The papers of Aleš Hrdlička, curator in the Division of Physical Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, United States National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, offer considerable insight into the development of physical anthropology in the first half of this century. The papers include honors bestowed on Hrdlička, autobiographical notes, correspondence with many of the leading anthropologists of the day, anthropometric and osteometric measurements and observations (forming most of the collection), extensive photographs of Hrdlička's field work, manuscripts, research materials, and "My Journeys" (essentially a diary Hrdlička kept of his field work). In addition, there is material of a personal nature. The papers date from 1875 to 1966, but the bulk of the materials date from 1903 to 1943, the time of Hrdlička's career at the USNM.
Scope and Contents:
This collection is comprised of both professional and personal materials. The professional material includes honors bestowed on Hrdlička, autobiographical notes, correspondence with many of the leading anthropologists of the day, anthropometric and osteometric measurements and observations (forming most of the collection), extensive photographs of Hrdlička's field work, manuscripts, research materials, and "My Journeys" (essentially a diary Hrdlička kept of his field work). The personal material primarily consists of correspondence with his first wife (Marie Dieudonnée Strickler) and other family members, but there are also financial records. The papers date from 1875 to 1966, but the bulk of the materials date from 1903 to 1943, the time of Hrdlička's career at the United States National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Hrdlička investigated all major questions confronting physical anthropologists of his day (the fossil record of early humans, the arrival of humans in the Americas, human variation, and evolution) and made valuable contributions in all these areas. Hrdlička's interests in the establishment of physical anthropology as a distinct and important field, the welfare of the Czech people, early hominids, and variation within the human species are all documented in the collection as are the services he performed for various United States government agencies. He pursued field studies in many different parts of the world, but there are relatively few field notes as such among his papers. There is instead the edited journal "My Journeys," photographs, and physical anthropological forms. There is also relatively little material on his administrative involvement in the USNM. There is no material from Hrdlička's time at the Pathological Institution of the New York State Hospitals; after he resigned, fire destroyed the anthropological records Hrdlička collected as a member of the staff. There are materials in the collection which contradict, or at least complicate, many long-held criticisms of Hrdlička, particularly claims that he was racist and opposed feminist ideas. The collection contains materials of interest to genetic research, including anthropometric measurements, hair clippings and fingerprints.
There are a few items in the collection which are dated earlier than the collection's date span. These are publication dates, and the folders containing the items have been dated accordingly, but they have not affected the dates of the series or collection. There are also a few items which are dated after Hrdlička's death. These dates reflect the fact that the collection was added to by the Department of Physical Anthropology after Hrdlička's death and have been taken into account when formulating dates for the series and collection.
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
This collection is arranged in 37 series:
(1) Miscellaneous Personal Papers, 1875-1940
(2) Early Personal Correspondence, 1883-1919
(3) Correspondence, 1885-1953
(4) News Clippings and Printed Matter, 1893-1953
(5) Financial Papers, 1910-1943
(6) Journeys to the Southwestern United States and Mexican Indians, 1898-1919
(7) Journeys to the Dakota, Chippewa, Kickapoo, and Shawnee, 1916-1917
(11) Journey to Egypt, Europe, and Russia, 1908-1909
(12) Journey to South America, 1910, 1910-1912
(13) Journey to the Far East, 1920, 1900-1930
(14) Journey to Australia, Java, India, South Africa, and Europe, 1924-1925
(15) Anthropometric Measurements of Indians Taken at the United States National Museum, 1904-1905, most undated
(16) Bone Studies, 1893-1929, most undated
(17) Old Americans, 1914-1930
(18) Children Who Run on All Fours, 1928-1936
(19) Early Man Studies, 1906-1930
(20) European Ethnic History, 1908-1938
(21) Miscellaneous Research Notes, 1887-1930
(22) Manuscripts of Writings, 1901-1944, most undated
(23) Writings by Other Authors, 1877-1942
(24) Anthropometry, undated
(25) "From My Journeys", 1898-1938
(26) -- American Journal of Physical Anthropology -- , 1918-1931
(27) American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 1924-1931
(28) International Congress of Americanists, 1900-1928
(29) Institute of Population, 1942
(30) Department of Anthropology, 1914-1943
(31) Lecture Notes, 1920-1932
(32) Maps and Charts, 1900-1932
(33) Miscellany, 1895-1954
(34) Index Cards, 1899-1948
(35) Bibliographic Index, undated
(36) Physical Anthropology Folios, undated
(37) Photographs, 1887-1944
Aleš Hrdlička was born in Bohemia in 1869 and came to America when he was thirteen. As a young man, he was trained in medicine at New York's Eclectic Medical College and the New York Homeopathic Medical College, receiving degrees from each. His first professional work was as a private practitioner, but he gave that up in 1894 when he joined the staff of the New York State Hospital for the Insane at Middletown. There, in addition to other duties, he began studies of the physical characteristics of inmates. This set in motion developments that would eventually lead him to become one of the world's most prominent anthropologists who has sometimes been referred to as "the founder of physical anthropology in America."
In 1896, in preparation for a research appointment with the Department of Anthropology in the Pathological Institute of the New York State Hospitals, Hrdlička went to Paris and studied with Leon Manouvrier. After his return to America, he worked for a short period with the Pathological Institute and came into contact with G.S. Huntington of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Hrdlička arranged and studied Huntington's large collection of skeletal material, thus gaining knowledge of a well-documented collection representing largely normal persons of European ancestry. He came to the attention of Frederic Ward Putnam, of the American Museum of Natural History, who arranged for his first anthropological field studies.
It was thus that Hrdlička became a member of the Hyde Expeditions to the American Southwest and northern Mexico. In 1898, he traveled to Mexico with Carl Lumholtz to study the Tarahumaras, Huichols, and neighboring tribes. In subsequent years, he returned to Mexico and the Southwest alone and studied physical characteristics and medical conditions of several American Indian tribes. With this experience and examinations of the Trenton and Lansing skeletal material for Putnam, Hrdlička came fully into the world of anthropology. In 1903, he was appointed head of the newly formed Division of Physical Anthropology in the United States National Museum.
While in his position at the Smithsonian, Hrdlička returned to the Southwest for studies of Pima and Apache children in 1905 and, in the following year, traveled to Florida to examine allegedly ancient remains of man. In 1908, he worked among a number of Indian tribes, including the Menominee, Oglala Dakota, Quinailt, Hupa, and Mohave, in a study of tuberculosis among them. In 1909, he traveled to Egypt with an expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in order to study living Egyptians and to examine remains of Egypt's past population. The following year took him to Argentina, Peru, and Mexico. In the first of these, he again examined allegedly ancient remains of man. In Peru, he made a large collection of skeletal material near Trujillo, at Pachamac, and in the Chicama Valley.
