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Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers

Creator:
Okubo, Miné, 1912-2001  Search this
Names:
Central Utah Relocation Center  Search this
Hall, Gaylord  Search this
Hamilton, Howard  Search this
Leeper, Roy  Search this
Tono, Doris  Search this
Tono, Harry  Search this
Extent:
1.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Drawings
Sketches
Illustrated letters
Date:
circa 1940-2001
Summary:
The Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940 to 2001. Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall were long-time friends with and patrons of Okubo from the late 1950s until her death. The collection contains letters, writings, and sketches by Okubo. Among the printed materials is a copy of the 1944 special edition of Fortune magazine which was sympathetic to Japanese Americans interned during World War II and for which Okubo was hired to illustrate. Also found are scattered documents relating to Hall and Leeper.
Scope and Contents:
The Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940 to 2001. Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall were long-time friends with and patrons of Okubo from the late 1950s until her death. The collection contains letters, writings, and sketches by Okubo. Among the printed materials is a copy of the 1944 special edition of Fortune magazine which was sympathetic to Japanese Americans interned during World War II and for which Okubo was hired to illustrate. Also found are scattered documents relating to Hall and Leeper.

Biographical materials consist of Roy Leeper's medical licenses. The bulk of the collection is comprised of Miné Okubo's letters, many of which are illustrated, to Hall and Leeper discussing her health, career, their purchase of her artwork, and mutual friends. Other correspondents include Howard Hamilton and Doris and Harry Tono. Writings and notes by Okubo inlcude a statement about the pricing of her artwork and a list of artwork. Leeper and Hall's personal business records concern the purchase and loan of Okubo's artwork for exhibitions.

Printed materials include a 1944 edition of Fortune magazine devoted to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The issue includes reproductions of Okubo's illustrations of life in the World War II internment camp in Topaz, Utah. Photographs include snapshots of Okubo at an exhibition with her art and of works of art. Sketches and drawings depict mostly cats and flowers.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1942-1994 (1 folder; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1957-2001 (0.8 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1940-circa 1970 (3 folders; Box 1)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1957-1998 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1944-2000 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1940-circa 1990s (3 folders; Box 1)

Series 7: Artwork, 1960s-1997 (0.1 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Biographical / Historical:
Miné Okubo (1912-2001) was a Japanese American painter, illustrator, and author. She is known for her book Citizen 13600in which she described her experience at the Topaz War Relocation Camp in Utah through prose and drawings.

Born in Riverside, California in 1912, Okubo began her arts education at Riverside Junior College and transferred to the University of California, Berkeley where she completed her BA and MA in Fine Arts (where she first met Roy Leeper). In 1938, she received an award to travel and study under Fernand Léger in Paris. When World War II began in Europe, she moved back to California and worked under the Federal Arts Project. She produced some solo murals and also assisted Diego Rivera on his Treasure Island mural Pan American Unity, (1940).

In April of 1942, Miné Okubo and one of her brothers were sent to the Tanforan Assembly Center under Executive Order 9066, which forcibly interned over 100,000 Japanese and Japanese-American citizens living on the West Coast of the United States. Six months later, they were sent to the Topaz War Relocation Camp in Topaz, Utah. There, Okubo taught art in the camp's school and often sketched camp life. She was art editor for the camp newsletter Trek, a supplement to the Topaz Times.

In 1944, Fortune magazine published a sympathetic special edition on the Japanese and Japanese American internment during World War II. The magazine hired Okubo to illustrate two of the articles. She was permitted to leave the camp and move to New York City, where she remained for the rest of her life, working as a painter and illustrator. She wrote and illustrated a book about her experiences in the Topaz confinement camp, Citizen 13600, which won the American Book Award in 1984. Miné Okubo died in 2001. Medical doctor Roy Leeper befriended Miné Okubo while they were both students at the University of California. Later, he and his partner dentist Gaylord Hall were reintroduced to Okubo and her artwork by a mutual friend. They began a life-long relationship with Okuba, both as friends and collectors.
Related Materials:
Riverside City College in Riverside, California also holds the Miné Okubo papers.
Provenance:
Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall donated the collection of Miné Okubo papers in 2001.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Art patronage  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Asian American women artists  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Japanese American women artists  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Asian American illustrators  Search this
Asian American authors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Drawings
Sketches
Illustrated letters
Citation:
Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers, circa 1940-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.okubmine
See more items in:
Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-okubmine

Interview with Paul Vanderbilt reel 11

Creator:
Vanderbilt, Paul, 1905-1992  Search this
Vanderbilt, Paul, 1905-1992  Search this
Subject:
Vanderbilt, Paul  Search this
Library of Congress  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
196-?
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16901
See more items in:
Paul Vanderbilt papers, 1854-1992, bulk 1945-1992
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16901

Oral history interview with Fred Martin, 1980 Aug. 27-Sept. 19

Interviewee:
Martin, Fred, 1927-  Search this
Martin, Fred, 1927-  Search this
Interviewer:
St. John, Terry  Search this
Subject:
Rothko, Mark  Search this
Still, Clyfford  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Collagists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12046
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212016
AAA_collcode_martin80
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212016

Oral history interview with Elmer Bischoff, 1977 August 10-September 1

Interviewee:
Bischoff, Elmer Nelson, 1916-1991  Search this
Bischoff, Elmer Nelson, 1916-1991  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Brown, Joan  Search this
Brown, William Theo  Search this
Geis, Bill  Search this
Hudson, Robert  Search this
MacAgy, Douglas  Search this
Neri, Manuel  Search this
Park, David  Search this
Smith, Hassel  Search this
Spohn, Clay Edgar  Search this
Still, Clyfford  Search this
Wiley, William T.  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Figurative art  Search this
Painters -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11991
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213307
AAA_collcode_bischo77
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213307

Oral history interview with Mary Fuller McChesney, 1994 Sept. 28

Interviewee:
McChesney, Mary Fuller, 1922-  Search this
McChesney, Mary Fuller, 1922-  Search this
Interviewer:
Landauer, Susan  Search this
Subject:
Corbett, Edward  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard  Search this
Kees, Weldon  Search this
MacAgy, Douglas  Search this
Mandelman, Beatrice  Search this
Marca-Relli, Conrad  Search this
Martin, Agnes  Search this
McChesney, Robert  Search this
Park, David  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad  Search this
Ribak, Louis  Search this
Smith, Hassel  Search this
Spohn, Clay Edgar  Search this
Still, Clyfford  Search this
Vicente, Esteban  Search this
Women in the Arts in Southern California Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Women artists -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12498
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215789
AAA_collcode_mcches94
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215789
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Colescott, 1999 April 14

Interviewee:
Colescott, Robert, 1925-2009  Search this
Colescott, Robert, 1925-2009  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Cézanne, Paul  Search this
Loran, Erle  Search this
Ryder, Worth  Search this
Saar, Betye  Search this
San Francisco State University  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Theme:
African American  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11502
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216607
AAA_collcode_colesc99
Theme:
African American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216607
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Charles Linder, 1999 July 10

Interviewee:
Linder, Charles K., 1967-  Search this
Linder, Charles K., 1967-  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Refusalon Gallery  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
Art Schools in California Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art students -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13108
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)221765
AAA_collcode_linder99
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_221765
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Merry Renk, 2001 January 18-19

Interviewee:
Renk, Merry, 1921-2012  Search this
Renk, Merry, 1921-2012  Search this
Interviewer:
Fisch, Arline M., 1931-  Search this
Subject:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Asawa, Ruth  Search this
Bates, Kenneth F. (Kenneth Francis)  Search this
Brancusi, Constantin  Search this
Brynner, Irena  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen  Search this
Curtis, Earle  Search this
De Patta, Margaret  Search this
Godfrey, Mary Jo Slick  Search this
Guermonprez, Trude  Search this
Hall, Doris.  Search this
Nordness, Lee  Search this
Oliver, Olive  Search this
Tawney, Lenore  Search this
Tajiri, Shinkichi  Search this
750 Studio  Search this
American Craft Council  Search this
Metal Arts Guild  Search this
Mobilia Gallery  Search this
Institute of Design  Search this
School of Industrial Design (Trenton, N.J.)  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Enamel and enameling  Search this
Enamelers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Jewelers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11961
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)227005
AAA_collcode_renk01
Theme:
Craft
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_227005
Online Media:

