Correspondents: Ales Hrdlicka, George T. Emmons, George Gustav Heye, James Tregaskis, American Philosophical Society, Arthur C. Parker, Mrs. M.H. Riggs, Alanson Skinner, Henry Andrews, Henry Paxson, Ernest V. Stevens, Frank C. Higgins, Charles S. Mason.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to email@example.com.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation Records, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Photographs relating to Native Americans or frontier themes, including portraits, expedition photographs, landscapes, and other images of dwellings, transportation, totem poles, ceremonies, infants and children in cradleboards, camps and towns, hunting and fishing, wild west shows, food preparation, funeral customs, the US Army and army posts, cliff dwellings, and grave mounds and excavations. The collection also includes images of prisoners at Fort Marion in 1875, Sioux Indians involved in the Great Sioux Uprising in Minnesota, the Fort Laramie Peace Commission of 1868, Sitting Bull and his followers after the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.
There are studio portraits of well-known Native Americans, including American Horse, Big Bow, Four Bears, Iron Bull, Ouray, Red Cloud, Red Dog, Red Shirt, Sitting Bull, Spotted Tail, Three Bears, and Two Guns White Calf. Depicted delegations include a Sauk and Fox meeting in Washington, DC, with Lewis V. Bogy and Charles E. Mix in 1867; Kiowas and Cheyennes at the White House in 1863; and Dakotas and Crows who visited President Warren G. Harding in 1921. Images of schools show Worcester Academy in Vinita, Oklahoma; Chilocco Indian School; Carlisle Indian Industrial School; Haskell Instittue, and Albuquerque Indian School.
Some photographs relate to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, 1876; World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893; Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, 1903; and Centennial Exposition of the Baltimore and Ohio Railraod, 1876. Expedition photographs show the Crook expedition of 1876, the Sanderson expedition to the Custer Battlefield in 1877, the Wheeler Survey of the 1870s, Powell's surveys of the Rocky Mountain region during the 1860s and 1870s, and the Hayden Surveys.
Outstanding single views include the party of Zuni group led to the sea by Frank Hamilton Cushing; Episcopal Church Rectory and School Building, Yankton Agency; Matilda Coxe Stevenson and a companion taking a photographs of a Zuni ceremony; John Moran sketching at Acoma; Ben H. Gurnsey's studio with Indian patrons; Quapaw Mission; baptism of a group of Paiutes at Coeur d'Alene Mission; court-martial commission involved in the trial of Colonel Joseph J. Reynolds, 1877; President Harding at Sitka, Alaska; Walter Hough at Hopi in 1902; and Mrs. Jesse Walter Fewkes at Hopi in 1897.
George V. Allen was an attorney in Lawrence, Kansas and an early member of the National Stereoscope Association. Between the 1950s and 1980s, Allen made an extensive collection of photographs of the American West, mostly in stereographs, but also including cartes-de-visite and other styles of mounted prints, photogravures, lantern slides, autochromes, and glass negatives.
A photograph of Charles Banks Wilson's pencil drawing depicting an eighteenth century Quapaw man holding two feathered pipes (calumets) and wearing body paint and a headdress. The drawing was based on research and model Ed Quapaw. The collection also includes two photocopies of drawings showing the bust of the oldest Omaha man (94 years old), his 76-year-old son, and the last chief of the Winnebagos linked by heredity to the post.
Charles Banks Wilson (1918-2013) was a painter, printmaker, historian, and illustrator. Born in Springdale, Arkansas, his family eventually moved to Miami, Oklahoma, where he grew up. In 1985, the Smithsonian Institution exhibited a series of his paintings entitled "Search for the Purebloods," which consisted of 70 portraits of full-blooded members of Native American tribes. This series included a portrait of the Wilson's Quapaw mother-in-law. To prepare for this project, Wilson analyzed accounts by the explorer Henri de Tonti and conducted research at the University of Arkansas, the Smithsonian, and the Gilcrease Museum.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 87-13
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photocopy of a newspaper article on the drawing, which was donated along with the collection, has been relocated to the National Anthropological Archives Reference Files.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Pierson Gallery in Tulsa, OK, hold prints and paintings by Wilson.