From 1912-1914, Hrdlicka undertook a physical anthropological exhibit for the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego and, for this, traveled to eastern Siberia, Mongolia, Peru, and Florida. He also examined fossil remains of man in Europe and directed field work of other anthropologists in South and East Africa, St. Lawrence Island in Alaska, the Philippines, eastern Siberia, and the Ukraine. In 1915, for the Department of Justice, he assessed the racial makeup of Chippewas on the Leech Lake and White Earth reservations in Minnesota and also studied Dakota Indians. In 1917, his field work was directed toward white American families with longtime residence in the United States. In 1918, he carried out a survey of ancient sites in eastern Florida for the Bureau of American Ethnology. In 1920, he traveled to Hawaii, Japan, Korea, and Manchuria in connection with an appointment to lecture at the Peking Union Medical College. As director of the American School for Prehistoric Studies in France, he again studied fossil remains of man in Europe in 1922 and 1923. In 1925, he carried out work in India, Ceylon, Java, Australia, South Africa, and Europe. In 1927, he was again in Europe to deliver the Huxley Memorial Lecture before the Royal Anthropological Society in Great Britain. Between 1929 and 1938, he traveled frequently to Alaska to carry on an anthropological survey. In 1939, he traveled to Russia and Siberia.
Beginning with much of the skeletal collection of the Army Medical Museum, which had been transferred to the Smithsonian in 1898 before he was appointed there, Hrdlička amassed a bone collection that included, among many other specimens, the Huntington collection, casts of fossil remains of man, and a large and diverse North American collection. He also gathered a large collection of human brains. Over three hundred publications resulted from his study of this material, his field work, and his study of specimens in other museums. In addition, he was involved in many other activities. For United States government agencies, he provided services ranging from examinations of human remains for law enforcement officials to providing information and opinions concerning national origins and traits that were needed to interpret laws and form foreign policy. During World War II, he also advised government officials on policies to be pursued with certain national groups following the war.
In 1918, Hrdlička founded the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and remained its editor until 1942. In 1928, he was the major force behind the organization of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and served as its president from 1928 to 1932. He was also president of the Anthropological Society of Washington in 1907, the American Anthroplogical Association from 1925 to 1927, and the Washington Academy of Sciences from 1928 to 1929. He was chairman of Section H of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1918 and secretary of the Committee on Anthropology of the National Research Council in 1917. In addition, Hrdlička was a member of the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences. He represented the Smithsonian at several international gatherings of scholars, including meetings of the International Congress of Americanists.
1869 March 29 -- Alois Ferdinand Hrdlička (Aleš Hrdlička) born in Humpolec, Bohemia
1882 September -- Emigrated to New York City
1888 -- While stricken with typhoid, met M. Rosenbleuth, a physician who arranged for Hrdlička to enroll at the Eclectic Medical College of New York City
1892 -- Enrolled in the New York Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital Published first article, "Scheme of Examination (Medical)," Publications of the Eclectic Medical College Graduated first in his class from the Eclectic Medical College
1894 -- Graduated first from his class from the Homeopathic Medical College Became research intern at the State Homeopathic Hospital for the Insane in Middletown, New York, where he began his studies in physical anthropology Passed state board examination (allopathic)
1895 -- Joined staff of the Pathological Institute of the New York State Hospitals as associate in anthropology
1896 -- Studied anthropology under Leon Manouvrier in Paris
1896 August 6 -- Married Marie Stickler (Dieudonnée)
1898 March-July(?) -- Accompanied Carl Lumholtz on his expedition to northern Mexico, sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), and visited the Tarahumara, Huichol, and Tepecan Indians
1899 Spring -- Resigned from the Pathological Institute to take charge of physical and medical anthropological research on the Hyde Expeditions of the AMNH to the southwestern United States
1899 August -- Hyde expedition for the AMNH to Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, to excavate the site of Pueblo Bonito and to conduct somatological surveys among the Indians; visited Grand Gulch caves in southern Utah; included visits to the Navahos and southern Utes
1900 -- Hyde expedition for the AMNH to New Mexico, Arizona, and southern Colorado to conduct somatological surveys among the Indians; included visits to the Apaches, Yumas, and Pueblo Indians
1902 January-September -- Hyde expeditions for AMNH to southwestern Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico to conduct somatological surveys; included visits to the Tepecanos, Papagos, Opatas, Pimas, Yaquis, Mayos, Huichols, Otomis, Tepehuanes, Maricopas, Yumas, Yavapais, Paiutes, Walapais, and Havasupais
1902 October-December -- Hyde expedition for the AMNH to Mexico for Hrdlička to complete his somatological investigations; included visits to the Tepehuanes, Coras, Huichols, "Nahuas," "Aztecs," and Tarascans
1903 May 1 -- Became assistant curator in charge of the new Division of Physical Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, at the United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institution
1905 -- Expedition under the auspices of the Bureau of American Ethnology to Arizona and New Mexico to complete the observations on the tribes of this region; Hrdlička especially studied Apache and Pima Indian children
1906 February -- Expedition to western Florida to investigate remains of alleged ancient man
1907 -- President of the Anthropological Society of Washington
1908 -- Expedition to Indian schools and reservations in Wisconsin, Washington, California, Arizona, and South Dakota to study tuberculosis for a report to the International Congress of Tuberculosis
1908 December - 1909 May -- Traveled to Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Bohemia, Russia, Poland, and Germany to examine human skeletal remains from an excavation in Egypt by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to study peoples of the Near East
1910 March 28 -- Promoted to curator in the Division of Physical Anthropology
1910 April-September -- Attended the 17th International Congress of Americanists in Buenos Aires and Mexico City Traveled to Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Panama
1912 -- Planned and directed seven expeditions for the physical anthropology exhibit at the Panama-California Exposition held at San Diego in 1915; expeditions included Hrdlička to Siberia and Mongolia and later to Peru; Riley D. Moore to St. Lawrence Island, Alaska; Philip Newton to the Philippine Islands; Vojtech Suk to Africa; Stanislaw Poniatowski to eastern Siberia; Kazimir Stolyhwo to the Birusa caves in Siberia and to the Ukraine; and Jindřich Matiegka to Bohemia
1912 May-Summer -- Traveled to London to attend 18th International Congress of Americanists Traveled to Siberia and Mongolia for the Panama-California Exposition
1912 September -- Traveled to Geneva for the 14th International Congress of Prehistoric Anthropology and Archaeology
1913 January-April -- Expedition to Peru as part the effort for the Panama-California Exposition
1914 November 18 - 1915 January 18 -- Attended Panama-California Exposition
1915 May -- Research for the Department of Justice at the White Earth and Leech Lake reservations in Minnesota to determine non-Indian mixture among Chippewas
1915 December -- Served as General Secretary for the 19th International Congress of Americanists held in Washington
1916 Fall -- Traveled to Florida to examine remains of supposed ancient man
1917 March-July -- Served as Secretary on the Committee on Anthropology of the National Research Council
1917 Summer -- "Old American" research at Yale University, Harvard University, and the University of Virginia and in Tennessee
1917 August -- Sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, traveled to Oklahoma to visit the Shawnee Agency in eastern Oklahoma and the Kickapoo Indians in McCloud to search for adequate samples of pure blood Indians
1918 -- Elected to the American Philosophical Society Served as Chairman of Section H of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Founded the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and became its long-time editor Surveyed prehistoric sites on the southwest coast of Florida
1918 October 8 -- Death of his wife Marie
1920 -- Anthropometry published by the Wistar Institute Elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society of Great Britain
1920 Summer -- Married Mina (Vilemina) Mansfield
1920 January-May -- Visited Japan, Korea, Manchuria, northern China, Mongolia, and Hawaii Lectured at Peking Union Medical College in China
1920 Fall -- Visited Minnesota Chippewa (at the White Earth Reservation?) to help the Department of Justice setter the question of mixed and pure bloods among the Chippewa
1921 -- Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
1922 -- Visited Spain, France, Germany, Moravia, and England Awarded honorary Sc.D. degree from the University of Prague Chairman of the American delegation to the 20th International Congress of Americanists in Rio de Janiero
1923 -- Served three and one-half months as Director of the American School in France for Prehistoric Studies Visited England, Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Croatia, and Italy
1925 -- The Old Americans published by Williams and Wilkins Co.
