SPOHP connects with local partners across the South to document and archive Native American history resources.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Atmore, Alabama
Since 2012, SPOHP has worked in partnership with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Atmore, Alabama, focusing on tribal history initiatives. From 2012-2013, SPOHP digitized and processed historic interviews with Poarch Creek tribal members, originally conducted for program archives by Dr. J. Anthony Paredes in the 1970s, and currently works to process materials from attorney Hugh Rozelle’s legal records related to Poarch history and making the case for federal recognition.
After the Poarch Creek Project digitization initiative concluded in Summer 2013 with the successful transcribing of over 60 interviews, original tapes, digitized audio and new transcripts were transferred to the Poarch Creek Nation. These materials are currently used in displays and exhibits at the Calvin McGhee Cultural Authority’s newly opened history museum, as well as the Evening with the Elders heritage program, a monthly series of oral history feature events.
Dr. Dees and Ellen O’Barr Visit SPOHP and the University of Florida, October 2014
In October 2014, Dr. Deidra Dees, Tribal Archivist, visited with Ms. Ellen O’Barr, also with the Office of Archives and Records Management, to conduct research on Creek history using University of Florida resources and return original oral history tapes from the 1970s interviews to tribal archives. This was a historic visit, the first of its kind in the forty-year history of the Poarch-SPOHP partnership.
Completion of the Poarch Creek Project’s digitization initiative, and the beginning of the next phase involving the legal records of Hugh Rozelle, is a testament to decades of cultural preservation work conducted between the Poarch Nation with the University of Florida, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, and anthropologist Dr. James Anthony “Tony” Paredes, lead interviewer for the original 1970s interviews.
Doris Duke Foundation
In 1967, with financial assistance from the Doris Duke Foundation, SPOHP founding director Dr. Samuel Proctor urged locally connected historians, anthropologists, and tribal members to conduct interviews for Native American history archives, in place of a University of Florida researcher.
As a result of this initiative, over 900 reels and cassette tapes were shipped to Gainesville to be transcribed and edited by UF students and staff. Today, the research staff at SPOHP and UF Libraries work to digitize recordings and bring these interviews into broader online public access.