What does the RRN mean?

The Reciprocal Research Network (RRN) is a database of hundreds of thousands of objects from holding institutions such as museums and co-developing communities. Each object has images, as well as an item record of information provided by the institution. The RRN revolutionizes access to these objects, images and knowledge. It enables geographically dispersed users and institutions – including originating communities, academics and museum staff – to carry out individual or collaborative cultural heritage research projects. It allows you to see and learn about objects that were never easily accessible on the Web. The RRN is reciprocal because it instigates a mutual learning environment where information can be shared between institutions and researchers, including originating communities. It also gives the ability to undertake research projects, currently primarily within the domain of universities, museums and other international institutions, to originating communities.

What are Culturally Sensitive Objects?

Some items whose records are stored on the RRN are considered culturally sensitive by the people of the culture the item originates from. The RRN attempts to respect the values and beliefs of these people by limiting or denying access to images that have been identified as such. The RRN is an ongoing project fuelled by its users' involvement and as such its content is in a constant state of change. Therefore, if you see images that should be marked as culturally sensitive, or feel that certain marked images should be made viewable to certain individuals, please report this by submitting information to the item record. To see how to do this, watch the tutorial.

Can I write in my language?

Yes! The RRN allows you to write in your own language using a special onscreen keyboard. The keyboard supports characters from the Hul’q’umi’num’, Halq’eméylem, and Kwak̕wala languages.

The RRN stores all translations in an internationally recognized format called Unicode. This is done to preserve the translations far into the future, without depending on special fonts. Although Unicode is widely supported, older computers may not display all characters correctly.

To ensure characters are displayed correctly on your screen, be sure to use the latest version of Windows or OS X, and download the latest version of your web browser.

Minimum Recommended System
Operating System: Windows 7 / OS X Leopard
Web Browser: Firefox 5 / Safari 5 / Chrome

Who has developed this project?

This project has been co developed by the Musqueam Indian Band, Stó:lō Nation/Tribal Council, U’mista Cultural Society and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC.

How is this project funded?

The Museum of Anthropology finances the RRN Development through the Partnership of Peoples Grants funded by the:

  • Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) (2002)
  • British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) (2005)

Whose collections can I search?

You will be able to search the collections of all the partner institutions involved in the project as well as the co-developing communities. These include:

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Autry National Center
  • Bill Reid Centre
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture (University of Washington)
  • Chilliwack Museum & Archives
  • Glenbow Museum
  • Lab of Archaeology (University of British Columbia)
  • Manitoba Museum
  • McCord Museum of Canadian History
  • Museum of Anthropology (University of British Columbia)
  • Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (University of Cambridge)
  • Museum of Vancouver
  • Musqueam Indian Band
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • National Museum of Rio de Janeiro Brazil
  • Nova Scotia Museum
  • Penn Museum
  • Pitt Rivers Museum
  • Portland Art Museum
  • Royal British Columbia Museum
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • SFU Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
  • Sto:lo Research & Resource Management Centre
  • U'mista Cultural Centre
  • Université de Montréal

You can choose whose collections you’d like to search by narrowing your search with the search filters. Look under “holding institution” on the “where” tab of the main search page.

Can I use images from the RRN for projects and research?

The images on the RRN fall under the copyright of the separate holding institutions. These regulations may allow the use of the images through the RRN for research purposes.

The storage box is beautiful, who made it?

The storage box is a bentwood box created by Bruce Alfred. To find out more about this box, view its item record on the RRN.

If I can’t find something on the RRN, does that mean it doesn’t exist?

No. The RRN provides access to item records from holding institutions (museums, cultural institutions, etc.) therefore you can only see items that are held within these institutions. Furthermore, the RRN is focused on material associated with the Northwest Coast, so if you’re looking for something keep in mind that if it does not have a Northwest Coast affiliation it may not appear in your search. Also be aware of the advanced text search field at the top of the Find page; if you can’t find something in the drop down tag clouds, you might try typing it into the Search Box.

What if I see some information that is incomplete about an item?

You can add your knowledge to a record by submitting information. Watch the tutorial for more information on how to do this. Keep in mind that this sends an email inviting the holding institution to view your information, but it may be a while before you hear a response. In the mean time, the information you shared is available to the other users of the RRN.

How can I get in touch with the people who made the site?

You can get in touch if you have questions or need help by clicking the ask us tab on the help page. There you can enter in a question, and we will directly respond to you as soon as we can.

Where does the RRN get all of its information?

The information on the RRN is supplied by the holding institution where the item is. The RRN acts as a window into the different databases supplied by the holding institution. What you see is not copied or re-written in any way by the RRN, but a look into what other holding institutions have in their databases.

Can I get in contact with other users?

The easiest way to connect with other users is to start a discussion. If you want to talk privately with a specific user, you should use the Private Messaging feature.