1925 March-October -- Traveled to Australia, Java, India, South Africa, and Europe on a trip sponsored by the Buffalo [New York] Society of Natural Science to obtain cranial measurements of Australian aborigines and Tasmanians, to investigate the Rhodesian Man site in South Africa, to survey the field of early man, and to collect data to support his hypothesis about the peopling of the Earth
1925-1926 -- President of the American Anthropological Association
1926 -- Awarded honorary Sc.D. degree from University of Brno and D.Nat.Sc. degree from Brunn University
1926 May-September -- First fieldwork in Alaska: reconnaissance down the Yukon River to its mouth, around the Bering Sea and through the Bering Strait along the Alaskan coast to Point Barrow
1927 -- Received Huxley Memorial Medal and gave Huxley Lecture on "the Neanderthal Phase of Man" before the Royal Anthropological Society of Great Britain
1928 -- Helped found the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA)
1928-1929 -- President of the Washington Academy of Sciences
1928-1932 -- Served as first president of the AAPA
1929 -- Fieldwork in Alaska: surveyed the Yukon River from Tanana to its mouth, to St. Lawrence and the Diomede Islands, to Cape Prince of Wales, up to Point Barrow and back to Unalaska Awarded honorary Sc.D. degree from Charles University, Prague
1930 -- Published The Skeletal Remains of Early Man, Vol. 83 Smithsonian Miscellaneous collections Published "Anthropological Survey in Alaska," Forty-sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, pp. 21-374
1930 Summer -- Fieldwork in Alaska: surveyed the Kuskokwim River from Bethel down river to Apogak and up river to Stony River
1931 -- Children Who Run on All Fours published by McGraw-Hill Book Co.
1931 Summer -- Fieldwork in Alaska: excavated at Our (Jones) point site, trial excavations at Chief's Point and other sites, and a survey of Kodiak Island
1932 -- Kober Foundation lecturer of Georgetown University
1932 Summer -- Fieldwork in Alaska: excavated at Our (Jones) Point site, trial excavations at Chief's Point and other sites, and a survey of Kodiak Island
1934 Summer -- Fieldwork in Alaska: excavated at Our (Jones) Point site and surveyed Cooks Inlet sites and the mainland opposite the Our Point site
1935 Summer -- Fieldwork in Alaska: excavated at Our (Jones) Point site
1936 Summer -- Fieldwork in Alaska: excavated at Our (Jones) Point site and surveyed the Dutch Harbor caves, some of the Aleutian Islands, and the mummy cave on Kagamil Island
1937 Summer -- Fieldwork in Alaska: surveyed the Aleutian Islands and Commander Islands
1938 Summer -- Fieldwork in Alaska: surveyed the Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor caves, and Commander Islands
1939 April 4 -- Testimonial dinner given by the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in honor of his 70th birthday
1939 April-June -- Recuperated in London hospital after suffering a coronary occlusion
1942 March 31 -- Retired from curatorship at United States National Museum, becoming an associate in anthropology
1942 December -- Resigned as editor of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology
1943 -- Alaska Diary published by Cattell Press
1943 September 5 -- Died of heart attack
1944 -- Anthropology of Kodiak Island published by Wistar Institute
1945 -- The Aleutian and Commander Islands and Their Inhabitants published by Wistar Institute
1969 -- Tenth Anthropological Congress of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences dedicated to Hrdlička in the 100th anniversary year of his birth
1908 -- Hrdlička, Aleš. Physiological and Medical Observations Among the Indians of Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. Bulletin 34, Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1908.
1912 -- Hrdlička, Aleš. Early Man in South America. Bulletin 52, Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1912.
1919 -- Hrdlička, Aleš. Physical Anthropology: Its Scope and Aims. Philadelphia: The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, 1919.
1920 -- Hrdlička, Aleš. Anthropometry. Philadelphia: The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, 1920.
1925 -- Hrdlička, Aleš. The Old Americans. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins Co., 1925.
1930 -- Hrdlička, Aleš. The Skeletal Remains of Early Man. Vol. 83, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections. City of Washington: The Smithsonian Institution, 1930. Hrdlička, Aleš. Anthropological Survey in Alaska. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1930.
1931 -- Hrdlička, Aleš. Children Who Run on All Fours, and Other Animal-like Behaviors in the Human Child. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1931.
1943 -- Hrdlička, Aleš. Alaska Diary, 1926-1931. Lancaster, PA: The Jacques Cattell Press, 1943.
1944 -- Hrdlička, Aleš. Anthropology of Kodiak Island. Philadelphia: The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, 1944.
1945 -- Hrdlička, Aleš. The Aleutian and Commander Islands and Their Inhabitants. Philadelphia: The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, 1945.
Additional material in the National Anthropological Archives relating to Aleš Hrdlička can be found in the papers of William Louis Abbott, Henry Bascom Collins, Herbert William Krieger, and Frank Spencer; records of the American Anthropological Association, Bureau of American Ethnology, Department of Anthropology of the United States National Museum (National Museum of Natural History), Science Service, Anthropological Society of Washington, and the United States Army Medical Museum (anatomical section, records relating to specimens transferred to the Smithsonian Institution); and glass negatives of Indians collected by the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution illustrations.
Additional related photographs can be found in Photo Lot 8, Division of Physical Anthropology collection; Photo Lot 9, Photographs of Indians for the Panama-California Exposition, San Diego; Photo Lot 24, Bureau of American Ethnology, United States National Museum photographs of American Indians; Photo Lot 70, Department of Anthropology portrait file; Photo Lot 78, Miscellaneous negatives; Photo Lot 97, Division of Ethnology collection ("USNM" Collection); Photo Lot 73-26B, Aleš Hrdlička photographs relating to the Panama-California Exhibition; Photo Lot 73-26G, Miscellany; Photo Lot 77-48, Group portraits of International Congress; Photo Lot 79-38, Division of World Archeology collection; Photo Lot 83-41, Division of Physical Anthropology collection of photographs of human bones; and Photo Lot 92-46, Anthropology lantern slides.
