These papers reflect the professional and personal life of Frederica de Laguna. The collection contains correspondence, field notes, writings, newspaper clippings, writings by others, subject files, sound recordings, photographs, and maps. A significant portion of the collection consists of de Laguna's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and students, as well as her informants from the field. Her correspondence covers a wide range of subjects such as family, health, preparations for field work, her publications and projects, the Northwest Coast, her opinions on the state of anthropology, and politics. The field notes in the collection mainly represent de Laguna and her assistants' work in the Northern Tlingit region of Alaska from 1949 to 1954. In addition, the collection contains materials related to her work in the St. Lawrence River Valley in Ontario in 1947 and Catherine McClellan's field journal for her research in Aishihik, Yukon Territory in 1968. Most of the audio reels in the collection are field recordings made by de Laguna, McClellan, and Marie-Françoise Guédon of vocabulary and songs and speeches at potlatches and other ceremonies from 1952 to 1969. Tlingit and several Athabaskan languages including Atna, Tutochone, Upper Tanana, and Tanacross are represented in the recordings. Also in the collection are copies of John R. Swanton's Tlingit recordings and Hiroko Hara Sue's recordings among the Hare Indians. Additional materials related to de Laguna's research on the Northwest Coast include her notes on clans and tribes in Series VI: Subject Files and her notes on Tlingit vocabulary and Yakutat names specimens in Series X: Card Files. Drafts and notes for Voyage to Greenland, Travels Among the Dena, and The Tlingit Indians can be found in the collection as well as her drawings for her dissertation and materials related to her work for the Handbook of North American Indians and other publications. There is little material related to Under Mount Saint Elias except for correspondence, photocopies and negatives of plates, and grant applications for the monograph. Of special interest among de Laguna's writings is a photocopy of her historical fiction novel, The Thousand March. Other materials of special interest are copies of her talks, including her AAA presidential address, and the dissertation of Regna Darnell, a former student of de Laguna's. In addition, materials on the history of anthropology are in the collection, most of which can found with her teaching materials. Although the bulk of the collection documents de Laguna's professional years, the collection also contains newspaper articles and letters regarding her exceptional performance as a student at Bryn Mawr College and her undergraduate and graduate report cards. Only a few photographs of de Laguna can be found in the collection along with photographs of her 1929 and 1979 trips to Greenland.
Scope and Contents:
These papers reflect the professional and personal life of Frederica de Laguna. The collection contains correspondence, field notes, writings, newspaper clippings, writings by others, subject files, sound recordings, photographs, and maps.
A significant portion of the collection consists of de Laguna's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and students, as well as her informants from the field. Her correspondence covers a wide range of subjects such as family, health, preparations for field work, her publications and projects, the Northwest Coast, her opinions on the state of anthropology, and politics. Among her notable correspondents are Kaj Birket-Smith, J. Desmond Clark, Henry Collins, George Foster, Viola Garfield, Marie-Françoise Guédon, Diamond Jenness, Michael Krauss, Therkel Mathiassen, Catharine McClellan, and Wallace Olson. She also corresponded with several eminent anthropologists including Franz Boas, William Fitzhugh, J. Louis Giddings, Emil Haury, June Helm, Melville Herskovitz, Alfred Kroeber, Helge Larsen, Alan Lomax, Margaret Mead, Froelich Rainey, Leslie Spier, Ruth Underhill, James VanStone, Annette Weiner, and Leslie White.
The field notes in the collection mainly represent de Laguna and her assistants' work in the Northern Tlingit region of Alaska from 1949 to 1954. In addition, the collection contains materials related to her work in the St. Lawrence River Valley in Ontario in 1947 and Catharine McClellan's field journal for her research in Aishihik, Yukon Territory in 1968. Most of the audio reels in the collection are field recordings made by de Laguna, McClellan, and Marie-Françoise Guédon of vocabulary and songs and speeches at potlatches and other ceremonies from 1952 to 1969. Tlingit and several Athapaskan languages including Atna, Tutochone, Upper Tanana, and Tanacross are represented in the recordings. Also in the collection are copies of John R. Swanton's Tlingit recordings and Hiroko Hara's recordings among the Hare Indians. Additional materials related to de Laguna's research on the Northwest Coast include her notes on clans and tribes in Series VI: Subject Files and her notes on Tlingit vocabulary and Yakutat names specimens in Series 10: Card Files.