These papers reflect the professional lives of Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923), an ethnologist with the Peabody Museum of Harvard and collaborator with the Bureau of American Ethnology, and Francis La Flesche (1856-1923), an anthropologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology. Due to the close professional and personal relationship of Fletcher and La Flesche, their papers have been arranged jointly. The papers cover the period from 1874 to 1939. Included in the collection is correspondence, personal diaries, lectures, field notes and other ethnographic papers, drafts, musical transcriptions, publications by various authors, maps and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
These papers reflect the professional lives of Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923), an ethnologist with the Peabody Museum of Harvard University and collaborator with the Bureau of American Ethnology, and Francis La Flesche (1856-1923), an anthropologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology. Due to the close professional and personal relationship of Fletcher and La Flesche, their papers have been arranged jointly. The papers cover the period from 1874 to 1939. Included in the collection is correspondence, personal diaries, lectures, field notes and other ethnographic papers, drafts, musical transcriptions, publications by various authors, maps and photographs.
The papers have been divided into three general categories: the papers of Alice Cunningham Fletcher, the papers of Francis La Flesche, and the ethnographic research of Fletcher and La Flesche. The first two categories represent personal and professional materials of Fletcher and La Flesche. The third section holds the majority of the ethnographic material in the collection.
Of primary concern are Fletcher and La Flesche's ethnological investigations conducted among the Plains Indians, particularly the Omaha and Osage. Fletcher's Pawnee field research and her allotment work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs among the Omaha, Nez Perce, and Winnebago are represented in the collection. A substantial portion of the ethnographic material reflects Fletcher and La Flesche's studies of Native American music. Much of the correspondence in the papers of Fletcher and La Flesche is rich with information about the situation of Omaha peoples in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Also included in the collection are documents related to Fletcher's work with the Archaeological Institute of America and the School for American Archaeology. Additionally, substantial amounts of Fletcher's early anthropological and historical research are found among her correspondence, lectures, anthropological notes, and early field diaries. La Flesche's literary efforts are also generously represented.
The collection is divided into the following 3 series: 1) Alice Cunningham Fletcher papers, 1873-1925; 2) Francis La Flesche papers, 1881-1930; 3) Papers relating to the anthropological research of Alice Fletcher and Francis La Flesche, 1877-1939.
Series 1: Alice Cunningham Fletcher papers is divided into the following 10 subseries: 1.1) Incoming correspondence, 1874-1923 (bulk 1882-1923); 1.2) Outgoing correspondence, 1873-1921; 1.3) Correspondence on specific subjects, 1881-1925; 1.4) Correspondence between Fletcher and La Flesche, 1895-1922; 1.5) Publications, 1882-1920; 1.6) Organizational records, 1904-1921; 1.7) General anthropological notes, undated; 1.8) Lectures, circa 1878-1910; 1.9) Diaries, 1881-1922; 1.10) Biography and memorabilia, 1878-1925.
Series 2: Francis La Flesche papers is divided into the following 6 subseries: 2.11) General correspondence, 1890-1929; 2.12) Correspondence on specific subjects, 1881-1930; 2.13) Publications, 1900-1927; 2.14) Literary efforts, undated; 2.15) Personal diaries, 1883-1924; 2.16) Biography and memorabilia, 1886-1930.
Series 3: Papers relating to the anthropological research of Alice Fletcher and Francis La Flesche is divided into the following 12 subseries: 3.17) Alaska, 1886-1887; 3.18) Earth lodges, 1882, 1898-1899; 3.19) Music, 1888-1918; 3.20) Nez Perce, 1889-1909; 3.21) Omaha, 1882-1922; 3.22) Osage, 1896-1939; 3.23) Pawnee, 1897-1910; 3.24) Pipes, undated; 3.25) Sioux, 1877-1896; 3.26) Other tribes, 1882-1922; 3.27) Publications collected, 1884-1905, undated; 3.28) Photographs, undated.