Oral history interview with James Melchert, 2002 September 18-October 19

Interviewee:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Interviewer:
Pritikin, Renny  Search this
Subject:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Ceramicists -- California -- Oakland -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11926
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)237982
AAA_collcode_melche02
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_237982
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Joel Philip Myers, 2007 May 1

Interviewee:
Myers, Joel Philip, 1934-  Search this
Myers, Joel Philip, 1934-  Search this
Interviewer:
Klein, Daniel, 1938-2009  Search this
Subject:
Blenko, William H.  Search this
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Huchthausen, David R. (David Richard)  Search this
Lewis, John  Search this
Lipofsky, Marvin  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Marquis, Richard  Search this
Ness, Bob  Search this
Popelka, John  Search this
Randall, Theodore  Search this
Smith, Paul J.  Search this
Vallien, Bertil  Search this
Alfred University  Search this
Blenko Glass Company  Search this
Donald Deskey Associates  Search this
Mint Museum of Art  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Parsons School of Design  Search this
Pilchuck Glass Center (Stanwood, Wash.)  Search this
Toledo Art Museum  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
University of Illinois.  Search this
World Crafts Council  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Japan -- Description and Travel
Topic:
Craft Horizons  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Philosophy  Search this
Ceramics -- Design  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching -- Denmark  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass blowing and working -- Study and teaching  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13605
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)270854
AAA_collcode_myers07
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_270854
Online Media:

Elmer Bischoff papers, 1914-1990

Creator:
Bischoff, Elmer Nelson, 1916-1991  Search this
Bischoff, Elmer Nelson, 1916-1991  Search this
Subject:
Staempfli Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
Type:
Collages
Drawings
Watercolors
Interviews
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
New Deal  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6686
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208811
AAA_collcode_biscelme
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of American Artists
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208811
Online Media:

John Little papers, 1935-1978

Creator:
Little, John, 1907-  Search this
Guild Hall of East Hampton  Search this
Little, John, 1907-  Search this
Subject:
Parker, Elizabeth  Search this
Kiesler, Frederick  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Hunter, Sam  Search this
Signa Gallery  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- History -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Textile design -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculpture -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Theme:
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7896
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210063
AAA_collcode_littjohn
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210063

Karl Kasten papers, 1940-1977

Creator:
Kasten, Karl Albert, 1916-  Search this
Kasten, Karl Albert, 1916-  Search this
Subject:
Clark, Charles D.  Search this
Ryder, Worth  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Printing -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Expressionism (Art)  Search this
Theme:
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9125
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211319
AAA_collcode_kastkarl
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211319

Michael Loew papers, 1930-1997

Creator:
Loew, Michael, 1907-1985  Search this
Loew, Michael, 1907-1985  Search this
Subject:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Jensen, Alfred  Search this
Kahn, Louis I.  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
McNeil, George  Search this
McPherson, Sarah Freedman  Search this
Schempp, Theodore  Search this
Schnitzler, Max  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph  Search this
Hasen, Burt  Search this
Johnson, Philip  Search this
Kent, Rockwell  Search this
Lahey, Richard  Search this
McDarrah, Fred W.  Search this
Morris, George L. K.  Search this
Odets, Clifford  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Marilyn Pearl Gallery  Search this
Landmark Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors  Search this
Holland-Goldowsky Gallery  Search this
United States  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
New York World's Fair  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theme:
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9162
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211356
AAA_collcode_loewmich
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211356

David S. Osborn papers relating to the Federal art project in California, 1956

Creator:
Osborn, David S.  Search this
Osborn, David S.  Search this
Subject:
Labaudt, Lucien  Search this
Federal Art Project (Calif.)  Search this
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945 -- California -- San Francisco
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945 -- California -- San Francisco
Topic:
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art and state -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Theme:
Government Sponsorship of the Arts  Search this
New Deal  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9819
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212279
AAA_collcode_osbodavi
Theme:
Government Sponsorship of the Arts
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212279

James S. Ackerman papers, circa 1942-2011

Creator:
Ackerman, James S., 1919-2016  Search this
Ackerman, James S., 1919-2016  Search this
Subject:
New York University  Search this
Topic:
Art -- France  Search this
Art -- Italy  Search this
Architecture -- France  Search this
Architecture -- Italy  Search this
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography  Search this
Architecture & Design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10003
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212797
AAA_collcode_ackejame
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Architecture & Design
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212797

Hans Hofmann papers, circa 1904-2011

Creator:
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Subject:
Dickey, Tina  Search this
Amgott, Madeline  Search this
Mauer, Alfred  Search this
Hawthorne, Charles Webster  Search this
Hofmann, Maria  Search this
Hofmann, Renate Schmitz  Search this
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts (Provincetown, Mass.)  Search this
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts  Search this
Type:
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Topic:
Motion pictures (visual works)  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- Massachusetts  Search this
Art schools -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art schools -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art students -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5966
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)227882
AAA_collcode_hofmhans
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_227882
Online Media:

William C. Sturtevant papers

Topic:
Handbook of North American Indians
Creator:
Sturtevant, William C.  Search this
Names:
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)  Search this
Six Nations  Search this
Extent:
220 Linear feet (The total extent of the collection is 191.41 linear feet (consisting of 473 document boxes and 2 record boxes) plus 254 sound recordings, 94 computer disks, 42 card file boxes, 85 oversize folders, 9 rolled items, 18 binder boxes, and 3 oversize boxes. Of the total extent, 4.79 linear feet (14 boxes) are restricted.)
Culture:
Indians of North America -- Southeast  Search this
Indians of North America -- Northeast  Search this
Indians of North America  Search this
Iroquois  Search this
Seminole  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Realia
Research
Notes
Office files
Theses
Slides (photographs)
Sound recordings
Exhibition catalogs
Field notes
Clippings
Correspondence
Photographs
Microfilms
Newsletters
Manuscripts
Memorandums
Articles
Card files
Books
Artifacts
Negatives
Date:
1952-2007
Summary:
This collection contains the professional papers of William Curtis Sturtevant and documents his activities as Curator of North American Ethnology at the National Museum of Natural History, his work as the editor-in-chief of the Handbook of North American Indians, his research among the Seminole and Iroquois people, and other professional activities. The collection is comprised of books, sound recordings, research and field notes, realia, artifacts, clippings, microfilm, negatives, slides, photographs, manuscripts, correspondence, memorandums, card files, exhibition catalogs, articles, and bibliographies.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains the professional papers of William Curtis Sturtevant and documents his activities as Curator of North American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, his work as the editor-in-chief of the Handbook of North American Indians, his research among the Seminole and Iroquois people, and his involvement in various professional activities. The collection is comprised of research and field notes, sound recordings, realia, clippings, negatives, slides, prints, published and unpublished writings, correspondence, memorandums, conference papers and meeting notes, card files, exhibition catalogs, articles, bibliographies, student files such as class notes and papers from Sturtevant's years as an anthropology student, teaching materials including lecture notes and exams, daily planners, passports, military records, artwork including prints and lithographs, maps, and computer files.

The materials in this collection document Sturtevant's career as a preeminent North American ethnologist, museum curator, university professor, his role as General Editor of the Handbook of North American Indians, and his contributions to the field of Anthropology. From his early work with the Seminole Indians of Florida to his forays into Burma, and his decades-long study of how Native Americans have been depicted in artistic and popular culture, Sturtevant's diverse intellectual interests are represented in his research files. A copious note taker, Sturtevant captured his observations and opinions of everything from meetings with colleagues to museum exhibits. Sturtevant's commitment to the anthropological profession can be found in the notes and programs of the many conferences, symposiums, and lecture series he attended and at which he presented. He also held numerous leadership positions in various professional associations and sat on the board of directors/trustees for several cultural organizations including Survival International and the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation. Sturtevant was respected for his vast knowledge of indigenous peoples and he received a voluminous amount of correspondence from colleagues who often included copies of their papers and grant proposals. He kept many of these works, which, it appears he used as reference material. Sturtevant's own work is reflected in his writings; he published over 200 scholarly papers, articles, and books.

