John Staba is a book lover of the highest caliber. His appreciation for books and his five extensive book collections have taken him across the United States in search of hardcover gold.
“I’ve spent decades in bookstores, antique stores, and libraries,” John said. He’s been to library sales and flea markets too, making mental lists of important books that could fill holes in his sets. “When I found a book that could enhance my collection, I was thrilled.”
Finding a Guardian
John, a professor of pharmacy in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota, is now at a point in his life where he is giving away his books, lots and lots of books.
“My wife and I have five children and my collections had taken over our house and all of our storage room,” he said. It was time.
He has given over 1,500 top-shelf scholarly gems to UMD.
John is making the donation to UMD's Kathryn A. Martin Library and the blossoming Mishoomis Collection Library in the American Indian Learning Resource Center (AILRC). Matt Rosendahl, the library director, helped the transaction with a rapid cataloguing process. "John's collection consists of American Indian/Alaskan Native scholarly research materials," says Matt. "John’s books are unique because they cover the indigenous people, not settlers, from South America to Canada during the development of the western United States from 1700 to 1900."
The collection is primarily non-fiction: history, culture, dance, music, art, and painting. “There is some Native American literature, and there are even a few examples of Native American contemporary literature,” John said.
Great Volumes in a New Home
As a bit of a challenge, John has selected four books for people interested in the collection to review (see photos and descriptions). "These are a few of my favorites," he says. "You'll see gorgeous photography, incredible objects, and narratives about brutality and courage... it's all there."
The Mishoomis Collection is an incredible treasure,” John says. “My books will add to the depth of the collection. This is the legacy I’ve always dreamed of.”