The Lao American Archives Project comes to Science Hall

Akarath Soukhaphon and Gerry Duckitt – u-haul

In early April 2023, Geography Ph.D. Candidate, Akarath (Ake) Soukhaphon and volunteer, Gerry Duckitt, drove a U-Haul truck from Washington State to Madison, Wisconsin in order to transport a major collection of original documents as part of a new initiative, the Lao American Archives Project. It took them six days to make the trip, and since then Gerry Duckitt has been volunteering in Science Hall to organize the mainly Lao language materials so that they can eventually be deposited at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Dr. Ian Baird, a professor in the Department of Geography, is the PI for the project, which is a partnership between the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Historical Society, with financial support from the Henry Luce Foundation. The project also has a steering committee of Lao Americans, including Akarath.

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