Related films can be found in the Human Studies Film Archive under the accession numbers HSFA 1982.2.1, 1982.2.2, 1986.12.1, and 2015.13.1.
Hrdlička's extensive collection of reprints is maintained in the Division of Physical Anthropology.
Frank Spencer's doctoral dissertation "Aleš Hrdlička, M.D., 1869-1943: A Chronicle of the Life and Work of an American Physical Anthropologist" (1979) is the only book length biography of Hrdlička. The Frank Spencer papers, 1836-1999, are available at the NAA and contain original correspondence between Hrdlička and his first wife, Marie Strickler; his childhood report card from 1869; copies of family photos obtained from Lucy Miller, Hrdlička's niece; and an audio recording of Hrdlička speaking at Wistar Institute.
Further material may be found in the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Hrdlička bequeathed his papers to the Smithsonian Institution. The Division of Physical Anthropology maintained them until they were deposited in the National Anthropological Archives in the 1960s. Some papers have come into the collection since then, most recently in 2018. These new accretions came to the collection through Donald Ortner, David Hunt, T. Dale Stewart, the Department of Anthropology, and the University of Alaska.
The Aleš Hrdlička papers are open for research.
Access to the Aleš Hrdlička papers requires an appointment.
The Beatrice Medicine papers, 1913-2003 (bulk 1945-2003), document the professional life of Dr. Beatrice "Bea" Medicine (1923-2005), a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, anthropologist, scholar, educator, and Native rights activist. The collection also contains material collected by or given to Medicine to further her research and activism interests. Medicine, whose Lakota name was Hinsha Waste Agli Win, or "Returns Victorious with a Red Horse Woman," focused her research on a variety of topics affecting the Native American community: 1) mental health, 2) women's issues, 3) bilingual education, 4) alcohol and drug use, 5) ethno-methodologies and research needs of Native Americans, and 6) Children and identity issues. The collection represents Medicine's work as an educator for universities and colleges in the United States and in Canada, for which she taught Native American Studies courses. Additionally, because of the large amount of research material and Medicine's correspondence with elected U.S. officials and Native American leaders, and records from Medicine's involvement in Native American organizations, the collection serves to represent issues affecting Native Americans during the second half of the 20th century, and reflects what Native American leaders and organizations did to navigate and mitigate those issues. Collection materials include correspondence; committee, conference, and teaching material; ephemera; manuscripts and poetry; maps; notes; periodicals; photographs; training material; and transcripts.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Beatrice Medicine reflect Medicine's interests as an academic and an activist, and contain correspondence, committee, conference, and teaching material, ephemera, manuscripts and poetry, maps, notes, periodicals, photographs, and training material (see series scope notes for further details on contents). The majority of the material is printed matter that Medicine collected, with less of her own work included. Taken together, the collection reflects issues affecting Native Americans during the second half of the 20th century, as well as the network of Native American leaders and organizations that navigated these issues. Student papers, letters of recommendation, evaluations, and documents containing personally identifiable information are restricted.
The collection is divided into 24 series:
Series 1: Native American Culture and History, 1954-1962, 1967-1975, 1978-1989, 1991-1997, 1999-2002
Series 2: Appropriations, Economics, and Labor, 1955, circa 1970-1980, 1988, 1993, circa 1995-2000
Series 3: Archaeology, 1935-1950, 1952-1973, 1987-1995
Series 4: Native American Artists, Authors, Crafts, Film, and Poets, 1951-1969, 1972-2002
Series 5: Census, Demographic, and Poll Data, 1974, 1984-1986
Series 6: Civil Rights, 1972, 1980, 1983-1997
Series 7: Committee Material: Correspondence, Meeting Minutes, and Memos, 1985-1995
Series 8: Conference Material, 1955-1962, 1965, 1968-1974, 1976-2002
Series 9: Correspondence, 1952, 1959, 1962, 1966-2000
Series 10: Education: Native American Institutions and Teaching Material, 1948-2002
Series 11: Ephemera: Campaign, Pow-Wow, and Other Event Buttons, and Calendars, 1973, 1976, circa 1980-2000
Series 12: Health: Alcohol and Drug Addiction and Recovery, Disabilities, Healthcare, Mental Health, Nutrition, and Wellness, 1955, 1965, 1969-1999, 2004
Series 13: Historic Preservation, 1942, 1956, 1960-1969, 1979, circa 1985-1998
Series 14: Invitations, 1966-1979, 1982, 1991-2002
Series 15: Linguistics: Native American Languages, 1961, 1963, 1975, 1978-1981, 1987-1995
Series 16: Manuscripts, 1964-2003
Series 17: Maps, 1982-1991
Series 18: Museum Material: Native American Museums, Exhibit Preparation, and the National Museum of the American Indian, 1949, 1962, circa 1976-1998
Series 19: Oversized Material, 1962, circa 1965-1996, 1999
Series 20: Published material: Journals, Magazines, Monographs, and Newsletters, 1914, 1932, 1944, 1946-1947, 1952-2003
Series 21: Reports, 1947-1949, 1956-1998
Series 22: Training Material, 1968, 1988-2000
Series 23: Women and Gender, 1962, 1965, circa 1970-1997
Series 24: Restricted Material, 1972, 1978, 1987-1999
Biographical / Historical:
A member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Beatrice "Bea" Medicine—also known by her Lakota name Hinsha Waste Agli Win, or "Returns Victorious with a Red Horse Woman"—was born on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Wakpala, South Dakota on August 1, 1923.
As a young adult, she studied at the South Dakota State University on the Laverne Noyes Scholarship, where she attained her B.A. in Anthropology in 1945. Between 1945 and 1951, Medicine worked a variety of teaching positions, including for three American Indian institutions (see Chronology for Medicine's complete work history). In 1951, Medicine went back to school and worked as a research assistant until she earned her master's degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Michigan State University in 1954. For the remainder of her life, Medicine served as faculty, visiting professor, and scholar-in-residence at thirty-one universities and colleges in the United States and Canada, teaching cultural and educational anthropology courses, as well as Native American Studies. As an educator, Medicine carried out her research on a variety of issues affecting Native American and First Nation communities, including: 1) mental health issues, 2) women's issues—professionalization, sterilization, socialization, and aging, 3) bilingual education, 4) alcohol and drug use and abuse, 5) ethno-methodologies and research needs, and 6) socialization of children and identity needs. Medicine's research in American Indian women's and children's issues, as well as her research in gender identity among the LGBT community was among the first to document the narratives of the members of these groups.
In 1974, Medicine testified alongside her cousin, Vine Deloria, Jr., as an expert witness in the Wounded Knee trial (United States v. Banks and Means). Following this, Medicine returned to school to pursue her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, which she completed in 1983 at the University of Wisconsin. With her experience as a researcher, educator, activist, and Lakota woman, medicine sought to create more opportunities for multicultural and bilingual education for minority students, especially those of Native American descent. Such education, she believed, provided students a means to preserve and legitimize their own cultural identity, debase negative stereotyes, and be recognized as individuals who are capable of academic and economic achievement.