Drafts and notes for Voyage to Greenland, Travels Among the Dena, and The Tlingit Indians can be found in the collection as well as her drawings for her dissertation and materials related to her work for the Handbook of North American Indians and other publications. There is little material related to Under Mount Saint Elias except for correspondence, photocopies and negatives of plates, and grant applications for the monograph. Of special interest among de Laguna's writings is a photocopy of her historical fiction novel, The Thousand March.
Other materials of special interest are copies of her talks, including her AAA presidential address, and the dissertation of Regna Darnell, a former student of de Laguna's. In addition, materials on the history of anthropology are in the collection, most of which can found with her teaching materials. The collection also contains copies of photographs from the Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899. Although the bulk of the collection documents de Laguna's professional years, the collection also contains newspaper articles and letters regarding her exceptional performance as a student at Bryn Mawr College and her undergraduate and graduate report cards. Only a few photographs of de Laguna can be found in the collection along with photographs of her 1929 and 1979 trips to Greenland.
Frederica Annis Lopez de Leo de Laguna was a pioneering archaeologist and ethnographer of northwestern North America. Known as Freddy by her friends, she was one of the last students of Franz Boas. She served as first vice-president of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) from 1949 to 1950 and as president of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) from 1966-1967. She also founded the anthropology department at Bryn Mawr College where she taught from 1938 to 1972. In 1975, she and Margaret Mead, a former classmate, were the first women to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Born on October 3, 1906 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, de Laguna was the daughter of Theodore Lopez de Leo de Laguna and Grace Mead Andrus, both philosophy professors at Bryn Mawr College. Often sick as a child, de Laguna was home-schooled by her parents until she was 9. She excelled as a student at Bryn Mawr College, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in politics and economics in 1927. She was awarded the college's prestigious European fellowship, which upon the suggestion of her parents, she deferred for a year to study anthropology at Columbia University under Boas. Her parents had recently attended a lecture given by Boas and felt that anthropology would unite her interests in the social sciences and her love for the outdoors.
After a year studying at Columbia with Boas, Gladys Reichard, and Ruth Benedict, de Laguna was still uncertain whether anthropology was the field for her. Nevertheless, she followed Boas's advice to spend her year abroad studying the connection between Eskimo and Paleolithic art, which would later became the topic of her dissertation. In the summer of 1928, she gained fieldwork experience under George Grant MacCurdy visiting prehistoric sites in England, France, and Spain. In Paris, she attended lectures on prehistoric art by Abbe Breuil and received guidance from Paul Rivet and Marcelin Boule. Engaged to an Englishman she had met at Columbia University, de Laguna decided to also enroll at the London School of Economics in case she needed to earn her degree there. She took a seminar with Bronislaw Malinowski, an experience she found unpleasant and disappointing.
It was de Laguna's visit to the National Museum in Copenhagen to examine the archaeological collections from Central Eskimo that became the turning point in her life. During her visit, she met Therkel Mathiassen who invited her to be his assistant on what would be the first scientific archaeological excavation in Greenland. She sailed off with him in June 1929, intending to return early in August. Instead, she decided to stay until October to finish the excavation with Mathiassen, now convinced that her future lay in anthropology. When she returned from Greenland she broke off her engagement with her fiancé, deciding that she would not able to both fully pursue a career in anthropology and be the sort of wife she felt he deserved. Her experiences in Greenland became the subject of her 1977 memoir, Voyage to Greenland: A Personal Initiation into Anthropology.