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.
Arrangement:
This collection is organized in 14 series: 1. Correspondence, 1951-2008; 2. Research Files, 1851, 1860s, 1880s, 1890, 1939-2006; 3. Writings, 1952-2006; 4. Professional Activities, 1952-2006; 5. Smithsonian, 1954-2008; 6. Handbook of North American Indians, 1971-2007; 7. Biographical Files, 1933-2007; 8. Student Files, 1944-1985; 9. Subject Files, 1902-2002; 10. Photographs, 1927-2004; 11. Artwork, 1699-1998; 12. Maps, 1949-1975; 13. Sound Recordings, 1950-2000; 14. Computer Files, 1987-2006.
Biographical/Historical note:
William C. Sturtevant (1926-2007), preeminent North American ethnologist, museum curator, and university professor, was best known for his contributions to Seminole ethnology, as curator of North American Ethnology in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, and for his work as the general editor of the Handbook of North American Indians.

Sturtevant's passion for studying Native peoples began at a young age. In third grade "after a class on American Indians, he asked his father what kind of people study Indians, and his father replied, 'Anthropologists.' Sturtevant decided then that he would make anthropology his career" (Merrill 11). After graduating with honors from the University of California at Berkeley in 1949, Sturtevant went on to Yale University to complete his graduate work in anthropology. When it came time to decide on what area of North America he should focus his research, one of his faculty members at Yale, Irving Rouse, "suggested he consider the Seminoles of south Florida. By the end of his first fieldwork season, Sturtevant was convinced that the dearth of ethnographic information about these Seminoles and their status as one of the least acculturated of all North American Indian societies justified ethnographic research among them and offered the possibility of making an important contribution to North American ethnology" (Merrill 13). Sturtevant spent the summers of 1950 and 1951 conducting preliminary fieldwork among the Mikasuki-speaking Seminole and in 1952 he took up temporary residence at Big Cypress Reservation to undertake research for his dissertation, "The Mikasuki Seminole: Medical Beliefs and Practices." This work focused on Seminole medicine, but also included Sturtevant's analysis of Seminole worldview, religion, history, inter-ethnic relations, material culture, economy, kinship, language, and social organization.

In 1954, while he was finishing his dissertation, Sturtevant made the transition from student of anthropology to professional anthropologist. He was hired as an instructor in Yale's Anthropology Department and began his career in museum work as an assistant curator of anthropology at the Yale Peabody Museum. After receiving his PhD from Yale in 1955, Sturtevant moved on to the Smithsonian Institution, where he accepted a position as a research anthropologist at the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE). This position afforded Sturtevant the chance to continue to explore his many research interests in ways that a full time professorship or museum curatorship could not. Over the next ten years he studied the Catawba in South Carolina; the Seneca and Cayuga nations of the Iroquois League in New York, Oklahoma, and Ontario; continued his work with the Seminole; visited European museums to examine early ethnographic examples and possible European prototypes of eastern North American Indian material culture; and spent a year in Burma. In 1963, Sturtevant and his wife, Theda Maw, the daughter of a prominent Burmese family, took their three young children to Burma so that they could visit with Maw's family. Sturtevant took this as an opportunity to branch out from his Native American research and spent the year visiting neighborhoods in Rangoon and villages in the surrounding countryside, examining archival materials, studying the Burmese language, learning about Burmese clothing and other aspects of the culture, and taking photographs. He also collected 386 items of clothing and other objects for the Smithsonian.

When Sturtevant returned from Burma, he found the BAE had been dissolved. In 1965, he was transferred from the now-defunct BAE to the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), where he became curator of North American Ethnology, a position he held for the next forty-two years. During his tenure at NMNH Sturtevant oversaw all the North American ethnology collections, planned exhibitions, served on committees, and sponsored interns and fellows. One of Sturtevant's primary duties at NMNH was serving as the General Editor of the Handbook of North American Indians, "a major multi-volume reference work summarizing anthropological, linguistic, and historical knowledge about native peoples north of Mexico" (Jackson). Each volume was designed to represent a geographic or topical area of Americanist study. As General Editor, Sturtevant selected volume editors, chapter authors, oversaw office staff, and proofread manuscripts over the course of production.

Besides focusing on the Handbook, much of Sturtevant's time was taken up by responsibilities he held outside the Institution. Sturtevant was extremely involved in professional anthropological associations and held many leadership positions. Fresh out of graduate school, he began a three-year term on the Board of Governors of the Anthropological Society of Washington in 1957. He later became a member of the executive committee of the Florida Anthropological Society, served as book-review editor and associate editor of the American Anthropologist from 1962-1968, was a member of the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Anthropological Research in Museums and was both vice president and president of the committee once it became the Council for Museum Anthropology, was on the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Archives, served three terms on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation from 1976-1982 and was appointed to a fourth term between 1984 and 1986, and sat on the Board of Directors of Survival International from 1982-1988. He was President of the American Society for Ethnohistory, the American Ethnological Society, the American Anthropological Association, and the Anthropological Society of Washington. Sturtevant also taught classes at Johns Hopkins University as an adjunct professor in the Department of Anthropology, served as a consultant on exhibits at other museums, and reviewed manuscripts for scholarly publications.

Sturtevant remained active in the profession throughout his later years. After divorcing Theda Maw in 1986, he married Sally McLendon, a fellow anthropologist, in 1990 and they undertook several research projects together. Sturtevant was recognized for his dedication and contributions to the field of anthropology in 1996 when he was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters by Brown University, and in 2002 when his colleagues published a festschrift in his honor, Anthropology, History, and American Indians: Essays in Honor of William Curtis Sturtevant.

Sturtevant died on March 2, 2007 at the Collingswood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rockville, MD after suffering from emphysema.

Sources Consulted

Estrada, Louie. 2007. William C. Sturtevant; Expert on Indians. Washington Post, March 17. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/16/AR2007031602273.html, accessed August 31, 2012.

Jackson, Jason Baird. 2007. William C. Sturtevant (1926-2007). http://museumanthropology.blogspot.com/2007/03/william-c-sturtevant-1926-2007.html, accessed August 31, 2012.

Merrill, William L. 2002. William Curtis Sturtevant, Anthropologist. In Anthropology, History, and American Indians: Essays in Honor of William Curtis Sturtevant. William L. Merrill and Ives Goddard, eds. Pp. 11-36. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

1926 -- Born July 26 in Morristown, NJ

1944 -- Entered the University of California at Berkeley as a second-semester freshman

1944 -- Attended summer school at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City where he took courses on Mexican archaeology and South American ethnology

1945 -- Drafted into the United States Navy

1946 -- Received an honorable discharge from the Navy with the rank of pharmacist's mate third class and returned to UC Berkeley

1947 -- Attended the University of New Mexico's summer field school in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

1949 -- January: Received his Bachelor's degree with honors in anthropology from UC Berkeley

1949 -- Began graduate studies at Yale University

1950-1951 -- Spent the summers of 1950 and 1951 in Florida conducting fieldwork among the Mikasuki-speaking Seminole

1951 -- Conducted his first research study of the Iroquois, a classification of Seneca musical instruments, their construction and use, with Harold Conklin

1952 -- May: Moved to Big Cypress Reservation in Florida to conduct research for his dissertation. He focused on Seminole medicine, but also collected physical anthropological data such as blood-type frequencies, handedness, and color blindness

1952 -- July 26: Married Theda Maw

1954 -- Hired by Yale University as an instructor in the Department of Anthropology and as an assistant curator of anthropology in the Yale Peabody Museum

1955 -- Received PhD in anthropology from Yale University

1956 -- Joined the staff of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) as a research anthropologist

1957 -- Began a three-year term on the Board of Governors of the Anthropological Society of Washington

1957 -- Traveled to Rock Hill, South Carolina to collect linguistic data from Sam Blue, the last member of the Catawba tribe to have maintained some proficiency in the Catawba language. While there, he made a small collection of Catawba pottery for the United States National Museum

1957-1958 -- Spent seven weeks continuing his research among the New York Seneca

1959 -- Returned to Florida to study Seminole ethnobotany. He also collected ethnographic materials, especially objects made for the tourist market, which he deposited in the United States National Museum

1959-1960 -- Member of the executive committee of the Florida Anthropological Society

1960 -- July and August: Visited 17 European museums to examine early ethnographic examples and possible European prototypes of eastern North American Indian material culture

1961-1962 -- Spent the summers of these years conducting ethnographic fieldwork among the Seneca-Cayuga in Oklahoma

1962 -- October: Visited the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada to conduct fieldwork among the Seneca and Cayuga there

1962-1968 -- Book-review editor and associate editor of the American Anthropologist