Medicine was an active member of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and pursued her educational agenda further through the establishment of the Committee of Anthropologists in Primarily Minority Institutions (CAPMI) (1987-1995), which brought anthropologists out of retirement to teach at minority institutions. (See Chronology for a complete list of organizations and committees in which Medicine was involved.) The program was short-lived but provided a space for minority students to confront a field that historically misrepresented them, reclaim their narratives and languages, and instigate positive change as potential future anthropologists.
Medicine officially retired on August 1, 1989, but continued to be active in AAA and was honored many times for her contributions to the field of anthropology. Some of her recognitions include the Distinguished Service Award from AAA (1991) and the Bronislaw Malinowski Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology (1996). One of Medicine's highest honors, however, was serving as the Sacred Pipe Woman at the 1977 Sun Dance. Medicine continued her research into retirement, and went on to publish her first book in 2001, Learning to Be an Anthropologist and Remaining "Native": Selected Writings. Medicine died in Bismarck, North Dakota on December 19, 2005. Medicine's final work, Drinking and Sobriety Among the Lakota Sioux was published posthumously in 2006. In honor of her life's work and dedication to education, the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) created the Bea Medicine Award, a scholarship travel grant for students to attend the Annual Meeting of the SfAA.
Chronology: Beatrice Medicine
1923 August 1 -- Beatrice Medicine (also known by her Lakota name, Hinsha Waste Agli Win, or "Returns Victorious with a Red Horse Woman") is born on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Wakpala, South Dakota.
1941-1945 -- Receives scholarship: Laverne Noyes Scholarship, South Dakota State University
1945 -- Receives Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology, South Dakota State University.
1945-1946 -- Teacher, Home Economics, Haskell Indian Institute (B.I.A.)
1947-1948 -- Health Education Lecturer, Michigan Tuberculosis Association
1948-1949 -- Teacher, Santo Domingo Pueblo, United Pueblos Agency, Albuquerque, New Mexico
1949-1950 -- Teacher, Navajo Adult Beginner's Program, Albuquerque Indian School
1950-1951 -- Teacher, Home Economics, Flandreau Indian School
1950-1954 -- Fellowship: Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs Fellowships
1951-1954 -- Research Assistant, Sociology and Anthropology, Michigan State University
1953-1954 -- Fellowship: John Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship
1954 -- Receives Master of Arts, Sociology and Anthropology, Michigan State University. Fellowship: American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship
1954- -- Charter Member, American Indian Women's Service League
1955-1958 -- Teaching and Research Assistant, University of Washington
1956 -- Honor: Outstanding Alumna, South Dakota State University
1960 -- Mentioned as "Who's Who Among American Indians"
circa 1960 -- Alpha Kappa Delta, Sociology Hononary Phi Upsilon Omicron, Home Economic Honorary
1960-1963 -- Lecturer, Anthropology, University of British Columbia
1960-1964 -- Board of Directors, Native Urban Indian Centers in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta
1963-1964 -- Lecturer/Sociology and Teacher/Counselor, Mount Royal College, Indian Affairs Branch Receives grant: American Council of Learned Societies Research Grant
1965 -- Lecturer, Social Science, Michigan State University
1966 -- Psychiatric Social Worker, Provincial Guidance Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1966-1967 -- Receives grant: Career Development Grant, National Institute of Mental Health
1966- -- Member, National Congress of American Indians (Education Issues)
1967 -- Receives grant: Ethnological Research Grant, National Museum of Canada
1967-1968 -- Lecturer, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Montana
1968 -- Teacher, "Cultural Enrichment Program," Standing Rock Indian Reservation, South Dakota Cited in "The Role of Racial Minorities in the United States," Seattle, Washington
1968 March -- Speaker: "The Pow-Wow as a Social Factor in the Northern Plains Ceremonialism," Montana Academy of Sciences
1968 May -- Speaker: "Patterns and Periphery of Plains Indian Pow-Wows," Central States Anthropological Society
1968 June -- Speaker: "Magic Among the Stoney Indians," Canadian Sociology and Anthropological Association, Calgary, Alberta
1968 August -- Speaker: "Magic Among the Stoney Indians," International Congress of Americanists, Stuttgart, German Speaker: "The Dynamics of a Dakota Indian Giveaway," International Congress of Americanists, Stuttgart, German
1968-1969 -- Director, American Indian Research, Oral History Project and Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of South Dakota
1968-1970 -- Consultant, Text Book Evaluation Committee, American Indians United
1969 -- Assistant Professor, Teacher Corps, University of Nebraska
1969 September -- Speaker: "The Red Man Yesterday," Governor's Interstate Indian Council, Wichita, Kansas
1969 December -- Speaker: "The Native American in Modern Society," Northwestern State College
1969-1970 -- Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University Speaker: "The Indian in Institutions of Higher Learning," Annual Conference, National Indian Education Association
1969-1975 -- Member, Editorial Board, American Indian Historical Society
1970 -- Mentioned for second time as "Who's Who Among American Indians" Steering Committee Member, Indian Ecumenical Convocation of North America Member, Planning Committee Indian Alcoholism and Drug Use
1970 August -- Speaker: "The Role of the White Indian Expert," 2nd Annual Conference, National Indian Education Association
1970 October -- Speaker: "The Ethnographic Study of Indian Women," Annual Convention, American Ethnohistorical Soceity
1970 November -- Speaker: "The Anthropologists as the Indian's Image Maker," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association Speaker: "The Anthropologist and Ethnic Studies Programs," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1970-1971 -- Associate Professor, Anthropology, San Francisco State University Member, Mayor's Committee on the Status of Women, San Francisco, California
1971 -- Member, Native American Scholars Board, Steering and Selection, American Indian Historical Society
1971 May -- Speaker: "Ethnic Studies and Native Americans," National Education Association
1971-1973 -- Pre-Doctoral Lecturer, Anthropology, University of Washington Consultant, American Indian Heritage Program
1972 -- Honored in "Potlatch" ceremony by Makah Tribal people at the National Indian Education Conference for contributions to Indian education Receives grant: American Council of Learned Societies Travel Grant, Americanist Annual Meeting, Rome, Italy Curriculum Advisor, Lakota Higher Education Center, Prine Ridge, South Dakota
1972 March -- Speaker: "Warrior Women Societies," Northwest Anthropological Conference
1972 April -- Chairperson and Speaker: "Racism and Ethnic Relations," Society for Applied Anthropology
1972 June -- Chairperson, Native American Studies Symposium, International Congress of Americanists, Mexico
1972 August -- Speaker: "Warrior Women of the Plains," International Congress of Americanists, Rome, Italy
1972 November -- Speaker: "Native Americans in the Modern World," Southwest Minnesota State College
1973 -- Expert Witness, Yvonne Wanro Trial, Spokane, Washington Member, Organization of American States, First Congress of Indigenous Women, Chiapas, Mexico Speaker: "Self-Direction in Sioux Education," American Anthropological Association Speaker: "North American Native Women: The Aspirations and Their Associations," presented as a Delegate to the Inter-American Commission on Indigenous Women, Chiapas, Mexico
1973-1974 -- Visiting Professor, Anthropology, Native American Studies Program, Dartmouth College
1973-1976 -- Member, Committee on Minorities in Anthropology, American Anthropological Association
1973- -- Consultant, Human Services Department, Sinte Gleska Community College
1974 -- Expert Witness, Wounded Knee Trial, Lincoln, Nebraska Speaker: "Indian Women's Roles: Traditional and Contemporary," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1974-1975 -- Visiting Professor, Anthropology, Colorado College
1975-1976 -- Visiting Associate Professor, Anthropology, Stanford University
1975-1977 -- Member, Steering Committee, Council of Anthropology and Education, American Anthropological Association
1976 -- Visiting Professor, Educational Anthropology, University of New Brunswick Expert Witness, Topsky Eagle Feathers Trial, Pocatello, Idaho Panelist, White House Conference on Ethnic Studies, Washington, D.C.