The following year, Kaj Birket-Smith, whom de Laguna had also met in Copenhagen, agreed to let her accompany him as his research assistant on his summer expedition to Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet. When Birket-Smith fell ill and was unable to go, de Laguna was determined to continue on with the trip. She convinced the University of Pennsylvania Museum to fund her trip to Alaska to survey potential excavation sites and took as her assistant her 20 year old brother, Wallace, who became a geologist. A close family, de Laguna's brother and mother would later accompany her on other research trips.
In 1931, the University of Pennsylvania Museum hired de Laguna to catalogue Eskimo collections. They again financed her work in Cook Inlet that year as well as the following year. In 1933, she earned her PhD from Columbia and led an archaeological and ethnological expedition of the Prince William Sound with Birket-Smith. They coauthored "The Eyak Indians of the Copper River Delta, Alaska," published in 1938. In 1935, de Laguna led an archaeological and geological reconnaissance of middle and lower Yukon Valley, traveling down the Tanana River. Several decades later, the 1935 trip contributed to two of her books: Travels Among the Dena, published in 1994, and Tales From the Dena, published in 1997.
In 1935 and 1936, de Laguna worked briefly as an Associate Soil Conservationist, surveying economic and social conditions on the Pima Indian Reservation in Arizona. She later returned to Arizona during the summers to conduct research and in 1941, led a summer archaeological field school under the sponsorship of Bryn Mawr College and the Museum of Northern Arizona.
By this time, de Laguna had already published several academic articles and was also the author of three fiction books. Published in 1930, The Thousand March: Adventures of an American Boy with the Garibaldi was her historical fiction book for juveniles. She also wrote two detective novels: The Arrow Points to Murder (1937) and Fog on the Mountain (1938). The Arrow Points to Murder is set in a museum based on her experiences at the University of Pennsylvania Museum and the American Museum of National History. Fog on the Mountain is set in Cook Inlet and draws upon de Laguna's experiences in Alaska. Both detective novels helped to finance her research.
De Laguna began her long career at Bryn Mawr College in 1938 when she was hired as a lecturer in the sociology department to teach the first ever anthropology course at the college. By 1950, she was chairman of the joint department of Sociology and Anthropology, and in 1967, the chairman of the newly independent Anthropology Department. She was also a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania (1947-1949; 1972-1976) and at the University of California, Berkeley (1959-1960; 1972-1973.)
During World War II, de Laguna took a leave of absence from Bryn Mawr College to serve in the naval reserve from 1942 to 1945. As a member of WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service), she taught naval history and codes and ciphers to women midshipmen at Smith College. She took great pride in her naval service and in her later years joined the local chapter of WAVES National, an organization for former and current members of WAVES.
In 1950, de Laguna returned to Alaska to work in the Northern Tlingit region. Her ethnological and archaeological study of the Tlingit Indians brought her back several more times throughout the 1950s and led to the publication of Under Mount Saint Elias in 1972. Her comprehensive three-volume monograph is still considered the authoritative work on the Yakutat Tlingit. In 1954, de Laguna turned her focus to the Atna Indians of Copper River, returning to the area in 1958, 1960, and 1968.
De Laguna retired from Bryn Mawr College in 1972 under the college's mandatory retirement policy. Although she suffered from many ailments in her later years including macular degeneration, she remained professionally active. Five decades after her first visit to Greenland, de Laguna returned to Upernavik in 1979 to conduct ethnographic investigations. In 1985, she finished editing George Thornton Emmons' unpublished manuscript The Tlingit Indians. A project she had begun in 1955, the book was finally published in 1991. In 1986, she served as a volunteer consultant archaeologist and ethnologist for the U. S. Forest Service in Alaska. In 1994, she took part in "More than Words . . ." Laura Bliss Spann's documentary on the last Eyak speaker, Maggie Smith Jones. By 2001, de Laguna was legally blind. Nevertheless, she continued working on several projects and established the Frederica de Laguna Northern Books Press to reprint out-of-print literature and publish new scholarly works on Arctic cultures.
