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The Aleutians: new on-line catalogue

The Aleutians online catalogue for the first time presents entire collection of the Aleutians’ traditional culture housed in the Peter the Great museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS. The project continues series of collection catalogues, dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the Museum. The first catalogue was published in 2007 on the Tlingit culture, the second, published in 2011 — on the Alutiit culture.

The Aleutians are one of the indigenous peoples of the American North. In the early 19th cent. a group of the Aleutians was resettled to the Commander Islands, since than the Aleutians live both in the USA and Russia.

The Aleutian collections were first handed over to the Kunstkamera after discovery of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska by Vitus Bering - Aleksey Chirikov expedition in 1741. Over 150 years Russian sailors, travelers, scholars, missioners and employees of the Russian-American Company delivered Aleutian collections to the Museum. Owing to them MAE (Kunstkamera) RAS houses the largest and unique in the terms of time of gathering collection of Aleutian traditional culture, which was first published in its entirety in the catalogue.

The work on the catalogue was started by the Museum in 2011. The project was realized in partnership with leading American experts and representatives of Alaska Aleutians with active participation of Russian experts from other research organizations. Thus the Museum work in the field of research and interpretation of the North America peoples’ traditional culture with engagement of local communities and eхperts from Alaska as well as providing a wide access to the museum collections have been continued.

As a result a complete research catalogue of the Peter the Great Museum’s of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS on Aleutian traditional culture "Aleuty: catalog kollekcii Kunstkamery" (The Aleutians: Kunstkamera’s collections catalogue) was published in St.Petersburg in 2014.

The catalogue was worked out in partnership and with support of Press and Culture Department of the Consulate General of the USA in St.Petersburg. The Museum expresses appreciation to the Consulate General of the USA in St.Petersburg for supporting the project at all stages of its realization.