1977 -- Expert Witness, Greybull Grandchildren Custody Case, Portland, Oregon American Indian representative to the World Conference on Indigenous People, Geneva, Switzerland Honor: Outstanding Alumna, South Dakota State University
1977 August 18 -- Medicine serves as Sacred Pipe Woman at the Sun Dance, Green Grass, South Dakota
1977-1980 -- Education Consultant, National Congress of American Indians, Washington, D.C.
1978 -- Cited in the Directory of Significant 20th Century American Minority Women, Gaylord Professional Publications Biographical Sketch in "Moving Forward" of the Bookmark Reading Program, Third Edition
1978 August -- Speaker: "Issues in the Professionalization of Native American Women," Annual Meeting, American Psychological Association
1978-1982 -- Advanced Opportunity Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1979 -- Visiting Professor, Department of Education Policy Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1979 August -- Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters, Northern Michigan University Speaker: "The Dakota Indian Memorial Feast: Reservation and Urban Manifestations," International Congress of Americanists, Lima, Peru
1980 -- Member, Nominations Committee, American Anthropological Association Biographical Sketch in "Native American Indian Personalities, Historical and Contemporary," Dansville, New York: The Instructor Publications, Inc.
1981 -- Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Washington-Seattle Speaker: "Linguistically Marginated: The Transformation of Dominated Speech Varieties," American Anthropological Association
1982 -- School of Social and Behavioral Science Academic Planning, California State University Speaker: "Policy Decisions: Federal Regulations and American Indian Identity Issues," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1982-1983 -- Anthropology Department Curriculum Committee, California State University
1982-1985 -- Associate Professor of Anthropology, Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Program in American Indian Studies, California State University Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Program in American Studies Program, California State University
1982- -- President, Assembly of California Indian Women
1983 -- Receives Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, University of Wisconsin Expert Witness, Fortunate Eagle Trial, Reno, Nevada Award: Outstanding Woman of Color, National Institute of Women of Color, Washingtonton, D.C. (for anthropological contributions) Award: Outstanding Minority Researcher, American Educational Research Association Publishes book with Patricia Albers: The Hidden Half: Indian Women of the Northern Plains Honor: Significant Academic Book (The Hidden Half), Choice, Association of Colleges and Research Libraries, American Library Association
1983-1984 -- Student Affirmative Action Coordinating Council, California State University
1983-1986 -- Member, Executive Board, Southwest Anthropological Association Member, Governing Board, Common Cause
1984 -- Member, Advisory Board of National Research for Handicapped Native Americans, North Arizona University Scholarly Publications Award Selection Committee, California State University Award: Faculty Award for Meritorious Service, California State University Speaker: Field Work Methods: "Ties That Bond," Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association Speaker: "Career Patterns of American Indian Women," Council of Education and Anthropology, Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1984 November -- Faculty Award for Meritorious Service, California State University
1984-1985 -- Participant, Chancellor's Office Grant to "Cross-Cultural Perspectives in the Social Sciences," California State University
1985 November -- Speaker: Conference on "The Native American: His Arts, His Culture, and His History," West Virginia State College
1985-1986 -- Board of Directors, Naechi Institute on Alcohol and Drug Education
1985-1988 -- Professor, Department of Anthropology and Director, Native Centre, University of Calgary
1985-1989 -- Member, Malinowski Awards Committee, Society for Applied Anthropology
1987 -- Honor: Outstanding Minority Professorship Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks Visiting Professor, University of Michigan
1987-1995 -- Member, Committee of Anthropologists in Primarily Minority Institutions, American Anthropological Association
1988 August 1 -- Medicine officially retires.
1989 -- Volunteer (Committee of Anthropologists in Primarily Minority Institutions, American Anthropological Association), Standing Rock College Honor (twice): Outstanding Minority Professorship Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks Visiting Professor, Wayne State University.
1990 -- Honor: "Outstanding Contributions for the promotion of sex equity in Education," Illinois State Board of Education Honor: Outstanding Lakota Woman, Standing Rock College
1991 -- Honor: Distinguished Service Award, American Anthropological Association. Medicine was the first American Indian to receive this award.
1991 -- Visiting Professor, Saskatchewan Indian Federal College Visiting Professor, Colorado College Visiting Professor, Anthropology, Humboldt State University
1992 -- Visiting Distinguished Professor, Women's Studies, University of Toronto
1993 -- Visiting Professor, Rural Sociology, South Dakota State University Award: Distinguished Native American Alumna Award, South Dakota State University
1993-1994 December -- Research Co-ordinator, Women's Perspectives, Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
1994- -- Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta
1995 -- Scholar in Residence, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul Visiting Scholar, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia Award: Ohana Award, Multi-Cultural Counseling Excellence, American Association of Counselors
1996 -- Award: Bronislaw Malinowski Award, Society for Applied Anthropology. Buckman Professor, Department of Human Ecology, University of Minnesota
circa 1997- -- Associate Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, California State University
2001 -- Publishes book: Learning to Be an Anthropologist and Remaining "Native": Selected Writings.
2005 -- Award: George and Louise Spindler Award, Council on Anthropology and Education, American Anthropological Association.
2005 December 19 -- Medicine dies during emergency surgery in Bismarck, North Dakota.
2006 -- Book: Drinking and Sobriety Among the Lakota Sioux is published posthumously.
2008 -- The Society for Applied Anthropology creates the Bea Medicine Award.
The papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Beatrice Medicine between 1997 and 2003, and by Ted Garner in 2006.
Materials relating to student grades, letters of recommendation, and evaluations have been restricted.
The Matthew Williams Stirling and Marion Stirling Pugh papers, 1876-2004 (bulk 1921-1975), document the professional and personal lives of Matthew Stirling, Smithsonian archaeologist and Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1928-1957), and his wife and constant collaborator, Marion Stirling Pugh. The bulk of the material is professional in nature and includes material from Matthew's early career in the 1920s, the careers of Matthew and Marion together from when they married in 1933 to Matthew's death in 1975, and Marion's life and work from 1975 until her death in 2001.
