Additional materials in the National Anthropological Archives relating to William Duncan Strong can be found in the records of the American Anthropological Association, Bureau of American Ethnology, Handbook of South American Indians, Institute of Social Anthropology, River Basin Surveys, the Society for American Archaeology, and Tulamniu Project (1933-1934); the papers of Ralph Leon Beals, John Peabody Harrington, Frederick Johnson, Frank Maryl Setzler, Ruth Schlossberg Landes, Albert Clanton Spaulding (including information on the Arzberger site), and Waldo Rudolph and Mildred Mott Wedel; Photographic Lot 14, Bureau of American Ethnology Subject and Geographic File; Photographic Lot 24, Bureau of American Ethnology-United States National Museum Photographs of American Indians; Photographic Lot 77-80, Portraits of Smithsonian Anthropologists; Photographic Lot 92-35, Ralph S. Solecki Photographs of Anthropologists; Numbered Collections, MS 4821 (records of the Anthropological Society of Washington), MS 4261 (photographs made on a site survey in the Santa Barbara Mountains, California, 1934), MS 4302 (journal covering the 1936 expedition to Honduras), MS 4846 (correspondence between BAE authors and the BAE editor's office), and MS 7200 (original field catalog of Honduran artifacts, 1936); and in the non-archival reference file. There are also materials in the Smithsonian Institution Archives in record units 87 (Ethnogeographic Board), 9528 (Henry Bascom Collins interviews), and 1050102 (papers of T. Wayland Vaughan). In the Human Studies Film Archives there is material on Strong in the video dialogues of Charles Wagley, 1983.
William Duncan Strong (1899-1962) was a major figure in American anthropology. His accomplishments were as a field worker in archeology and ethnology, archeological theorist, writer, and teacher. He was, furthermore, a leader in anthropological organizations. In 1954, his position in the field was recognized by the award of the Viking Fund Medal for his contributions to archaeology.
Electronic finding aid available from the website of the National Anthropological Archives.
The Strong papers were donated to the archives by Strong's widow, Mrs. Helen Richardson Strong. Most of the arrangements were handled by Ralph S. Solecki, then of Columbia University. He sent the papers to the archives between 1974 and 1979, and there have been small accretions since that time. Mrs. Strong donated the rights in the unpublished material in the collection to the public.
Addl. KW Subjects:
Arranged in 12 series: (1) Miscellaneous personal papers, 1914-1963; (2) Correspondence, 1922-1965; (3) Materials relating to field work, 1921-1963; (4) Miscellaneous research notes, 1917-1960 (most undated); (5) Maps and charts, 1902-1949; (6) Drawings by Naskapi Indians and Eskimos, 1910-1928; (7) Manuscripts of writings, 1922-1962; (8) Writings by other authors. 1902-1961 (some undated); (9) Papers relating to organizations, 1926-1961; (10) Teaching materials and course work, 1909-1961; (11) Miscellany, 1902-1961 (most undated); (12) Photographs, 1913-1950
William Duncan Strong's early interest was in zoology; but, while an undergraduate at the University of California, he was brought into anthropology under the influence of Alfred Louis Kroeber. He conducted archeological and ethnological field research in several areas of the New World, including Labrador, southern California, Honduras, and Peru. Strong was the first professionally trained archeologist to focus on the Great Plains, and it was there that he applied the so-called direct historical method, working from known history in interpreting archeological sites. His work in all these areas are represented by notebooks, diaries, specimen catalogues, maps, and photographs. Strong's papers include correspondence, field notes, diaries, newspaper clippings, teaching notes and student papers, manuscripts of his writings, writings by other authors, papers from the various organizations in which he served, maps, and a considerable number of photographs from his field work. The materials date from 1902 to 1962, with most of the materials being from 1927 to 1955.
William Duncan Strong Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland