Cherokee Heritage Center

The Center consists of a living history Cherokee village, a museum, and small township of historical buildings. Dedicated to the perservation of Cherokee culture and history, it is one of the most widely visited Native American sites in Oklahoma.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Technology Helps Preserve Cherokee History and Culture

If we lose our history we lose ourselves. The history of the Cherokee Nation is not merely Cherokee history but it is American History.

The Cherokee Heritage Center, an institution based on preserving Cherokee heritage, recently received the opportunity to advance their records. Many of the historic tapes in the archives were in danger of being lost. The tapes are reel-to-reel format and locating high-quality equipment to convert them was not easy. The idea was to make tapes more accessible with the help of Brian Levy and the Caddo and Euchee tribes and their access to a variety of equipment, the center converted its records into CDs.

Brian Levy previously helped the Caddo, Creek and the Euchee tribes with familiar projects.
Levy was hired for the job as a result of a suggestion by America Meredith, a member of the Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc. who is familiar with the work of the Caddo Nation.
The center also chose the tapes with all sound, allowing future users to clean the sound as they desire. The center now has 3 sets of CDs, a master and 2 copies. Since the tapes are now digital they will not lose any quality and every copy will be the same. The center has additional tapes that will later be converted to CD. At the present time though the center is looking for a suitable off-premise site to store the master copy.

This conversion makes the archives more accessible over the internet and for research. The conversion has made it possible to play segments of the tapes on the radio. The Oklahoma Humanities Foundation has given the center a grant in cooperation with Cherokee Nation to play segments of the tapes on a Cherokee language broadcast. KTLQ, a Tahlequah station, has also agreed to broadcast the segments on its Sunday morning show.

“I’m glad to hear the radio is airing some of the recordings. That’s wonderful that they will be more widely heard that way, hopefully by some speakers of the language,” said Levi.
In the near future the center plans to put the archives on the Web site so that people can utilize them. Also the center will begin scanning historic documents and photographs.

The Cherokee Heritage Center is very satisfied with the reformation of their tape archives. The archives are saved and Cherokee heritage as well as American history is still being preserved.


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