The majority of the documentation relates to the investigation of the Olmec culture in Mexico by the Stirlings, including the discoveries of eight colossal Olmec heads. In addition, the collection documents their work in Panama, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, looking for connections between Mesoamerica and South America. Materials include field notes, journals, correspondence, photographs, writings, clippings, ephemera, articles, and scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents:
The Matthew Williams Stirling and Marion Stirling Pugh papers, 1876-2004 (bulk 1921-1975), document the professional and personal lives of Matthew Stirling, Smithsonian archaeologist, and Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1928-1957), and his wife and constant collaborator, Marion Stirling Pugh. The bulk of the material is professional in nature and includes material from Matthew's early career in the 1920s, the careers of Matthew and Marion together from when they married in 1933 to Matthew's death in 1975, and Marion's life and work from 1975 until her death in 2001.
The majority of the documentation relates to the investigation of the Olmec culture in Mexico by the Stirlings, including the discoveries of eight colossal Olmec heads. In addition, the collection documents their work in Panama, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, looking for connections between Mesoamerica and South America. Materials include field notes, journals, correspondence, photographs, writings, clippings, ephemera, articles, and scrapbooks.
Series 1. Field work, 1921-1998 (bulk 1921-1975) and undated, documents the archaeological expeditions undertaken by Matthew and Marion Stirling over a span of 40 years. This includes expeditions Matthew undertook prior to his marriage and collaboration with Marion to Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, and Florida, and extensive documentation of expeditions they embarked on together to Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
Series 2. Other travels, 1946-1972 is comprised of materials documenting trips the Stirlings took that, for the most part, did not include field work. This includes trips for both business and personal travel, however it was common for the two to overlap.
Series 3. Administrative files, 1924-1980 and undated is partly comprised of materials the Stirlings compiled and organized into an alphabetical filing structure and also of materials that are administrative in nature and did not directly relate to other categories outlined in this finding aid.
Series 4 Writings and lectures, 1925-1990 and undated, consists of articles, papers, drafts, and notes primarily written by Matthew Stirling, with some materials co-written by Marion, and documentation relating to presentations the Stirlings gave regarding their field work and other professional matters. Also included is material relating to films that were made about the Stirling's work.
Series 5. Personal and family materials, 1880-1996 and undated, consists of documents, photographs, and ephemera that are personal in nature. This includes items relating to Matthew Stirling's young life and family history, photographs, correspondence, and clippings relating to his extended family, and photographs of and correspondence from Matt and Marion's children.
Series 6. Anthropological journals, 1876-1959, consists of collections of anthropological journals collected and categorized for reference and research purposes.
Series 7. Marion Stirling Pugh, 1924-2004 (bulk 1948-2002) and undated, consists of materials relating to endeavors Marion undertook without Matthew, primarily relating to her participation in the Society of Women Geographers from 1948-2000 and her life after Matthew died in 1975 until her death in 2001.
This collection is arranged in 7 series: 1) Field work, 1921-1998 (bulk 1921-1975), undated; 2) Other travels, 1946-1972; 3) Administrative files, 1924-1980, undated; 4) Writings and lectures, 1925-1990, undated; 5) Personal and family materials, 1880-1996, undated; 6) Anthropological journals, 1876-1959; 7) Marion Stirling Pugh, 1924-2004 (bulk 1948-2002), undated.
MATTHEW WILLIAMS STIRLING:
Matthew Williams Stirling, archaeologist and Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1928-1957), was born on August 28, 1896 in Salinas, California. After serving as an Ensign in the Navy from 1917-1919, he graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology in 1920 from the University of California, Berkeley studying under T.T. Waterman, Alfred L. Kroeber, and E.W. Gifford. From 1920-1921 he worked as a teaching fellow at the university, where he taught William Duncan Strong. Stirling's first tenure at the Smithsonian (then the U.S. National Museum (USNM)) was from 1921-1924, first as a museum aide, then as an Assistant Curator of Ethnology. While in the position he took night classes at George Washington University and received his M.A. in 1922. He received an honorary Sc.D. from Tampa University in 1943. In 1924, Stirling resigned his position at the museum and embarked on a journey to South American with his friend Perry Patton. From 1925-1927 he embarked on the Smithsonian sponsored American-Dutch Expedition to Papua New Guinea to explore the previously unknown interior region of Dutch New Guinea. Stirling was appointed Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution in 1928 and married Marion Illig in 1933. They worked together for the next 40 years studying Olmec culture and the connection to greater Mesoamerica and South America. They had two children (Matthew W. Stirling Jr. in 1938 and Ariana Stirling in 1942). Stirling retired as Director of the B.A.E. on December 31, 1957. He died January 23, 1975 in Washington, D.C.
Collins, Henry B. "Matthew Williams Stirling, 1896-1975." American Anthropologist, New Series, 78, no. 4 (1976): 886-88.
Coe, Michael D. "Matthew Williams Stirling, 1896-1975." American Antiquity 41, no. 1 (1976): 67-73.
MARION STIRLING PUGH:
Marion Stirling Pugh (nee Illig) was born in Middletown, New York on May 12, 1911. She graduated from Rider College in 1930 and came to Washington D.C. in 1931 where she took a job as a secretary to the Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Matthew Stirling. She attended night school at George Washington University from 1931-1933 where she studied anthropology, geology, and Russian. Marion and Matthew were married on December 11, 1933 and promptly embarked on a honeymoon expedition to Florida where Matthew was in charge of Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects. They worked together for the next 40 years studying Olmec culture and the connection to greater Mesoamerica and South America. They had two children (Matthew W. Stirling Jr. in 1938 and Ariana Stirling in 1942).
Marion was an active member of the Society of Women Geographers and was elected to the executive board in 1954. She served as president of the society from 1960-1963 and 1969-1972. She had a long-time association with the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. and in the 1970s established what would become the Latin American Research Fund to secure Latin American ethnographic textiles for the museum.
After Matthew's death in 1975, Marion married General John Ramsey Pugh in 1977. Pugh died in 1994. Marion continued to travel the world, including making a trip to Antarctica in her 80s, until her death on April 24, 2001 in Tucson, Arizona.
"Marion Stirling Pugh, 89." The Washington Post. May 11, 2001. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/2001/05/11/marion-stirling-pugh-89/01329ba8-f32b-4d66-83fb-9f3c311aaefb/?utm_term=.ab20f25e060b (accessed May 16, 2019).
Conroy, Sarah Booth. "Archaeologist Marion Pugh, Digging Up Memories." The Washington Post. July 8, 1996. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1996/07/08/archaeologist-marion-pugh-digging-up-memories/09f465e7-5900-455e-bcd5-b81828a502d5/?utm_term=.703ff0e84313 (accessed May 16, 2019).
Matthew Williams Stirling and Marion Stirling Pugh Chronology
1896 August 28 -- Matthew Williams Stirling born in Salinas, California to Ariana and John Williams Stirling
1911 May 12 -- Marion Illig born in Middletown, New York
1914-1920 -- Matthew Stirling attended the University of California, Berkeley, receiving his B.A. in Anthropology in 1920. He studied under A.L. Kroeber, T.T. Waterman, and E.W. Gifford.
