The papers of this collection are those of Herbert William Krieger (b. 1889), archaeologist and curator of the Division of Ethnology for the former United States National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Included are correspondence, field notebooks, notes, administrative material, manuscripts of writings, printed matter, sketches, maps, photographs and other documents.
Scope and Contents:
These papers reflect the professional life of Herbert William Krieger (b. 1889), archaeologist and curator of the Division of Ethnology for the former United States National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Included are correspondence, field notebooks, notes, administrative material, manuscripts of writings, printed matter, sketches, maps, photographs and other documents that cover the period from 1925 to 1957.
The bulk of the material concerns Krieger's archaeological work in the West Indies, primarily the Dominican Republic, where he researched intermittently from 1938 to 1953. There is also material in the collection on Krieger's work in Southeastern and Central Alaska where he was involved with the restoration and reconstruction of the Kansaan National Monument from 1926 to 1927. Material concerning the salvage archaeology performed on the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon, particularly in the area of the construction site of the Bonneville Dam, is included in the collection. Also included is work on two War Background Studies publications, one on the peoples of the Philippines, the other on the islands of the Western Pacific. The collection additionally contains Krieger's office files and collected correspondence of scholars and informants used for reference purposes.
Not represented in the collection is any phase of Krieger's personal life, nor is there any material reflecting his life prior to or since his association with the Museum.
Among correspondents whose letters are included are Franz BOAS, C. U. CLARK, John COLLIER, L. S. CRESSMAN, Frances DENSMORE, Philip DRUCKER, John EWERS, Jesse W. FEWKES, Melville HERSKOVITS, William H. HOLMES, Walter HOUGH, Neil M. JUDD, A. L. KROEBER, Otis MASON, Frank M. SETZLER, Herbert J. SPINDEN, T. D. STEWART, Matthew STIRLING, William Duncan STRONG, T. T. WATERMAN, Waldo WEDEL, Alexander WETMORE, and Clark WISSLER.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect 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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
OUTGOING LETTERS, 1925-1955: Box 1
INCOMING LETTERS, 1925-1957: Boxes 2, 3
COLLECTED CORRESPONDENCE USED AS REFERENCES, 1892-1957: Box 3
OFFICE FILE, 1929-1957: Boxes 4, 5, 6, 7
MATERIAL RELATING TO SOUTHEAST AND CENTRAL ALASKA, 1926-1927: Box 8
MATERIAL CONCERNING THE COLUMBIA RIVER REGION, 1927-1955: Boxes 8, 9
MANUSCRIPTS AND NOTES ON THE ISLANDS OF THE WESTERN PACIFIC, 1943: Boxes 10, 11, 12, 13
MATERIALS RELATING TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, 1942: Box 14
MATERIAL CONCERNING THE WEST INDIES, 1938-1953: Boxes 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
MISCELLANY, 1925-1957: Boxes 20, 21
PRINTED, PROCESSED AND EXTRACTED MATERIAL, 1884-1957: Boxes 22, 23, 24
Herbert William Krieger joined the staff of the United States National Museum's Department of Anthropology as assistant curator of ethnology in 1924, and he became curator of ethnology in 1925. In spite of his position, much of his field work was carried out in archaeology. In 1927, for the Bureau of American Ethnology, he examined the feasibility of restoring Old Kasaan on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, and carried out archaeological reconnaissance along the Columbia River. In the following year, he continued reconnaissance work, first along the middle Yukon River and then, again, along the Columbia. In the former area, he also collected a few random notes on living Athapascan Indians and in both areas he carried out several excavations.
In 1934, for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Public Works Administration, he carried out salvage archaeological work near Bonneville, Oregon. As a pastime, during the 1930s, he carried out reconnaissance along the lower Potomac River. Krieger's major work, however, lay to the south among the problems of Caribbean archeology. Between 1928 and 1937 and from 1947 to 1952, he concerned himself with sites visited by Columbus and attempts to plot areas previously occupied by the Arawak, Carib, and other tribes.
His studies involved examinations of both historic and prehistoric Spanish and Indian settlements in Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas. Based on these, he published several articles and books, including Archeological and Historical Investigations in Samana, Dominican Republic, United States National Museum Bulletin 156, 1931, and Aboriginal Indian Pottery of the Dominican Republic, United States National Museum Bulletin 156, 1931. He was also a participant in several conferences concerned with the archaeology, ethnology, and history of the Caribbean area.
In addition to his field work and administrative duties as head of the Division of Ethnology, Krieger worked with the Museum's ethnological collections and published several articles based on them. He also became involved in the renovation of the division's public areas so that "the antiquated and overcrowed exhibits should be replaced by modern exhibits in which art and science are blended". Much of the effort for this was carried out by Krieger's associate curator John Canfield Ewers.
Having a special interest in the Philippines and western Oceania that grew from his early service as a teacher in Manila, Krieger also produced studies of the people of the Philippines and the islands of the western Pacific for the Smithsonian's War Backgroud Studies series during World War II. He also worked on a volume "The Islands of New Japan, " but it was never published.
December 8, 1889 -- Born in Burlington, Iowa
1907 -- Bachelor of Arts, Wartburg College, Clinton, Iowa
1908 -- Master of Arts, State University of Iowa, in German and Philosophy
1909-10 -- Fellow, University of Illinois
1911-14 -- Instructor of economics and commercial geography at the School of Commerce, Bureau of Education, Manila, Philippine Islands
1914-20 -- Bank cashier and ranch owner, Granada, Minnesota
1922-24 -- Instructor of Anthropology, University of Minnesota
1924 -- Assistant Curator, Division of Ethnology, U. S. National Museum
1925 -- Curator, Division of Ethnology, U. S. National Museum
1926-27 -- On an expedition to southeast and central Alaska, engaged in the reconstruction and restoration at the Old Kansaan National Monument
1927-35 -- Salvage archaeology along the Columbia River, primarily in the area surrounding the Bonneville Dam prior to its construction for the Department of the Interior
1938-53 -- Investigations in the Caribbean area, primarily the island of Hispaniola, Dominican Republic
1957 -- Retired from the staff of the United States National Museum and made Honorary Research Associate, U. S. N. M.
July 1, 1970 -- Died, Buried in Columbia Gardens Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
Additional material in the National Anthropological Archives that relates to Herbert Krieger can be found in the United States National Museum Manuscript and Pamphlet File, as well as among the correspondence files of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Houses -- North America -- Africa -- Asia -- South America Search this
The collection consists of copy prints depicting Smithsonian anthropologists, including group portraits of the staff of the United States National Museum Department of Anthropology and mounted individual portraits of department heads in 1904, 1931, 1952, 1959, and 1962. The photographs were possibly made as part of a 1969 event, "The Anthropology of Anthropology, or Everything You Wanted to Know About the Anthropology Department but Didn't Know What to Ask." The announcement for this event is available with the collection.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 39
Copy prints made by the Smithsonian Institution, 1969.
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Original negatives for some images are held in the National Anthropological Archives in the BAE historical negatives.
The National Anthropological Archives also holds the Records of the Department of Anthropology.
Additional photographs of Department of Anthropology staff can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 24, Photo Lot 33, Photo Lot 70, Photo Lot 136, Photo Lot 76-127, Photo Lot 77-52, Photo Lot 77-80, Photo Lot 79-51, Photo Lot 80-17, Photo Lot 83-15, and the BAE historical negatives.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 39, Copies of portraits of Smithsonian anthropologists, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution