Photographs taken by Alixa Naff between 1957 and the early 1970s on trips to England, Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, and open reel audio tapes of interviews regarding Syrian-Lebanese folklore that Naff conducted in 1965 in the Lebanese Village of Rashaya al-Wadi. Comprising this collection are images of cities, structures, art, people, activities, and scenery, and two folders of Dr. Naff's notes relating to the recorded interviews. Photographic formats include 35mm slides, black and white prints, and 35mm negatives. Naff annotated many of the slide mounts or verso of prints with descriptions and identifications.
Alixa Naff began collecting Arab folklore in 1962 when she visited 16 communities in the U.S. and eastern Canada. After earning her MA and PhD, she taught at California State University, Chico, and at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Naff left academia in 1977 to research and collect material relating to the Arab immigrant experience (particularly Syrian and Lebanese immigrants from the turn of the 20th century). In 1984, with prompting from Richard Ahlborn, curator of the Smithsonian Institution Community Life Division (now the Department of Cultural Affairs), Naff donated her collection of Arab immigrant material. Naff eventually became the archivist of the "Faris and Yamna Naff Arab American Collection", named in honor of her parents, at National Museum of American History Archives Center.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 2011-02
Location of Other Archival Materials:
One reel of 8mm film of Zahle, Lebanon was donated with this collection. It has been relocated to the Human Studies Film Archives.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History holds the Faris and Yamna Naff Arab American Collection and several other Naff accessions.
The National Anthropological Archives also holds a 1950 map of Cairo donated by Alixa Naff (MS 7449).
Negatives are not available for viewing. Some restrictions on open reel audio tapes.