1963 -- October: Spent the year in Burma; visited neighborhoods in Rangoon and villages in the surrounding countryside, examined photographs in several archives, studied the Burmese language, and read extensively about the country's history and culture. Assembled notes on Burmese clothing and other aspects of the culture, took hundreds of photographs, and made a collection of 386 items of clothing and other objects for the Smithsonian

1964 -- Visited Inle Lake in the Southern Shan States southeast of Mandalay, where he examined local approaches to artificial island agriculture

1964-1981 -- Became a member of the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Anthropological Research in Museums, which became the Council for Museum Anthropology in 1974. Sturtevant was the Council's first vice president, serving two terms between 1974 and 1978, and was its president from 1978 to 1981

1965 -- Became curator of North American Ethnology in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History after the dissolution of the BAE

1965-1966 -- President of the American Society for Ethnohistory

1966 -- Named the editor of the Handbook of North American Indians

1967-1968 -- Fulbright scholar and lecturer at Oxford University's Institute of Social Anthropology

1969 -- Began serving on the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Archives

1974-1989 -- Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University

1976-1982 -- Served three terms on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation and was appointed to a fourth term between 1984 and 1986

1977 -- President of the American Ethnological Society

1980-1981 -- President of the American Anthropological Association

1981 -- Spent part of the spring semester at the University of California Berkeley as a Regents Lecturer

1982-1988 -- Board of Directors of Survival International

1986 -- Divorced Theda Maw

1986-1987 -- Smithsonian Fellow at Oxford University's Worcester College

1990 -- Married Sally McLendon

1992 -- President of the Anthropological Society of Washington

1996 -- Awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters at Brown University

2007 -- Died March 2 in Rockville, MD
Related Materials:
Other materials relating to William C. Sturtevant at the National Anthropological Archives are included in the following collections:

Manuscript 4504

Manuscript 4595

Manuscript 4806

Manuscript 4821

Manuscript 4972

Manuscript 7045

Photo Lot 59

Photo Lot 79-51

Photo Lot 80-3

Photo Lot 81R

Photo Lot 86-68 (6)

Photo Lot 86-68 (7)

American Society for Ethnohistory records

Committee on Anthropological Research in Museum Records

Handbook of North American Indians records

Records of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History

Gordon Davis Gibson Papers, Sound Recordings

SPC Se Powhatan Confederacy Mattapony BAE No # 01790700

DOE Oceania:Amer Poly:Hi:Hawaiian Helmet:Sturtevant 04913800

DOE Oceania:Amer Poly:Hi:Hawaiian Helmet:Sturtevant 04913900

DOE Oceania:Amer Poly:Hi:Hawaiian Helmet:Sturtevant 04914000

Negative MNH 1530

Negative MNH 1530 B

Sturtevant is listed as a correspondent in the following NAA collections:

Administrative file, 1949-1965, Records of the Bureau of American Ethnology

John Lawrence Angel Papers

James Henri Howard Papers

Donald Jayne Lehmer Papers

John Victor Murra Papers

Records of the Society for American Archaeology

Albert Clanton Spaulding Papers

Waldo Rudolph Wedel and Mildred Mott Wedel Papers

Copies of sound recordings made by William C. Sturtevant can be found at The California Language Archive at UC Berkeley in two collections, The William Sturtevant collection of Creek/Seminole sound recordings, which includes 31 minutes of Northern Muskogean linguistic field recordings from 1951, and The William Sturtevant collection of Mikasuki sound recordings, which includes 33 minutes of Mikasuki linguistic field recordings from 1951. Two sound tape reels of Seminole music Sturtevant recorded in Florida in 1951 can be found at Wesleyan University's World Music Archives. Folk songs on these recordings include "Scalping Sickness," "Bear Sickness with blowing," "Bear sickness without blowing," "Lullaby," "Feather Dance," "Snake Dance," and "Crazy Dance." Performers include Josie Billie, Lee Cypress, Harvey Jumper, Boy Jim, Charlie (Johnny?) Cypress, Little Tiger Tail, Billy Ossiola, and Charlie Billy Boy.
Separated Materials:
One video tape, "Seminole History and Tradition", was transferred to the Human Studies Film Archives. Series 2.2, Tukabahchee Plate: Glass negative of spectrogram from FBI (Box 135), removed for storage with other glass plate negatives.
Provenance:
These papers were transferred to the National Anthropological Archives by the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History.
Restrictions:
Files containing Sturtevant's students' grades have been restricted, as have his students' and colleagues' grant and fellowships applications. Restricted files were separated and placed at the end of their respective series in boxes 87, 264, 322, 389-394, 435-436, 448, 468, and 483. For preservation reasons, his computer files are also restricted. Seminole sound recordings are restricted. Access to the William C. Sturtevant Papers requires an apointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Botany  Search this
Anthropology  Search this
Archaeology  Search this
History  Search this
Linguistics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Realia
Research
Notes
Office files
Theses
Slides (photographs)
Sound recordings
Exhibition catalogs
Field notes
Clippings
Correspondence
Photographs
Microfilms
Newsletters
Manuscripts
Memorandums
Articles
Card files
Books
Artifacts
Negatives
Citation:
William C. Sturtevant papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2008-24
See more items in:
William C. Sturtevant papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2008-24
Online Media:

Ruth Landes papers

Correspondent:
Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978  Search this
Boas, Franz, 1858-1942  Search this
Wallis, Ruth Sawtell, 1895-1978  Search this
Wagley, Charles, 1913-1991  Search this
Lopez, Salvador  Search this
Little, Kenneth  Search this
Wilson, Maggie  Search this
Whitecloud, Thomas St. Germain  Search this
Henry, Jules, 1904-1969  Search this
Hellman, Ellen  Search this
Haugen, Einar  Search this
Gough, Kathleen  Search this
Lewis, Oscar  Search this
Kaberry, Phyllis Mary, 1910-  Search this
Imes, Elmer Samuel, 1883-1941  Search this
Strong, William Duncan, 1899-1962  Search this
Steyn, Anna F.  Search this
Spier, Leslie, 1893-1961  Search this
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962  Search this
Solecki, Ralph S.  Search this
Sparta, Francisco  Search this
Rubin, Joan  Search this
Rubin, Vera  Search this
Rodnick, David  Search this
Rogers, Edward S.  Search this
Ritzenthaler, Robert E. (Robert Eugene), 1911-1980  Search this
Roberts, Robert W.  Search this
Ramo, Arthur  Search this
Richards, Audrey  Search this
Preston, Richard J.  Search this
Verger, Pierre  Search this
Vennum, Thomas  Search this
Topash, Mary  Search this
Topash, Joe  Search this
Teskey, Lynn  Search this
Taylor, Beryl  Search this
Tanner, Helen Hornbeck  Search this
Densmore, Frances, 1867-1957  Search this
Quain, Buell H. (Buell Halvor), 1912-1939  Search this
Dunning, William  Search this
Douglas, William A.  Search this
Eggan, Fred, 1906-1991  Search this
Edmondson, Munro S.  Search this
Black, Mary B.  Search this
Benedict, Ruth, 1887-1948  Search this
Domengeaux, James  Search this
Feldman, Albert G.  Search this
Feder, Norman  Search this
Gacs, Ute  Search this
Franklin, John Hope  Search this
Ewers, John C. (John Canfield), 1909-1997  Search this
Erickson, Vincent O.  Search this
Falk, Minna R.  Search this
Faitlovitch, V.  Search this
Alberto Torres, Heloisa  Search this
Buck, Pearl  Search this
Bruce, Harold E.  Search this
Borri, Rina  Search this
Boggs, Stephen Taylor  Search this
Arensberg, Conrad M. (Conrad Maynadier), 1910-1997  Search this
Baldus, Herbert  Search this
Barnouw, Victor  Search this
Bateson, Mary Catherine  Search this
Lurie, Nancy Oestreich  Search this
Malherbe, E.G.  Search this
Marks, Eli S.  Search this
Masha, Louise  Search this
Maslow, Will  Search this
Masquat, Joseph M.  Search this
Mayer, Kurt B.  Search this
McWilliams, Carey  Search this
Bunche, Ralph J.  Search this
Carneiro, Edison  Search this
Chilver, E. M.  Search this
Chilver, Richard  Search this
Clifton, James A.  Search this
Colson, Elizabeth F.  Search this
Daveron, Alexander  Search this
Lowenfeld, Margaret, 1890-1973  Search this
Officer, James E.  Search this
Odum, Howard W.  Search this
Park, Alice  Search this
Paredes, Anthony  Search this
Paton, Alan, 1903-1988  Search this
Park, George  Search this
Prado, Idabel do  Search this
Peschel, Keewaydinoquay M.  Search this
Merwe, Hendrik W. van der  Search this
Murphy, Robert Francis  Search this
Messing, Simon D.  Search this
Neumann, Anita  Search this
Nef, Evelyn Stefansson  Search this
Nocktonick, Louise  Search this
Neumann, Walter  Search this
Creator:
Landes, Ruth, 1908-1991  Search this
Names:
Columbia University Research in Contemporary Cultures  Search this
Committee on Fair Employment Practices  Search this
Fisk University  Search this
Johnson, Charles S.  Search this
Landes, Ruth, 1908-1991  Search this
Park, Robert E.  Search this
Extent:
26.5 Linear feet ((63 document boxes and 1 oversized box))
Culture:
Anishinaabe (Chippewa/Ojibwa)  Search this
African American  Search this
Dakota (Eastern Sioux)  Search this
African  Search this
Acadians  Search this
Indians of North America -- Great Plains  Search this
Indians of North America -- Northeast  Search this
Jews -- American  Search this
Latinos -- California  Search this
Brazilians  Search this
Basques  Search this
American Indians  Search this
Afro-Brazilians  Search this
Africans  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Place:
Quebec -- Bilingualism
United Kingdom -- colored immigration
South Africa
Date:
1928-1992
Summary:
Most of Ruth Landes's papers relate directly or indirectly to Landes's American Indian research, her work in Brazil, and her study of bilingualism. There is also a considerable amount of material that relates to her experiences (sometimes fictionalized) at Fisk University. There is only small amount of material related to her other interests. Her collection also has material of and relating to the Brazilian folklorist and journalist Edison Carneiro. There is also noteworthy material concerning Herbert Baldus, Ruth Benedict, Elmer C. Imes, Charles S. Johnson, and Robert E. Park. There is a large amount of printed and processed materials in the collection, mainly in the form of newspaper clippings and a collection of scholarly papers.
Scope and Contents:
This collection is mainly comprised of the professional papers of Ruth Schlossberg Landes. Included are correspondence, journals, published and unpublished manuscripts of writings, research materials including field notes and reading notes, photographs, drawings, scholarly papers and publications by other scholars, and clippings from newspapers and periodicals.

