ELKINS - Davis & Elkins College Curator of Special Collections Mark Lanham will be among presenters at the West Virginia Association of Museums Annual Conference and Meeting, March 21-24 in Charleston, West Virginia. The conference brings together museum professionals to discuss new ideas and time-tested tactics for building and maintaining relationships to help them better serve as stewards and advocates for culture, science and history.
Lanham’s presentation is titled, “The Stirrup Gallery’s Experience with NAGPRA.” The session will detail the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) grant process from applying, to conducting the grant specifications, to the final report. Guidelines for hiring someone with the use of federal money, cultural affiliation determinations, the process of contacting every tribe/nation in the United States, maintaining contact with tribes/nations, and the repatriation process will be discussed. The Stirrup Gallery’s experience will be used as a case study.
Davis & Elkins College received a NAGPRA grant from the National Park Service in 2016. The award provided funding to contract Richard Rosencrance, an archaeologist with expertise in Native American collections, who conducted research to further determine the origins of some of the items in The Darby Collection. The project increased the museum’s ability to successfully consult with tribes and build partnerships through the NAGPRA process.
As curator of special collections, Lanham serves as restorer, preservationist, cataloger and tour guide of The Stirrup Gallery. Lanham holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sustainability studies from Davis & Elkins College and served 23 and a half years in the United States Marine Corps Infantry. A native of Elkins, he is a member of the West Virginia Association of Museums and the American Alliance of Museums.
The Stirrup Galley, located in Myles Center for the Arts on the D&E campus, houses more than 10,000 North American treasures of The Darby Collection, along with the Howard-Sudbrink Collection, Foster Collection, Senator Davis Collection, Swezy Collection, Gary North Collection, J. Richard & Dotty S. Kendig Collection, Reckling Collection and Wagner Collection. Together they span more than 100,000 years of history.
The West Virginia Association of Museums conference will include walking tours, discussions on using inventory software, success stories from the efforts of state museums and training for community education, among other topics and opportunities for networking. Nancy Moses, chair of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, will serve as keynote speaker.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.