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Grant number like: PY-253045-17

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Catawba County Library (Newton, NC 28658-3331)
Siobhan Cremins Loendorf (Project Director: May 2016 to August 2019)

Common Heritage
Preservation and Access

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$12,000 (approved)
$11,285 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2017 – 12/31/2018

Hmong Heritage Collection

Five digitization days and a variety of public programming events to capture the memories and artifacts of Hmong community members in Catawba County, just east of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Home to the fourth largest population of Hmong immigrants in the United States, Catawba attracted many refugees from Laos after the Vietnam War. This project seeks to document the experiences and contributions of the Hmong community through a partnership between the Catawba County Library, the Historical Association of Catawba County, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, and two community organizations, Hmong Southeast Puavpheej and Hmong Carolinas, Inc. Members of the Hmong community would be invited to digitize their documents, photos, and letters, and encouraged to provide oral histories for future generations. All of the cultural heritage items, digitized with permission, would be saved on the library’s computer network and published via the Digital Heritage NC website to enable broader public access. Among other public programs planned, the library would host a presentation in June 2017 to showcase traditional Hmong dances and clothing.

The Catawba County Library will collaborate with the Historical Association of Catawba County and the Digital Heritage Center of NC to collect and curate a digital collection of the Hmong community's cultural heritage, making it accessible to the public by publishing the collection on the Digital Heritage website.  The library will host five collection days to gather materials and capture oral histories of our Hmong community members.  To further inform our larger community about Hmong traditions and history, the library will host three adult programs and three book discussions.  Hmong cultural heritage is currently underrepresented in our cultural institutions. This project recognizes the value of their culture and the importance of their history of migration and community building. The goals of this project are aligned with the mission of the local Hmong community organizations to secure and preserve Hmong art and culture and to practice, promote and coordinate cultural activities.