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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:  October 28, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License



Marsha MacDowell
Michigan State Museum / Michigan State University
5 MSU Museum
East Lansing MI
48824-4045 USA

Dr. MacDowell has had nearly thirty years of university museum-based experience in teaching, collection development and management, and development of exhibitions, festivals, publications, and arts policy, particularly as it relates to traditional arts. MacDowell also serves as the coordinator of the Michigan Traditional Arts Program (a partnership program of the MSU Museum with Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan University Extension Service). She is past president of the American Quilt Study Group and currently serves on the board of The Alliance for American Quilts.

While the majority of the activities have been focused in Michigan and the Great Lakes region, some projects have been national and international in scope. MacDowell's research has focused on the documentation and analysis of the production, use, and meaning of traditional arts, especially that of Michiganders, women, Native Americans, Hmong, and South Africans and she has published many books and articles on the results of this research. More recently, her research activities are focusing on making traditional arts research data more accessible to others through electronic technology.

Current major activities include the development of the NEH-funded The Quilt Index, the Mellon and Ford-funded South African National Cultural Heritage Training and Technology Project, a national "Quilt Treasures" oral history project, the Great Lakes Quilt Center, the Great Lakes Folk Festival, and the exhibition “Carriers of Culture: Contemporary Native Baskets.”

Marsha will present Bits & Bolts to Bits & Bytes: The Quilt Index Online Repository and Distributed Archival Management System.