By Priscilla Wegars, Ph.D., Volunteer Curator, AACC
At the UI’s Asian American Comparative Collection (AACC), we are excited to be collaborating with the UI’s Confucius Institute (CI) as the CI opens a branch in Boise. Founded in 1982, the AACC is contained within the UI’s Laboratory of Anthropology which in turn is a unit of the Department of Sociology/Anthropology in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS).
The AACC began as one of the first celebrations of ethnic and cultural diversity on the UI campus. Using an extensive assemblage of artifacts acquired through excavation, purchase, or donations from interested persons, and a wealth of bibliographical materials, such as books, articles, and images, the AACC’s main purpose is to assist researchers, including students, faculty, and members of the public, to investigate, interpret, learn about, and understand the history, culture, archaeological sites, and artifacts of people of Asian and Asian Pacific Islander ancestry who immigrated to the Pacific Northwest during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
For the CI’s branch opening in Boise, the AACC will loan items for an exhibit case in the Water Center. The exhibit, which will be up through July 2016, will contain artifacts and books related to Chinese pioneers in Idaho and the Boise Basin. On Thursday, April 21, from 11:30-12:30, Priscilla Wegars, the AACC’s volunteer curator, will discuss “Chinese Pioneers in Idaho and the Boise Basin,” sponsored by the Idaho Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. A “hands-on” display of Chinese artifacts from the AACC will follow the PowerPoint presentation.
More information on the AACC is available at <http://webpages.uidaho.edu/aacc/index.htm>. Some of the topics accessible there include artifact illustrations, contents of the AACC Newsletter, available lectures, sensitivity issues, ongoing research, regional sites and museums to visit, and links to related websites.