Biographical / Historical:
Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923) was an ethnologist with the Peabody Museum of Harvard and collaborator with the Bureau of American Ethnology. Francis La Flesche (1856-1923) was an anthropologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Chronology of the Life of Alice Cunningham Fletcher
1838 March 15 -- Born in Havana, Cuba
1873-1876 -- Secretary, American Association for Advancement of Women
1879 -- Informal student of anthropology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University
1881 -- Field trip to Omaha and Rosebud Agencies
1882 -- Assistant in ethnology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University
1882 -- Helped secure land in severalty to Omaha Indians
1882-1883 -- Begins collaboration with Francis La Flesche on the Peabody Museum's collection of Omaha and Sioux artifacts
1883-1884 -- Special Agent, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Omaha Agency
1886 -- Bureau of Education investigation of Alaskan native education
1887-1888 -- Special Disbursing Agent, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Winnebago Agency
1889-1892 -- Special Agent for allotment, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Nez Perce Agency
1890-1899 -- President, Women's Anthropological Society of America
1891-1923 -- Mary Copley Thaw Fellow, Peabody Museum, Harvard University
1892-1893 -- Department of Interior consultant, World's Columbian Exposition
1896 -- Vice-President, Section H, American Association for the Advancement of Science
1897 -- Collaborator, Bureau of American Ethnology
1899-1916 -- Editorial board, American Anthropologist
1900 -- Published Indian Story and Song from North America
1901-1902 -- Advisory committee, Anthropology Department, University of California at Berkeley
1903 -- President, Anthropological Society of Washington
1904 -- Published The Hako: A Pawnee Ceremony with James Murie
1908-1913 -- Chair, Managing Committee of School of American Archaeology
1911 -- Honorary Vice-President, Section H, British Association for Advancement of Science
1911 -- Published The Omaha Tribe with Francis La Flesche
1913 -- Chair Emeritus, Managing Committee of School of American Archaeology
1915 -- Published Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs Arranged from American Indian Ceremonials and Sports
1923 April 6 -- Died in Washington, D.C.
Chronology of the Life of Francis La Flesche
1857 December 25 -- Born on Omaha Reservation near Macy, Nebraska
1879 -- Lecture tour, Ponca chief Standing Bear
1881 -- Interpreter, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
1881-1910 -- Clerk, Bureau of Indian Affairs
1891 -- Informally adopted as Fletcher's son
1892 -- LL.B., National University Law School
1893 -- LL.M., National University Law School
1900 -- Published The Middle Five: Indian Boys at School
1906-1908 -- Marriage to Rosa Bourassa
1910-1929 -- Ethnologist, Bureau of American Ethnology
1911 -- Published The Omaha Tribe with Alice Fletcher
1921 -- Published The Osage Tribe, Part One
1922 -- Member, National Academy of Sciences
1922-1923 -- President, Anthropological Society of Washington
1925 -- Published The Osage Tribe, Part Two
1926 -- Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of Nebraska
1928 -- Published The Osage Tribe, Part Three
1932 -- Published Dictionary of the Osage Language
1932 September 5 -- Died in Thurston County, Nebraska
1939 -- Posthumous publication of War Ceremony and Peace Ceremony of the Osage Indians
Additional material related to the professional work of Fletcher and La Flesche in the National Anthropological Archives may be found among the correspondence of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) and the records of the Anthropological Society of Washington.
Sound recordings made by Fletcher and La Flesche can be found at the Library of Congress. The National Archives Records Administration hold the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), including those relating to allotments in severalty for the Nez Perce by Alice Fletcher. The Nebraska Historical Society has diaries, letters and clippings regarding the La Flesche family, including correspondence of Francis La Flesche and Fletcher. The Radcliffe College Archives holds a manuscript account of Alice Fletcher's four summers with the Nez Perce (1889-1892). Correspondence between Fletcher and F. W. Putnam is also located at the Peabody Museum Archives of Harvard University.
Ethnographic photographs from the collection have been catalogued by tribe in Photo Lot 24.
Glass plate negatives from the collection have been catalogued by tribe in the BAE glass negatives collection (Negative Numbers 4439-4515).
The papers of Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche have been received from an undocumented number of sources. Portions of Fletcher's ethnographic papers were donated to the archives by Mrs. G. David Pearlman in memory of her husband in 1959.
The Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche papers are open for research.
Access to the Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche papers requires an appointment.
The collection consists of photographs relating to Native Americans, which were submitted to the copyright office of the Library of Congress in and around the early 20th century. Many of the photographs are studio portraits as well as photographs made as part of expeditions and railroad surveys. It includes images of people, dwellings and other structures, agriculture, arts and crafts, burials, ceremonies and dances, games, food preparation, transportation, and scenic views. Some of the photographs were posed to illustrate literary works, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Hiawatha, while others depict paintings or other artwork.
Collection is organized alphabetically by copyright claimant.
The collection was formed from submissions made to the Library of Congress as part of the copyright registration process. In 1949, arrangements were made to allow the Bureau of American Ethnology to copy the collection and some negatives were made at that time, largely from the Heyn and Matzen photographs. The project was soon abandoned, however, as too large an undertaking for the facilities of the BAE. In 1957-1958, arrangements were begun by William C. Sturtevant of the BAE to transfer a set of the photographs from the Library of Congress to the BAE.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 59
In 1965, the Bureau merged with the Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology to form the Smithsonian Office of Anthropology, and in 1968 the Office of Anthropology Archives transformed into the National Anthropological Archives.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo Lot 59, Library of Congress Copyright Office photograph collection of Native Americans, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Reverend James Owen Dorsey (1848-1895) was a missionary and Bureau of American Ethnology ethnologist who conducted extensive research on Siouan tribes and languages.The papers of James Owen Dorsey comprise mostly ethnographic and linguistic materials on various tribes of the Siouan language family as well as tribes from Siletz Reservation in Oregon. These materials include texts and letters with interlineal translations; grammar notes; dictionaries; drawings; and his manuscripts. In addition, the collection contains Dorsey's correspondence, newspaper clippings, his obituaries, and reprints.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains James O. Dorsey's research and writings as a BAE ethnologist, as well as his earlier work as a missionary among the Ponca. The vast majority of the collection pertains to his research on Siouan-Catawban languages, including the Dakota and Dhegiha languages, Chiwere, Winnebago, Mandan, Hidatsa, Tutelo, Biloxi, and Catawba. His research on Athapascan, Kusan, Takilman, and Yakonan languages from his field work at Siletz Reservation are also present, as well as some notes on the Caddoan languages. Dorsey's research files include linguistic and ethnological field notes, reading notes, stories and myths, vocabularies, drawings, and unpublished and published manuscripts. The collection also contains Omaha, Ponca, Quapaw, and Biloxi dictionaries that he compiled and materials relating to his work editing Steven Riggs' Dakota-English Dictionary. Additional noteworthy materials in the collection are Teton texts and drawings from George Bushotter and drawings by Stephen Stubbs (Kansa), Pahaule-gagli (Kansa), and George Miller (Omaha). The collection also contains Dorsey's correspondence, newspaper clippings, obituaries, and his collection of reprints.
The collection is organized into 6 series: 1) Siouan; 2) Siletz Reservation; 3) Caddoan; 4) General Correspondence; 5) Personal Papers; 6) Miscellaneous & Reprints.
Reverend James Owen Dorsey (1848-1895) was a missionary and Bureau of American Ethnology ethnologist who conducted extensive research on Siouan tribes and languages.
Dorsey was born on October 31, 1848 in Baltimore, Maryland. He exhibited a talent for languages at an early age. At age 6 he learned the Hebrew alphabet and was able to read the language at age 10. In 1867 Dorsey attended the Theological Seminary of Virginia and was ordained a deacon of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1871. In May of that year, Dorsey traveled to the Dakota Territory to serve as a missionary among the Ponca. Plagued by ill health, Dorsey was forced to end his missionary work in August 1873. By that time, however, he had learned the Ponca language well enough to converse with members of the tribe without an interpreter.
Dorsey returned to Maryland and engaged in parish work while continuing his studies of Siouan languages. His linguistic talents and knowledge of these languages attracted the attention of Major John Wesley Powell. Powell arranged for Dorsey to work among the Omaha in Nebraska from 1878 to 1880 to collect linguistic and ethnological notes. When the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) was established in 1879, Powell recruited Dorsey to join the staff.
As an ethnologist for the BAE, Dorsey continued his research on Siouan tribes. His studies focused on languages but also included Siouan personal names, folklore, social organization, religion, beliefs, and customs. He conducted fieldwork among the Tutelo at Six Nations on Grand River in Upper Canada (1882); the Kansa, Osage, and Quapaw in Indian Territory (1883-1884); the Biloxi at Lecompte, Rapides Parish, Louisiana (1892); and again with the Quapaw at the Quapaw Mission (1894). He also worked with Native Americans that visited DC, including George Bushotter (Teton), Philip Longtail (Winnebago), Samuel Fremont (Omaha), and Little Standing Buffalo (Ponca). He also spent time at Siletz Reservation in 1884 to collect linguistic notes on the Athapascan, Kusan, Takilman, and Yakonan stocks.
In addition to his research, Dorsey helped found the American Folklore Society and served as the first vice-president of the association. He also served as vice-president of Section H of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
At the age of 47, Dorsey died of typhoid fever on February 4, 1895.
1st-16th Annual Reports of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 1881-1897.
Hewitt, J.N.B. 1895. "James Owen Dorsey" American Anthropologist A8, 180-183.
McGee, W.J. 1895. "In Memoriam." Journal of American Folklore 8(28): 79-80.
1848 -- Born on October 31 in Baltimore, Maryland.
1871 -- Ordained a deacon of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
1871-1873 -- Served as a missionary among the Ponca in Dakota Territory.
1878-1880 -- Conducted fieldwork among the Omaha in Nebraska.
1879 -- Joined the staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
1882 -- Conducted fieldwork among the Tutelo at Six Nations on Grand River in Upper Canada.
1883-1884 -- Conducted fieldwork among the Kansa, Osage, and Quapaw in Indian Territory.
1887 -- Worked with George Bushotter to record information regarding the language and culture of the Dakota.
1884 -- Conducted fieldwork at Siletz Reservation.
1892 -- Conducted fieldwork among the Biloxi at Lecompte, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
1894 -- Conducted fieldwork among the Quapaw at the Quapaw Mission in Indian Territory.
1895 -- Died of typhoid fever on February 4th at the age of 47.
The James O. Dorsey Papers are open for research. Access to the James O. Dorsey Papers requires an appointment
Manuscript 4800 James O. Dorsey papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Creation of this finding aid was funded through support from the Arcadia Fund.
Digitization and preparation of additional materials for online access has been funded also by the National Science Foundation under BCS Grant No. 1561167 and the Recovering Voices initiative at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
Indians of North America -- Southern States Search this
Scope and Contents:
Contents: Comparative vocabulary, 117 items, in English, Hidatsa, Ofo, Mandan, Dakota, Biloxi, Tutelo, Osage and (a few) Winnebago. 3 pages. Comparison of 24 words: English, Catawba, Ofo, Tutelo, Dakota and Quapaw. 1 slip. Synonyms for the name "Ofo". 1 slip. Summary of history of classification of Tutelo, Catawba, and Woccon as Siouan. 1 slip.
Indians of North America -- Southern States Search this
Scope and Contents:
On cards compiled from information furnished in reply to letters of inquiry. The information is secondary and lacks documentation. Terms of the following languages are thought to be included: Achomawi, Alibamu, Arikara, Athapascan, Blackfoot, Catawba, Choctaw, Copehan, Creek, Dakota, Hitchiti, Hopi, Iowa, Kansa, Klikitat, Mandan, Muskhogean, Niuskoki, Nez Perce, Omaha, Osage, Oto, Paiute, Pawnee, Piman, Ponka, Quapaw, Santee, Seminole, Shahaptian, Shoshone, Teton, Washakie, Winnebago, Ute, Yankton.
Photographs depicting Quapaw men, women, and children, in front of or near wood-sided buildings.
James Owen Dorsey (1848-1895) was an ethnologist and linguist employed by the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE). Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Dorsey was ordained by the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1871 and began missionary work among the Ponca Tribe shortly thereafter. Though he was quick to learn the Ponca language, illness forced him to abandon his work in 1873. He returned to Baltimore and became a staff member of the BAE after its establishment in 1879. With the BAE, he completed studies on the Omaha, Osage, Kansa, and Dakota Tribes, as well as on Athapascan, Kusan, Takilman, and Yakonan languages in Oregon.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 134E
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives holds the James O. Dorsey papers (MS 4800) and James Owen Dorsey photograph collection (MS 4751).
Glass negatives and prints for these and other Dorsey photographs of Quapaw people are held in the National Anthropological Archives in the BAE historical negatives and Photo Lot 24.
Original nitrate negatives are in cold storage and require advanced notice for viewing.
Photo Lot 134E, James Owen Dorsey photographs of Quapaw people, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Contents: Manuscript 4590 Quapaw: (1) Description: Victor Griffin, last Chief of the Quapaws, 1927-1959 Date: 1956. (2) Robert A. Whitebird. Full blood. Head of Quapaw Tribal Business Committee since 1956. On board of National Congress of American Indians. Family name, Waz-hing-ka. (3) "Ceremonial pipe... We do not know if it is of Quapaw origin. It is made of gray, rather heavy stone and a little over two feet tall." --Mrs Velma Nieberding. (4) Mary Lane Redeagle, Miami, Oklahoma. Full blood (half Pottawatomie, half Quapaw). (5) Mrs George Romich helps her two daughters, Tamara (right) and Rhona (left) into dancing costume, for the annual Quapaw pow-wow. (6) Mrs Robert A. Whitebird and the buckskin dress she made and beaded, The design is authentic woodland made from an old Quapaw dress.