1917-1919 -- Matthew Stirling served as an ensign in the U.S. Navy during World War I
1920 -- Matthew Stirling's travels to Europe with his parents
1920-1921 -- Matthew Stirling worked as teaching fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and taught William Duncan Strong
1921-1924 -- Matthew Stirling worked at the United States National Museum (USNM), first as a Museum Aide and then as an Assistant Curator of Ethnology
1922 -- Matthew Stirling received Master of Arts degree from George Washington University, studying under Truman Michelson Matthew Stirling went on a trip to the cave country of France and Spain with friend Perry J. Patton
1923 Winter -- Matthew Stirling sent by J. Walter Fewkes to excavate at Weedon (or Weeden) Island, Florida
1924 Spring -- Matthew Stirling resigned from his Smithsonian USNM post
1924 Summer -- Matthew Stirling conducted excavations in Mobridge, South Dakota
1924 July -- Matthew Stirling went on a trip to South America with friend, Perry J. Patton
1924 Winter -- Matthew Stirling continued excavations in Weedon Island, FL
1924-1925 -- Matthew Stirling sold real estate on Weedon Island, Florida to fund the expedition to Papua New Guinea in the winters of 1924 and 1925
1925-1927 -- Matthew Stirling organized and led the American-Dutch Expedition (or Smithsonian Institution-Dutch Colonial Government expedition) to Papua New Guinea
1928 -- Matthew Stirling named Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) at the Smithsonian Institution
1929 March-April -- Matthew Stirling surveyed mounds in Tampa Bay and Calusa areas of Florida
1930s -- Matthew Stirling conducted various archaeological excavations in Georgia and Florida under the Works Progress Administration (WPA)
1930 -- Marion Illig received a Bachelor of Science degree from Rider College From February through April, Mathew Stirling conducted more work on Tampa Bay mounds in Florida In July, Matthew Stirling went to Marfa, Texas to examine pictographs in caves and also went to Deeth, Nevada
1931 September-1932 March -- Matthew Stirling a member of the Latin American Expedition to South and Central America. He studied the Tule/Kuna Indians in Panama and the Jivaro in Ecuador
1931-1933 -- Marion Illig moved to Washington D.C. to attend George Washington University and worked at the BAE as a secretary for Matthew Stirling
1933 December 11 -- Matthew and Marion Stirling married
1933 December-1934 May 5 -- Matthew Stirling supervised Federal Civil Works Administration (or Federal Emergency Relief Administration) projects in Florida, also called Florida Federal Relief (Bradenton, Perico Island, Canaveral Island, and Belle Glade) and BAE excavations in Macon, Georgia
1934 October -- Conducted archaeological work in King, Queen, and Halifax counties in Virginia and Granville City, North Carolina
1935 -- Matthew Stirling acted as the president of the Anthropological Society of Washington Expedition to Guatemala, Honduras, and Yucatan Peninsula to study the Maya and the Quché (or Quiche) Indians from January to February 15, 1935
1935-1936 -- Matthew Stirling acted as the vice president of the American Anthropological Association
1936 -- Matthew Stirling and WPA workers conducted archaeological surveys in southern Florida in July 1936 Matthew and Marion Stirling visited an excavation in Macon, Georgia in Fall 1936 Matthew Stirling supervised archaeological projects in Hillsborough and Dade Counties in Florida
1938 January-March -- Matthew and Marion Stirling take first field trip to Mexico, visiting Tres Zapotes
1938 December 24-1939 April 15 -- First Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico with C.W. Weiant. Excavated Tres Zapotes and discovered lower portion of Stela C
1939 -- Matthew Stirling received his first Franklyn L. Burr Award from the National Geographic Society
1939 December 26-1940 April 20 -- Second Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico with Dr. Philip Drucker. Excavated Cerro de las Mesas and La Venta
1940 December 29-1941 April 30 -- Third Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico with Dr. Philip Drucker. Excavated Cerro de las Mesas and Izapa
1941 -- Matthew and Marion Stirling received the Franklyn L. Burr Award from the National Geographic Society (shared with Richard Hewitt Stewart)
1942 April -- Matthew Stirling visited Dr. Philip Drucker at La Venta
1942 April-June -- Fourth Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico. Visited Tuxtla Gutierrez, Zoque, Tzotzil and Chamula Indians, and Palenque
1943 -- Fifth Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico with Dr. Waldo R. Wedel. Excavated La Venta Matthew Stirling awarded honorary Doctor of Science from Tampa University
1944 January 28-May -- Sixth Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico. Visited Michoacán, Jalisco, Uruapan, Tlaquepaque, and Tarascan Indians from Lake Pátzcuaro and conducted archaeological surveys in Southern Veracruz, Tabasco, and Campeche
1945 January 22-May 31 -- Seventh Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico. Excavated La Venta, San Lorenzo, Piedra Parada, and Tapachula
1946 January 26-April -- Eighth Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico with Dr. Philip Drucker. Excavated San Lorenzo
1947 -- Matthew Stirling becomes Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology (title changed from "Chief")
1947 December-1948 -- First Smithsonian Institution/ National Geographic Society Expeditions to Panama including Cocle, Balboa, Chitre, Parita (Sixto Pinilla Place), Monagrillo, and El Hatillo
1949 -- Second Smithsonian Institution/ National Geographic Society Expedition to Panama
1951 -- Third Smithsonian Institution/ National Geographic Society Expedition to Panama
1953 -- Fourth Smithsonian Institution/ National Geographic Society Expedition to Panama
1954 -- Marion Stirling elected to the executive board of the Society of Women Geographers
Group portraits of Henry Bascom Collins and a St. Lawrence Island dance group, made by a Smithsonian photographer on June 22, 1982. The photographs were taken at the opening of the "Inua: Spirit World of the Bering Sea Eskimo" exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History.
Henry B. Collins began his career in anthropology as an assistant on Neil M. Judd's 1922-1924 expeditions to Pueblo Bonito in New Mexico. In 1924, he became an aid in the United States National Museum Division of Ethnology, and later was appointed to assistant curator, associate curator, and archeologist emeritus. He was also a senior ethnologist and later acting director for the Bureau of American Ethnology. Between 1927 and 1936, Collins did field work in the Bering Sea area and the Arctic coasts of Alaska, studying influences of Eskimo culture. From 1948-1955, his field work expanded eastward to Baffin, Cornwallis, and Southampton islands.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 94-33
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives holds the Henry Bascom Collins, Jr. Papers and a recording of his tour of Eskimo collections on exhibit (MS 2011-36).
Photographs of the "Inua" exhibit opening held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 83-29.
Footage of Yupik Eskimo Life, made by Collins, can be found in the Human Studies Film Archives in HSFA 82.6.1.
Photographs of Collins in the Arctic held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 8, Photo Lot 24, Photo Lot 82-23, and Photo Lot 86-59.
The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds audio recordings of oral history interviews with Collins (SIA RU009528) and images of Collins in the Arctic.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo Lot 94-33, Smithsonian Institution Office of Printing and Photographic Services photographs of Henry Bascom Collins and St. Lawrence Island dancers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.