The papers in this collection are largely limited to the materials Olbrechts collected during the course of the work with the Cherokee, though a few miscellaneous other materials are included. In addition to the material indicated below, there are copies of manuscripts of James Mooney and a fewmiscellaneous other material are included. In addition to the material indicated below, there are a few diaries and expense notes. There are also a very small amount of correspondence.
(1) Vocabularies; (2) vocabularies, phonology, morphophonemics, and syllabary; (3) grammar; (4) texts with no translation; (5) texts with translations; (6) disease-name papers; (7) Wilnoti formula papers; (8) botanical notes and specimens; (9) myths and miscellaneous ethnographic notes; (10) photographs of Iroquois masks; (11) personal, unidentified, and reference material
Biographical / Historical:
Frans M. Olbrechts was trained in linguistics and folklore in his native Belgium and became one o fhis country's leading anthropologists, recognized for his museum work, teaching, and scholarly writing. In all of those areas, his work became particularly concerned with art, magic, and popular culture.
Olbrecht's earliest work outside Europe was among American Indians. In 1925, while studying linguistics and folklore with Franz Boas as a postdoctoral fellow of the Education Foundation of the Committee for the Relief of Belgians, he was introduced by Boas to the staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology. It was subsequently arranged that he would carry out field work among the Cherokee of North Carolina, using as a basis of his inquiries the so-called Swimmer manuscript of Cherokee formulas that had been copied by James Mooney, of the Bureau of American Ethnology. His work resulted in James Mooney, The Swimmer Manuscript: Cherokee Sacred Formulas and medicinal Prescriptions, revised, completed, and edited by Frans M. Olbrechts, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 99, Washington, 1932.