Landes's field research on Candomblé in Brazil is well-represented in this collection, consisting of her field journals, writings, and photographs. Also present are Maggie Wilson's stories that were the basis for Landes's The Ojibwa Woman. Unfortunately, Landes was unable to locate her journals for her early research with the Ojibwa/Chippewa, Potawatomi, and Dakota. There are, however, field photographs of the Ojibwa/Chippewa and Potawatomi in the collection. There is also a great deal of her research on groups, especially minorities, in multilingual states with particular focus on the French of Quebec, Basques of Spain and the United States, Boers and Blacks of South Africa, the several socio-linguistic groups of Switzerland, and Acadians (Cajuns) of Louisiana. In the collection are several drafts of her unpublished manuscript on bilingualism, "Tongues that Defy the State." There is also a small amount of material about Black Jews of New York and considerable material about Landes's experience among African Americans when she taught briefly at Fisk University, including her unpublished manuscript "Now, at Athens," containing fictional and autobiographical accounts of her time at Fisk.

Reflections of other facets of Landes's professional activities are also included. Some materials concern her teaching activities, and there is also documentation of her work with the Fair Employment Practices Commission (a federal government agency during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt) and a similar private organization which immediately succeeded the FEPA; Gunnar Myrdal's research into the plight of African Americans ("The Negro in America"); the Research in Contemporary Cultures project at Columbia University; and the American Jewish Congress.

Among Landes's correspondents are Ruth Benedict, Franz Boas, Margaret Mead, Ralph Bunche, Herbert Baldus, Edison Carneiro, Sally Chilver, Frances Densmore, Sol Tax, Elmer S. Imes, Charles S. Johnson, Robert E. Park, and Hendrik W. van der Merwe.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into 6 series: (1) Correspondence, 1931-1991; (2) Research Materials, circa 1930s-1990; (3) Writings, circa 1930s-1990; (4) Teaching Materials, 1935-1975, undated; (5) Biographical and Personal Files, 1928-1988; (6) Graphic Materials, 1933-1978, undated
Biographical Note:
Ruth Schlossberg Landes was born on October 8, 1908 in New York City. Her father was Joseph Schlossberg, an activist in the Yiddish labor socialist community and one of the founders of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. She studied sociology at New York University (B.A. 1928) and social work at the New York School of Social Work, Columbia University (M.S.W. 1929). While in graduate school, Landes studied Black Jews in Harlem for her master's thesis, a topic that developed her interests in anthropology.

After graduating in 1929, she worked as a social worker in Harlem and married Victor Landes, a medical student and son of family friends. Their marriage ended after two years when she enrolled in the doctoral program in anthropology at Columbia against her husband's wishes. She kept his surname due to the stigma of being a divorced woman.

At Columbia, Landes studied under Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict, her main advisor. Under the guidance of Benedict, Landes moved away from further study of African Americans to focus on Native American communities. Upon Benedict's suggestion, Landes studied the social organization of the Ojibwa in Manitou Rapids in Ontario from 1932 to 1936 for her Ph.D. fieldwork. Her dissertation, Ojibwa Sociology, was published in 1937. Landes also contributed "The Ojibwa of Canada" in Cooperation and Competition among Primitive Peoples (1937), a volume edited by Margaret Mead. In 1938, Landes published Ojibwa Women (1938), a book written in collaboration with Maggie Wilson, an Ojibwa interpreter and informant.

In addition to studying the Ojibwa in Ontario, Landes also conducted fieldwork with the Chippewa of Red Lake, Minnesota in 1933, working closely with shaman or midé Will Rogers. Her book, Ojibwa Religion and the Midéwiwin (1968) was based largely on her research with Rogers and Maggie Wilson. In 1935 and 1936, she undertook fieldwork with the Santee Dakota in Minnesota and the Potawatomi in Kansas. Like Ojibwa Religion and the Midéwiwin, her books on the Santee Dakota and Potawatomi were not published until several years later—The Mystic Lake Sioux: Sociology of the Mdewakantonwan Sioux was published in 1968 while The Prairie Potawatomi was published in 1970. In between her field research in the 1930s and the publication of The Prairie Potawatomi, Landes returned to Kansas to study the Potawatomi in the 1950s and 1960s.

Landes's plan to continue her studies with the Potawatomi in 1937 changed when Benedict invited her to join a team of researchers from Columbia University in Brazil. Landes was to conduct research on Afro-Brazilians in Bahia, Brazil, while Walter Lipkind, Buell Quain, and Charles Wagley studied indigenous people in the Amazons. To prepare for her research, Landes was at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1937 and 1938 to consult with Robert Park and Donald Pierson and to use the university's library collections of African and African American materials. During that time, Landes also held a teaching position at Fisk and lived in the non-segregated women's residence on campus. Landes later wrote "Now, at Athens," an unpublished memoir containing fictional and true accounts of her experiences at Fisk.

From 1938 to 1939, Landes conducted fieldwork on the role of Afro-Brazilian women and homosexuals in the Candomblé religion in Bahia, Brazil. Unable to move freely by herself in Brazil as a single woman, Landes was accompanied by Edison Carneiro, a Bahian journalist and folklorist. With Carneiro as her companion, Landes was allowed access to rituals and people that would have been closed off to her otherwise. Due to her association with Carneiro, a member of the Brazilian Communist Party, Landes was suspected of being a communist and was forced to leave Bahia early. Publications from her research in Brazil include "A Cult Matriarchate and Male Homosexuality" (1940) and City of Women (1947). She returned to Brazil in 1966 to study the effects of urban development in Rio de Janeiro. In 1967, a Portuguese translation of City of Women was published, a project that Carneiro had commissioned as the first director of the Ministry of Education and Culture's Special National Agency for the Protection of Folklore.