Over her lifetime, de Laguna received several honors including her election into the National Academy Sciences in 1976, the Distinguished Service Award from AAA in 1986, and the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. De Laguna's work, however, was respected by not only her colleagues but also by the people she studied. In 1996, the people of Yakutat honored de Laguna with a potlatch. Her return to Yakutat was filmed by Laura Bliss Spann in her documentary Reunion at Mt St. Elias: The Return of Frederica de Laguna to Yakutat.
At the age of 98, Frederica de Laguna passed away on October 6, 2004.
Darnell, Regna. "Frederica de Laguna (1906-2004)." American Anthropologist 107.3 (2005): 554-556.
de Laguna, Frederica. Voyage to Greenland: A Personal Initiation into Anthropology. New York: W.W. Norton Co, 1977.
McClellan, Catharine. "Frederica de Laguna and the Pleasures of Anthropology." American Ethnologist 16.4 (1989): 766-785.
Olson, Wallace M. "Obituary: Frederica de Laguna (1906-2004)." Arctic 58.1 (2005): 89-90.
Although this collection contains a great deal of correspondence associated with her service as president of AAA, most of her presidential records can be found in American Anthropological Association Records 1917-1972. Also at the National Anthropological Archives are her transcripts of songs sung by Yakutat Tlingit recorded in 1952 and 1954 located in MS 7056 and her notes and drawings of Dorset culture materials in the National Museum of Canada located in MS 7265. The Human Studies Film Archive has a video oral history of de Laguna conducted by Norman Markel (SC-89.10.4).
Related collections can also be found in other repositories. The University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania holds materials related to work that de Laguna carried out for the museum from the 1930s to the 1960s. Materials relating to her fieldwork in Angoon and Yakutat can be found in the Rasmuson Library of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in the papers of Francis A. Riddell, a field assistant to de Laguna in the early 1950s. Original photographs taken in the field in Alaska were deposited in the Alaska State Library, Juneau. Both the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress and the American Philosophical Library have copies of her field recordings and notes. The American Museum of Natural History has materials related to her work editing George T. Emmons' manuscript. De Laguna's papers can also be found at the Bryn Mawr College Archives.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Frederica de Laguna.
Some of the original field notes are restricted due to Frederica de Laguna's request to protect the privacy of those accused of witchcraft. The originals are restricted until 2030. Photocopies may be made with the names of the accused redacted.
1 Item (Photographs : ca 3100 prints and negatives)
1 Item (Maps and illustrations )
United States -- Archeology
Bc53, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico -- Archeology
Chaco Canyon (N.M.) -- Archeology
Colorado -- Archeology
Arizona -- Archeology
New Mexico -- Archeology
Agate Basin, Wyoming -- Archeology
Scope and Contents:
This collection of Rober's papers and photographs is almost excluvely concerned with his scientific fieldwork and resulting publications. It is not complete; for example, there is little in the photographs concerning his work at Agate Basin in Wyoming (though some related site forms are part of the records of the River Basin Surveys). Apparently, some of the series that form the records of the RBS began as Roberts's own files and were simply continued once his interest turned to the administration of the RBS. For instance, there is correspondence concerning Robert's work in New Mexico among the RBS correspondence series. The file of correspondence in manuscript 4851 is a miscellany with few letters from any one correspondent.
Biographical / Historical:
Frank H.H. Roberts, Jr. studied history and English at the University of Denver and after receiving his B.A.worked briefly as a journalist. Entering graduate school at Denver he was influenced by Etienne Bernadeau Renaud and, later, Jean Allard Jeacon. Although his studies toward a master's degree were in political science, he carried out archeological work among ruins in the Piedra-Pagosa region of the San Juan River valley in southwestern Colorado and became an instructor in archeology at the University of Denver. In 1923, he became an assistant curator at the Colorado State Museum.
Robert's formal training in archeology came through subsequent studies at Harvard University, where he received a Ph.D. in 1927. While a student, he worked during the summers of 1925 and 1926 for Neil Merton Judd on expeditions to Chaco Canyon. Judd offered him the opportunity to study pottery sequences, expanding upon work already carried out successfully for the Piedra region. From his work under Judd, Roberts produced his dissertation. The work also led to a permanent appointment as an archeologist with the Smithsonian's Bureau of American Ethnology in 1926.
