The MNHS permanent collection includes more than 6,500 objects related to American Indian culture and history. MNHS provides responsible stewardship of these items, in accordance with the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and industry standards for collections management. Meaningful partnerships with tribal communities are the key to successful stewardship. In FY16, MNHS continued collections outreach programming by partnering with Dakota tribes and Ojibwe bands throughout the state and beyond.
The Minnesota Historical Society was host to an American Indian Roundtable in spring 2014 for all tribes that have connections to Minnesota. This multi-day event covered topics such as language preservation, grant writing and a digitizing workshop to support the preservation of American Indian history and culture.
Increasing the public's online access to the permanent collections remains a top priority for MNHS. Since the beginning of FY17, more than 800 artifacts have been digitally photographed and cataloged, including American Indian material culture, fine art, recent acquisitions and artifacts related to current events and MNHS initiatives. The digitization of edged armaments and artifacts associated with brewing and breweries in Minnesota has now been completed.
In the fourth year of this project, MNHS staff completed inventory and rehousing of most artifacts excavated from Historic Fort Snelling between 1957 and 1981. The Collections Management System now has 118,500 records for Fort Snelling artifacts. Three hundred items were photographed and are now accessible to the public online. In 2016, an exhibit featuring patent medicine bottles found at Fort Snelling was developed and installed in the Fort Snelling Visitor Center.
The purpose of the Jeffers Petroglyphs Data Access project is to store and provide access to 3D digital scans of the Jeffers Petroglyphs. A website devoted to the Jeffers Petroglyphs is being created to showcase the valuable three-dimensional images of ancient rock carvings recently catalogued by the Minnesota Historical Society Collections staff. This project carries out the critical second piece of the 2008 Jeffers Petroglyphs Conservation Project that was initially funded to remove lichen from the petroglyphs.
The Minnesota Historical Society manages 26 historic sites and museums across Minnesota. Recognizing an opportunity to work more collaboratively with organizations where historic sites are located, MNHS is working with local historical organizations around the state to assess and improve their service to the public. MNHS staff are working with several organizations such as Wilderness Inquiry, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St.
In FYs 14 and 15, MNHS staff reviewed thousands of Native American items and records resulting in the identification of nearly 500 objects as culturally sensitive. This material will require a higher standard of research, care and preservation. In addition, MNHS staff visited elders and professional staff at two tribal communities in the state explicitly to discuss culturally sensitive material. In FY 15, MNHS received a formal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act claim to repatriate approximately 36 items.
MNHS continues to strive for environmental, economic, and social sustainability in the fifth year of its sustainability program. Staff and visitors are engaged with sustainability through the project's "More for the Mission" campaign. Recent energy-efficiency projects within our facilities have allowed us to achieve the five-year goal of 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
MNHS continues to strive for environmental, economic and social sustainability in its sustainability program. To pinpoint opportunities for ongoing progress, the sustainability program will harmonize a broader range of institutional needs and objectives. The program will establish integrated, continuous, electronic reporting that unites environmental, social and economic risk analysis. This reporting will be used to further reduce our environmental impact and improve the sustainability of our operations as a whole.
The Minnesota Historical Society continues to strive for environmental, economic and social sustainability with its third year of the sustainability program. Continued focus is being placed on educating staff and visitors about sustainability through the project's "More for the Mission" campaign. Sustainability campaigns include a staff alternative commuting event and an upcoming staff stair campaign. The goal of these projects is to engage staff in the significance of sustainability in their daily lives.