Landes returned to New York in 1939, working briefly as a researcher for Gunnar Myrdal's study of African Americans. Unable to obtain a permanent position at a university, she worked in several other short term positions throughout most of her career. During World War II, Landes was a research director for the Office of the Coordinator for Inter-American Affairs (1941) and consultant for President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fair Employment Practices Committee on African American and Mexican American cases (1941-44). In 1945, Landes directed a program created by Pearl S. Buck and a group of interdenominational clergy to analyze pending New York anti-discrimination legislation. She moved to California the following year to work for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Welfare Council on a study of race and youth gangs. After her contract ended, she moved back to New York and was hired as a contract researcher for the American Jewish Congress (1948-50). She also participated in Columbia University's Research in Contemporary Cultures (1949-51), studying Jewish families. She coauthored with Mark Zborowski, "Hypothesis concerning the Eastern European Jewish Family." From 1951 to 1952, Landes spent a year in London, funded by a Fulbright fellowship to study colored colonial immigrants and race relations in Great Britain.

After her fellowship ended, Landes returned to the United States and held short term appointments at several universities. She taught at the William Alanson White Psychiatric Institution in New York (1953-54), the New School for Social Research in New York (1953-55), University of Kansas (1957, 1964), University of Southern California (1957-62), Columbia University (1963), Los Angeles State College (1963), and Tulane University (1964). At Claremont Graduate School, Landes helped to develop and direct the Claremont Anthropology and Education Program (1959-62).

It was not until 1965 that Landes obtained a permanent faculty position at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario; she was recruited for the position by Richard Slobodin. Due to Ontario's age retirement law, Landes was forced to retire in 1973 at the age of 65. She continued to teach part-time until 1977, when she became professor emerita.

Landes passed away at the age of 82 on February 11, 1991.

Sources Consulted

Cole, Sally. 2003. Ruth Landes: A Life in Anthropology. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.

Chronology

1908 October 8 -- Born Ruth Schlossberg in New York City

1928 -- B.A. in sociology, New York University

1929 -- M.S.W., New York School of Social Work, Columbia University

1929-1931 -- Social worker in Harlem Married to Victor Landes

1929-1934 -- Studied Black Jews in Harlem

1931 -- Began graduate work in anthropology at Columbia University

1932-1936 -- Studied the Ojibwa in Ontario and Minnesota (in field periodically)

1933-1940 -- Research Fellow, Columbia University

1935 Summer-Fall -- Studied the Santee Sioux (Dakota) in Minnesota

1935-1936 -- Studied the Potawatomi in Kansas

1935 -- Ph.D., Columbia University

1937 -- Instructor, Brooklyn College

1937-1938 -- Instructor, Fisk University

1938-1939 -- Studied Afro-Brazilians and Candomblé in Brazil, especially at Bahia

1939 -- Researcher on Gunnar Myrdal's study, "The Negro in America"

1941 -- Research Director, Office of Inter American Affairs, Washington, D.C.

1941-1945 -- Representative for Negro and Mexican American Affairs, Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC), President Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration

1944 -- Interim Director, Committee Against Racial Discrimination, New York

1946-1947 -- Researcher, study of Mexican American youth, gangs, and families, Los Angeles Metropolitan Council

1948-1951 -- Researcher, American Jewish Congress, New York

1949-1951 -- Research consultant, study on Jewish families in New York for Research in Contemporary Cultures Project, Columbia University

1951-1952 -- Fulbright Scholar, to study colored colonial immigration into Great Britain

1953-1954 -- Lecturer, William Alanson White Psychiatric Institution, New York

1953-1955 -- Lecturer, New School for Social Research, New York

1956-1957 -- Married to Ignacio Lutero Lopez

1957 Summer -- Visiting Professor, University of Kansas

1957-1958 -- Visiting Professor, University of Southern California

1957-1965 -- Consultant, California agencies (Department of Social Work, Bureau of Mental Hygiene, Department of Education, Public Health Department) and San Francisco Police Department

1958-1959 -- Director, Geriatrics Program, Los Angeles City Health Department

1959-1962 -- Visiting Professor and Director of Anthropology and Education Program, Claremont Graduate School

1962 -- Extension Lecturer, University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Berkeley

1963 -- Extension Lecturer, Columbia University Extension Lecturer, Los Angeles State College

1963-1965 -- Consultant, International Business Machines (IBM)

1964 January-June -- Visiting Professor, Tulane University

1964 Summer -- Field work with Potawatomi in Kansas Professor, University of Kansas

1965-1975 -- Professor at McMaster University

1966 -- Studied urban development in Rio de Janeiro

1968-1975 -- Studied bilingualism and biculturalism in Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, United States, and Canada (in Spain and the United States concentrated on Basques)

1975 -- Became part-time faculty member at McMaster University

1977 -- Professor Emerita, McMaster University

1978 -- Award of Merit from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

1991 February 11 -- Died in Hamilton, Ontario

1991 -- Establishment of the Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund at Research Institute for the Study of Man (RISM)
Related Materials:
Correspondence from Ruth Landes can be found in the William Duncan Strong Papers, the Leonard Bloomfield Papers, and MS 7369. The Ruth Bunzel Papers contains a copy of a grant application by Landes.
Provenance:
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Ruth Landes in 1991.
Restrictions:
The Ruth Landes papers are open for research. The nitrate negatives in this collection have been separated from the collection and stored offsite. Access to nitrate negatives is restricted due to preservation concerns.

Access to the Ruth Landes papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Language and languages -- Documentation  Search this
Midéwiwin  Search this
Bilingualism  Search this
Aging  Search this
Candomblé (Religion)  Search this
Citation:
Ruth Landes papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.1991-04
See more items in:
Ruth Landes papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-1991-04
Online Media:

Frederica de Laguna Papers

Creator:
McClellan, Catharine  Search this
Guédon, Marie Françoise  Search this
Swanton, John Reed, 1873-1958  Search this
Emmons, George Thornton  Search this
De Laguna, Frederica, 1906-2004  Search this
Correspondent:
Stearns, Mary Lee  Search this
Aberle, David F. (David Friend), 1918-2004  Search this
Arensberg, Conrad M. (Conrad Maynadier), 1910-1997  Search this
Baird, Melissa  Search this
Balzer, Marjorie  Search this
Bersch, Gretchen  Search this
Birket-Smith, Kaj  Search this
Black, Lydia  Search this
Boas, Franz, 1858-1942  Search this
Chowning, Ann  Search this
Clark, J. Desmond (John Desmond), 1916-2002  Search this
Codere, Helen F., 1917-2009  Search this
Collins, Henry B. (Henry Bascom), 1899-1987  Search this
Colton, Harold Sellers, 1881-1970  Search this
Conklin, Harold C., 1926-2016  Search this
Corbett, John M.  Search this
Darnell, Regna  Search this
Dauenhauer, Nora  Search this
Dauenhauer, Richard  Search this
Davenport, William  Search this
Dockstader, Frederick J.  Search this
Drucker, Philip, 1911-1982  Search this
Du Bois, Cora Alice, 1903-1991  Search this
Duff, Wilson, 1925-  Search this
Fair, Susan  Search this
Fitzhugh, William W., 1943-  Search this
Foster, George McClelland, 1913-  Search this
Garfield, Viola Edmundson, 1899-1983  Search this
Giddings, James Louis  Search this
Gjessing, Gutorm, 1906  Search this
Grinev, Andrei V.  Search this
Hanable, William S.  Search this
Hara, Hiroko, 1934-  Search this
Haury, Emil W. (Emil Walter), 1904-1992  Search this
Heizer, Robert F. (Robert Fleming), 1915-1979  Search this
Helm, June, 1924-  Search this
Herskovits, Melville J. (Melville Jean), 1895-1963  Search this
Holtved, Erik  Search this
Jenness, Diamond, 1886-1969  Search this
Kahn, Mimi  Search this
Kan, Sergei  Search this
Krauss, Michael E., 1934-  Search this
Kroeber, A. L. (Alfred Louis), 1876-1960  Search this
Larsen, Helge, 1905-1984  Search this
Leer, Jeff  Search this
Lindgren, E. J. (Ethel John), 1904-1988  Search this
Lomax, Alan, 1915-2002  Search this
Low, Jean  Search this
Mathiassen, Therkel, 1892-1967  Search this
Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978  Search this
Olson, Wallace  Search this
Rainey, Froelich G. (Froelich Gladstone), 1907-1992  Search this
Riddell, Francis A. (Francis Allen), 1921-2002  Search this
Ritchie, William A. (William Augustus), 1903-1995  Search this
Schneider, William  Search this
Schumacher, Paul J. F.  Search this
Shinkwin, Anne D.  Search this
Spier, Leslie, 1893-1961  Search this
Spiro, Melford E., 1920-2014  Search this
Underhill, Ruth, 1883-1984  Search this
VanStone, James W.  Search this
Weiner, Annette B., 1933-  Search this
Weitzner, Bella, 1891?-1988  Search this
White, Leslie A., 1900-1975  Search this
Woodbury, Natalie Ferris Sampson  Search this
Woodbury, Richard B. (Richard Benjamin), 1917-2009  Search this
Workman, Karen Wood  Search this
Workman, William B.  Search this
Names:
American Anthropological Association  Search this
Bryn Mawr College  Search this
Photographer:
Smith, Harlan Ingersoll, 1872-1940  Search this
Extent:
2 Map drawers
38 Linear feet (71 document boxes, 1 half document box, 2 manuscript folders, 4 card file boxes, 1 flat box, and 1 oversize box)
Culture:
Yakutat Tlingit  Search this
Tutchone  Search this
Tsimshian  Search this
Indians of North America -- Subarctic  Search this
Tlingit  Search this
Tanana  Search this
Kawchodinne (Hare)  Search this
Ahtna (Ahtena)  Search this
Athapascan Indians  Search this
Northern Athapaskan  Search this
Chugach  Search this
Kalaallit (Greenland Eskimo)  Search this
Indians of North America -- California  Search this
Eyak  Search this
Indians of North America -- Northwest Coast of North America  Search this
Degexit'an (Ingalik)  Search this
Arctic peoples  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Map drawers
Manuscripts
Maps
Field notes
Correspondence
Photographs
Sound recordings
Place:
Alaska -- Archaeology
Aishihik (Yukon)
Angoon (Alaska)
Alaska -- Ethnology
Chistochina (Alaska)
Greenland
Copper River (Alaska)
Klukshu (Yukon)
Hoonah (Alaska)
Kodiak Island (Alaska)
Klukwan (Alaska)
Saint Lawrence River Valley
New Brunswick -- Archaeology
Yukon Island (Alaska)
Date:
1890-2004
bulk 1923-2004
Summary:
These papers reflect the professional and personal life of Frederica de Laguna. The collection contains correspondence, field notes, writings, newspaper clippings, writings by others, subject files, sound recordings, photographs, and maps. A significant portion of the collection consists of de Laguna's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and students, as well as her informants from the field. Her correspondence covers a wide range of subjects such as family, health, preparations for field work, her publications and projects, the Northwest Coast, her opinions on the state of anthropology, and politics. The field notes in the collection mainly represent de Laguna and her assistants' work in the Northern Tlingit region of Alaska from 1949 to 1954. In addition, the collection contains materials related to her work in the St. Lawrence River Valley in Ontario in 1947 and Catherine McClellan's field journal for her research in Aishihik, Yukon Territory in 1968. Most of the audio reels in the collection are field recordings made by de Laguna, McClellan, and Marie-Françoise Guédon of vocabulary and songs and speeches at potlatches and other ceremonies from 1952 to 1969. Tlingit and several Athabaskan languages including Atna, Tutochone, Upper Tanana, and Tanacross are represented in the recordings. Also in the collection are copies of John R. Swanton's Tlingit recordings and Hiroko Hara Sue's recordings among the Hare Indians. Additional materials related to de Laguna's research on the Northwest Coast include her notes on clans and tribes in Series VI: Subject Files and her notes on Tlingit vocabulary and Yakutat names specimens in Series X: Card Files. Drafts and notes for Voyage to Greenland, Travels Among the Dena, and The Tlingit Indians can be found in the collection as well as her drawings for her dissertation and materials related to her work for the Handbook of North American Indians and other publications. There is little material related to Under Mount Saint Elias except for correspondence, photocopies and negatives of plates, and grant applications for the monograph. Of special interest among de Laguna's writings is a photocopy of her historical fiction novel, The Thousand March. Other materials of special interest are copies of her talks, including her AAA presidential address, and the dissertation of Regna Darnell, a former student of de Laguna's. In addition, materials on the history of anthropology are in the collection, most of which can found with her teaching materials. Although the bulk of the collection documents de Laguna's professional years, the collection also contains newspaper articles and letters regarding her exceptional performance as a student at Bryn Mawr College and her undergraduate and graduate report cards. Only a few photographs of de Laguna can be found in the collection along with photographs of her 1929 and 1979 trips to Greenland.
Scope and Contents:
These papers reflect the professional and personal life of Frederica de Laguna. The collection contains correspondence, field notes, writings, newspaper clippings, writings by others, subject files, sound recordings, photographs, and maps.

A significant portion of the collection consists of de Laguna's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and students, as well as her informants from the field. Her correspondence covers a wide range of subjects such as family, health, preparations for field work, her publications and projects, the Northwest Coast, her opinions on the state of anthropology, and politics. Among her notable correspondents are Kaj Birket-Smith, J. Desmond Clark, Henry Collins, George Foster, Viola Garfield, Marie-Françoise Guédon, Diamond Jenness, Michael Krauss, Therkel Mathiassen, Catharine McClellan, and Wallace Olson. She also corresponded with several eminent anthropologists including Franz Boas, William Fitzhugh, J. Louis Giddings, Emil Haury, June Helm, Melville Herskovitz, Alfred Kroeber, Helge Larsen, Alan Lomax, Margaret Mead, Froelich Rainey, Leslie Spier, Ruth Underhill, James VanStone, Annette Weiner, and Leslie White.

The field notes in the collection mainly represent de Laguna and her assistants' work in the Northern Tlingit region of Alaska from 1949 to 1954. In addition, the collection contains materials related to her work in the St. Lawrence River Valley in Ontario in 1947 and Catharine McClellan's field journal for her research in Aishihik, Yukon Territory in 1968. Most of the audio reels in the collection are field recordings made by de Laguna, McClellan, and Marie-Françoise Guédon of vocabulary and songs and speeches at potlatches and other ceremonies from 1952 to 1969. Tlingit and several Athapaskan languages including Atna, Tutochone, Upper Tanana, and Tanacross are represented in the recordings. Also in the collection are copies of John R. Swanton's Tlingit recordings and Hiroko Hara's recordings among the Hare Indians. Additional materials related to de Laguna's research on the Northwest Coast include her notes on clans and tribes in Series VI: Subject Files and her notes on Tlingit vocabulary and Yakutat names specimens in Series 10: Card Files.

Drafts and notes for Voyage to Greenland, Travels Among the Dena, and The Tlingit Indians can be found in the collection as well as her drawings for her dissertation and materials related to her work for the Handbook of North American Indians and other publications. There is little material related to Under Mount Saint Elias except for correspondence, photocopies and negatives of plates, and grant applications for the monograph. Of special interest among de Laguna's writings is a photocopy of her historical fiction novel, The Thousand March.

Other materials of special interest are copies of her talks, including her AAA presidential address, and the dissertation of Regna Darnell, a former student of de Laguna's. In addition, materials on the history of anthropology are in the collection, most of which can found with her teaching materials. The collection also contains copies of photographs from the Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899. Although the bulk of the collection documents de Laguna's professional years, the collection also contains newspaper articles and letters regarding her exceptional performance as a student at Bryn Mawr College and her undergraduate and graduate report cards. Only a few photographs of de Laguna can be found in the collection along with photographs of her 1929 and 1979 trips to Greenland.
Arrangement note:
Arranged in 12 series: (1) Correspondence, 1923-2004; (2) Field Research, 1947-1968; (3) Writings, 1926-2001; (4) Teaching, 1922-1988; (5) Professional Activities, 1939-2001; (6) Subject Files, 1890-2002; (7) Writings by Others, 1962-2000; (8) Personal, 1923-2000; (9) Photographs, 1929-1986; (10) Card Files; (11) Maps, 1928-1973; (12) Sound Recordings, 1904-1973
Biographical / Historical:
Frederica Annis Lopez de Leo de Laguna was a pioneering archaeologist and ethnographer of northwestern North America. Known as Freddy by her friends, she was one of the last students of Franz Boas. She served as first vice-president of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) from 1949 to 1950 and as president of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) from 1966-1967. She also founded the anthropology department at Bryn Mawr College where she taught from 1938 to 1972. In 1975, she and Margaret Mead, a former classmate, were the first women to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Born on October 3, 1906 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, de Laguna was the daughter of Theodore Lopez de Leo de Laguna and Grace Mead Andrus, both philosophy professors at Bryn Mawr College. Often sick as a child, de Laguna was home-schooled by her parents until she was 9. She excelled as a student at Bryn Mawr College, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in politics and economics in 1927. She was awarded the college's prestigious European fellowship, which upon the suggestion of her parents, she deferred for a year to study anthropology at Columbia University under Boas. Her parents had recently attended a lecture given by Boas and felt that anthropology would unite her interests in the social sciences and her love for the outdoors.