For some time after this, Roberts continued to work primarily among ruins in the Southwest. In 1927, he conducted excavations at Shabik'esche Village in Chaco Canyon and carried on excavations at Kiathuthlunna on the Long H Ranch in eastern Arizona. In 1930, he excavated in the Village of the Great Kivas on the Zuni reservation and, in 1931-1933, worked along the Whitewater River in eastern Arizona and at a site near Allantown, Arizona. For the University of New Mexico Field School in 1940-1941, Roberts directed expeditions to the Bc-53 site in Chaco Canyon.
Throughout this work Roberts's primary interest was "the early structure and sequences of Southwestern culture." This led to Roberts's ultimate interest in the problem of early man in America. He was asked to inspect the discoveries at the original Fosom site in 1927, and over time became convinced of an error in contemporary thinking about the relatively recent arrival of humans in the New World. He was increasingly drawn to study the problem and particuarly after 1933, devoted most of his field work to it. Between 1934 and 1940, he worked at Lindenmeier, a Folsom campsite in northern Colorado. In 1941, he excavated the Mons site near the Peaks of Otter in Virginia, though failing to find expected remains of early man. In the same year, he worked at a Folsom site at San Jon, New Mexico, and, in 1942, another Folsom site in the Agate Basin in Wyoming. In 1943--again in connection with this interest in early man--he carried out a reconnaissance of the Clear Fork of the Brazos River in Texas. In addition, Roberts inspected other sites in Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Saskatchewan.
Roberts also worked briefly with other interests. In 1932, he served as an advisor to the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., in its excavation at Chichen Itza and Uxmal in the Yucatan. In 1933-1934, he conducted a Civil Works Administration expedition to excavate mounds in the Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee. In 1956-1960, he was on the advisory council for the National Park Service's Wetherill Mesa Project.
In the administration of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Roberts became the assistant chief under Matthew Williams Stirling in 1944. In 1946, he became, in addition, the director of the BAE's River Basin Surveys, a salvage archeological program concerned with areas where the federal government was planning dams and reservoirs. In 1947, he became the associate director of the BAE and, in 1958, its director. In addition to these duties and his scientific work, Roberts served as American representative to the League of Nations' International Conference of Archeologists at Cairo in 1937 and as representative on the International Commission for Sites and Monuments in 1939-1942. During World War II, he was involved with the Ethnogeographic Board, an organization that provided liaison between federal war agencies and the scientific community. For the board, Roberts prepared a survival manual and a volume on Egypt and the Suez Canal that was issued as one of the Smithsonian's War Background Studies. For several years later in his life, Roberts was also on the National Council for Historical Sites and Buildings. He also served the Smithsonian on committees concerned primarily with personnel.
Outside official duties, Roberts represented the American Anthropological Association on the National Research Council in 1935-1949. In 1936, he was president of the Anthropological Society of Washington and, in 1944, vice president of the AAA. In 1949, he became president of the Washington Academy of Sciences. A founding member of the Society for American Archaeology and a member of the committee that drafts its constitution and bylaws, Roberts served that organization as president in 1950. In 1952, he became a vice president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The photographic negatives are in special storage and require advance notice to view.
University of Arizona. Department of Anthropology Search this
Arizona -- Archeology
November 15, 1938-April 15, 1939
Scope and Contents:
Includes: (a)-A preliminary report covering archaeological investigations on the Papago Indian Reservation, Arizona. Text, 10 pages; 10 photographs 3-1/4 x 4 in. - 1938-1939 (Guano Cave and Jackrabbit Ruin) (b)- A Preliminary Report covering period from February 3 to May 29, 1941. 10 pages 28 centimeters. (c)- A Report on excavations at Arizona P:16-2 and 16:20 Pueblo and Pit House villages- June 15 to August 10, 1941 5 pages 28 centimeters
(d) - A Preliminary Report on the Bluff Site (Arizona P:16:20), An Early Pithouse Village in the Forestdale Valley, East-Central Arizona, June 31 - July 12, 1944. 6 pages 28 centimeters. 8-1/2 x 11", and 6 photographs. April 4, 1946 - Preliminary Report on the Archeological Reconnaissance in the San Carlos Indian Reservation, June 19, to July 30, 1945, 6 pages 28 centimeters. Emil J. Maury, Director. 5 photographs, 16 centimeters.