A souvenir booklet of the Ottawa County, Oklahoma Semi-Centennial (1907-1957) Ottowa County Pageant, is also included.
The Robert Rankin papers, 1886, 1914, 1956-2011, document his field work, research, and professional activities, primarily in relation to his work studying American Indian languages. Rankin was professor of linguistics at the University of Kansas from 1969 until his retirement in 2005. The collection consists of sound recordings, field notebooks, vocabulary lists and bibliographies, dictionaries, research files, slip files, word lists, correspondence, ephemera, notes, readings and reprints, writings, drafts, and teaching materials. This includes materials from Rankin's work with the last native speakers of the Quapaw and Kaw (Kansa, Kanza) languages and subsequent research, writings, and collaborations with tribes and fellow linguists.
Scope and Contents:
The Robert Rankin papers, 1886, 1914, 1956-2011, document his field work, research, and professional activities, primarily in relation to his work studying American Indian languages. The collection includes sound recordings, field notebooks, vocabulary lists and bibliographies, dictionaries, research files, slip files, word lists, correspondence, ephemera, notes, readings and reprints, writings, drafts, and teaching materials.
The 196 sound recordings include material from Rankin's work with the last native speakers of both the Quapaw and Kaw (Kansa, Kanza) languages. The collection includes extensive research on these languages along with research on other facets of the Siouan language family. Rankin's close collaboration with colleagues and tribes is well documented, especially his work with linguists John E. Koontz and W.L. Ballard, as well as his contributions to language documentation efforts including the Handbook of North American Indians, the Annotated Dictionary of Kaw (Kanza), and the Comparative Siouan Dictionary. The collection also includes sound recordings and notes from Rankin's study of the Romanian language as part of his graduate study.
The Robert Rankin papers are arranged in 9 series: Series 1. Quapaw, 1972-1991, undated; Series 2. Kaw (Kansa, Kanza), circa 1970-2011, undated; Series 3. Field notebooks, 1981-1983, 1995, undated; Series 4. Subject and correspondence files, 1886, 1956-2007, undated; Series 5. Conferences and professional associations, 1974-2010; Series 6. Writings, 1975-2010, undated; Series 7. Teaching and academic files, 1973-2006, undated; Series 8. Romanian study, 1914, 1962-1972, undated; Series 9. Sound recordings, 1963-1987, undated.
1939 -- Born January 17
1960 -- Graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Romance Languages
1966-1968 -- Fulbright Fellowship in Romania researching Romanian dialects
1968 -- M.A. in Linguistics, University of Chicago
1969 -- Started at the University of Kansas as an Acting Assistant Professor of Linguistics
1972 -- Ph.D. in Linguistics, University of Chicago
1972 -- Became an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Kansas
1973 -- Language work with the Quapaw
1973-1974 -- Began work with the Kaw (Kansa, Kanza) language that continued for the rest of his life
1986 -- Became a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Kansas
2005 -- Retired from the University of Kansas
2014 -- Died on February 24
Robert Rankin was a professor of linguistics at the University of Kansas who spent the majority of his career working with American Indian languages in the Siouan language family. He began his career studying romance languages as part of his undergraduate and graduate work and completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Romania (1966-1968) examining regional linguistic differences. He began teaching at the University of Kansas in 1969 and was introducted to the Choctaw language in Summer 1972 while teaching a field methods course. He became fascinated with American Indian languages and started working with the remaining native speakers of the Quapaw tribe in early 1973. When there were no more native speakers left, he started working with the Kaw (Kansa, Kanza) language. When he began this research in 1973-1974, there were only four fluent speakers of Kaw (Kansa, Kanza) left. He continued studying the language until well after his retirement from the University of Kansas in 2005. Rankin died on February 24, 2014 in Kansas City, MO.
Sources consulted: "Robert L. Rankin obituary," Lawrence Journal-World, March 1-5, 2014 http://obituaries.ljworld.com/obituaries/ljworld/obituary.aspx?pid=169905179
This collection was transferred to the National Anthropological Archives by Robert Rankin's wife, Carolyn Rankin, in 2014.
The Robert Rankin papers are open for research.
Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Computer disks are currently restricted due to preservation concerns.
Access to the Robert Rankin papers requires an appointment.
Indians of North America -- Southern states Search this
Robert Rankin papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Wenner-Gren Foundation.
Digitization and preparation of sound recordings for online access has been funded through generous support from the Arcadia Fund.