After a year studying at Columbia with Boas, Gladys Reichard, and Ruth Benedict, de Laguna was still uncertain whether anthropology was the field for her. Nevertheless, she followed Boas's advice to spend her year abroad studying the connection between Eskimo and Paleolithic art, which would later became the topic of her dissertation. In the summer of 1928, she gained fieldwork experience under George Grant MacCurdy visiting prehistoric sites in England, France, and Spain. In Paris, she attended lectures on prehistoric art by Abbe Breuil and received guidance from Paul Rivet and Marcelin Boule. Engaged to an Englishman she had met at Columbia University, de Laguna decided to also enroll at the London School of Economics in case she needed to earn her degree there. She took a seminar with Bronislaw Malinowski, an experience she found unpleasant and disappointing.

It was de Laguna's visit to the National Museum in Copenhagen to examine the archaeological collections from Central Eskimo that became the turning point in her life. During her visit, she met Therkel Mathiassen who invited her to be his assistant on what would be the first scientific archaeological excavation in Greenland. She sailed off with him in June 1929, intending to return early in August. Instead, she decided to stay until October to finish the excavation with Mathiassen, now convinced that her future lay in anthropology. When she returned from Greenland she broke off her engagement with her fiancé, deciding that she would not able to both fully pursue a career in anthropology and be the sort of wife she felt he deserved. Her experiences in Greenland became the subject of her 1977 memoir, Voyage to Greenland: A Personal Initiation into Anthropology.

The following year, Kaj Birket-Smith, whom de Laguna had also met in Copenhagen, agreed to let her accompany him as his research assistant on his summer expedition to Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet. When Birket-Smith fell ill and was unable to go, de Laguna was determined to continue on with the trip. She convinced the University of Pennsylvania Museum to fund her trip to Alaska to survey potential excavation sites and took as her assistant her 20 year old brother, Wallace, who became a geologist. A close family, de Laguna's brother and mother would later accompany her on other research trips.

In 1931, the University of Pennsylvania Museum hired de Laguna to catalogue Eskimo collections. They again financed her work in Cook Inlet that year as well as the following year. In 1933, she earned her PhD from Columbia and led an archaeological and ethnological expedition of the Prince William Sound with Birket-Smith. They coauthored "The Eyak Indians of the Copper River Delta, Alaska," published in 1938. In 1935, de Laguna led an archaeological and geological reconnaissance of middle and lower Yukon Valley, traveling down the Tanana River. Several decades later, the 1935 trip contributed to two of her books: Travels Among the Dena, published in 1994, and Tales From the Dena, published in 1997.

In 1935 and 1936, de Laguna worked briefly as an Associate Soil Conservationist, surveying economic and social conditions on the Pima Indian Reservation in Arizona. She later returned to Arizona during the summers to conduct research and in 1941, led a summer archaeological field school under the sponsorship of Bryn Mawr College and the Museum of Northern Arizona.

By this time, de Laguna had already published several academic articles and was also the author of three fiction books. Published in 1930, The Thousand March: Adventures of an American Boy with the Garibaldi was her historical fiction book for juveniles. She also wrote two detective novels: The Arrow Points to Murder (1937) and Fog on the Mountain (1938). The Arrow Points to Murder is set in a museum based on her experiences at the University of Pennsylvania Museum and the American Museum of National History. Fog on the Mountain is set in Cook Inlet and draws upon de Laguna's experiences in Alaska. Both detective novels helped to finance her research.

De Laguna began her long career at Bryn Mawr College in 1938 when she was hired as a lecturer in the sociology department to teach the first ever anthropology course at the college. By 1950, she was chairman of the joint department of Sociology and Anthropology, and in 1967, the chairman of the newly independent Anthropology Department. She was also a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania (1947-1949; 1972-1976) and at the University of California, Berkeley (1959-1960; 1972-1973.)

During World War II, de Laguna took a leave of absence from Bryn Mawr College to serve in the naval reserve from 1942 to 1945. As a member of WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service), she taught naval history and codes and ciphers to women midshipmen at Smith College. She took great pride in her naval service and in her later years joined the local chapter of WAVES National, an organization for former and current members of WAVES.

In 1950, de Laguna returned to Alaska to work in the Northern Tlingit region. Her ethnological and archaeological study of the Tlingit Indians brought her back several more times throughout the 1950s and led to the publication of Under Mount Saint Elias in 1972. Her comprehensive three-volume monograph is still considered the authoritative work on the Yakutat Tlingit. In 1954, de Laguna turned her focus to the Atna Indians of Copper River, returning to the area in 1958, 1960, and 1968.

De Laguna retired from Bryn Mawr College in 1972 under the college's mandatory retirement policy. Although she suffered from many ailments in her later years including macular degeneration, she remained professionally active. Five decades after her first visit to Greenland, de Laguna returned to Upernavik in 1979 to conduct ethnographic investigations. In 1985, she finished editing George Thornton Emmons' unpublished manuscript The Tlingit Indians. A project she had begun in 1955, the book was finally published in 1991. In 1986, she served as a volunteer consultant archaeologist and ethnologist for the U. S. Forest Service in Alaska. In 1994, she took part in "More than Words . . ." Laura Bliss Spann's documentary on the last Eyak speaker, Maggie Smith Jones. By 2001, de Laguna was legally blind. Nevertheless, she continued working on several projects and established the Frederica de Laguna Northern Books Press to reprint out-of-print literature and publish new scholarly works on Arctic cultures.

Over her lifetime, de Laguna received several honors including her election into the National Academy Sciences in 1976, the Distinguished Service Award from AAA in 1986, and the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. De Laguna's work, however, was respected by not only her colleagues but also by the people she studied. In 1996, the people of Yakutat honored de Laguna with a potlatch. Her return to Yakutat was filmed by Laura Bliss Spann in her documentary Reunion at Mt St. Elias: The Return of Frederica de Laguna to Yakutat.

At the age of 98, Frederica de Laguna passed away on October 6, 2004.

Sources Consulted

Darnell, Regna. "Frederica de Laguna (1906-2004)." American Anthropologist 107.3 (2005): 554-556.

de Laguna, Frederica. Voyage to Greenland: A Personal Initiation into Anthropology. New York: W.W. Norton Co, 1977.

McClellan, Catharine. "Frederica de Laguna and the Pleasures of Anthropology." American Ethnologist 16.4 (1989): 766-785.

Olson, Wallace M. "Obituary: Frederica de Laguna (1906-2004)." Arctic 58.1 (2005): 89-90.
Related Materials:
Although this collection contains a great deal of correspondence associated with her service as president of AAA, most of her presidential records can be found in American Anthropological Association Records 1917-1972. Also at the National Anthropological Archives are her transcripts of songs sung by Yakutat Tlingit recorded in 1952 and 1954 located in MS 7056 and her notes and drawings of Dorset culture materials in the National Museum of Canada located in MS 7265. The Human Studies Film Archive has a video oral history of de Laguna conducted by Norman Markel (SC-89.10.4).

Related collections can also be found in other repositories. The University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania holds materials related to work that de Laguna carried out for the museum from the 1930s to the 1960s. Materials relating to her fieldwork in Angoon and Yakutat can be found in the Rasmuson Library of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in the papers of Francis A. Riddell, a field assistant to de Laguna in the early 1950s. Original photographs taken in the field in Alaska were deposited in the Alaska State Library, Juneau. Both the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress and the American Philosophical Library have copies of her field recordings and notes. The American Museum of Natural History has materials related to her work editing George T. Emmons' manuscript. De Laguna's papers can also be found at the Bryn Mawr College Archives.
Provenance:
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Frederica de Laguna.
Restrictions:
Some of the original field notes are restricted due to Frederica de Laguna's request to protect the privacy of those accused of witchcraft. The originals are restricted until 2030. Photocopies may be made with the names of the accused redacted.
Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Language and languages -- Documentation  Search this
Anthropology -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Maps
Field notes
Correspondence
Photographs
Sound recordings
Citation:
Frederica de Laguna Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.1998-89
See more items in:
Frederica de Laguna Papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-1998-89
Online Media:

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