Interview of Waldo R. Wedel conducted by Larry D. Banks and Douglas Givens on June 17, 1996 in Boulder, Colorado. The interview was conducted at Wedel's nursing home, a couple of months before he died.This interview is part of a series of oral histories of archaeologists recorded by Givens. Topics include Wedel's youth, career, fieldwork, colleagues, the Smithsonian Institution, and the River Basin Surveys.
Biographical / Historical:
Waldo R. Wedel was an archaeologist, best known for his contributions to Plains archaeology. He worked at the Smithsonian Institution from 1936 to 1977. He began his career at the Smithsonian as an assistant curator under Neil M. Judd in the Division of Archeology in the United States National Museum. He later became curator of archeology in 1950, and in 1962, he became head curator of the Department of Anthropology. In 1964-1965, he was acting head of the newly organized Smithsonian Office of Anthropology. Wedel also established and directed the Missouri Basin Project (1946-50) of the Bureau of American Ethnology's River Basin Surveys.
NAA MS 2011-29
Date on box insert incorrectly listed as July 18, 1996.
Other Archival Materials:
See also Waldo R. Wedel and Mildred Mott Wedel Papers
Photographs and poster documenting the reunion at the University of Arizona of A. E. Douglass's first class on tree-ring studies, part of the University's Centennial celebrations. The photographs depict attendees at the reunion of the class on its fifty-fifth anniversary, including Waldo Wedel, Emil Haury, Florence Hawley Ellis, Clara Lee Tanner, Bryant Bannister, and Raymond Thompson.
Andrew Ellicott Douglass (1867-1962) pioneered dendrochronology, the use of tree rings to date material found in archeological sites, and founded the University of Arizona Tree-Ring Laboratory. On February 14, 1985, the Arizona State Museum hosted a reunion of Douglass's 1930 dendrochronology class; the four students in attendance were Waldo Wedel, Florence Hawley Ellis, Emil W. Haury, and Clara Lee Tanner. Also in attendance were Arizona State Museum and Centennial Director Dr. Raymond Thompson and tree-ring professor Dr. Bryant Bannister.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot R85-12
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives holds the papers of Waldo Rudolph Wedel and Mildred Mott Wedel and an Oral history interview of Waldo R. Wedel (MS 2011-29).
Reports by Emil W. Haury can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 3304-a, MS 3199, and MS 3972-a-b-c-d-e.
Reports by Florence Hawley Ellis can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 7082.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
This collection has been obtained for reference purposes only. Permission for reproduction or use must be obtained from the Arizona State Museum.
Images of excavated mammoth head and Double Adobe site where milling stones were found twelve feet below the surface. The photographs were probably collected by Neil Merton Judd, whose handwritten notes are on the versos.
The Double Adobe Site is an archaeological site in the Whitewater Draw area of southern Arizona. In October 1926, Byron Cummings led four University of Arizona students, including Emil Haury, in excavating the site after a mammoth skull was found by picnicking schoolchildren. Below the skull, the archeologists found milling and handstones as well as the bones of Pleistocene species of bison and horse.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 89-12
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Reports and correspondence by Cummings can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 3379, MS 3332, Neil Merton Judd's papers, the Cooperative Ethnological Investigations file (1928-1935), and the Bureau of American Ethnology General Correspondence.
The Arizona Historical Society holds the Byron Cummings papers, 1861-1954 (MS 200) and photograph collection (PC 29).