Anthropology, History, and American Indians: Essays in Honor of William Curtis Sturtevant

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  • This collection of thirty-one essays and one bibliographic compilation is a Festschrift for William Curtis Sturtevant. Hired in 1956 by the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology as a research anthropologist and, since 1965, a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Sturtevant is one of the world's leading scholars of the cultures, languages and histories of the indigenous peoples of North America. As a writer, editor, university professor, consultant, public lecturer, and president of major anthropological associations, Sturtevant has greatly contributed to the development of contemporary anthropology and to the research efforts of fellow scholars in anthropology and other disciplines.
  • The volume is organized into six sections which combine to reveal the breadth of Sturtevant's interests and the impact he has had on North American anthropology and on anthropology in general. The first, "William Curtis Sturtevant," deals with Sturtevant's early life and his development as a scholar, and gives a bibliographic compilation of his writings from 1952 through 2001. The second section, "Anthropologists, Historians, and American Indians," offers a range of perspectives on the history of anthropological and historical research on Native American themes, while the third, "Worlds Transformed," examines the transformations that have occurred in the lives and circumstances of Native Americans throughout history.
  • The fourth section, "Anthropology Evolving," deals with the development of anthropological research collections and repositories, and explores the evolving roles they and the scholars associated with them play. An essay in this section by NMAH anthropologist William W. Fitzhugh, "Origins of Museum Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution and Beyond," discusses work conducted by individuals such as Robert Kennicott and William Dall, and especially second Smithsonian Secretary Spencer F. Baird, who played pivotal roles in establishing Smithsonian collecting programs. The fifth section, "Collections in Anthropological Research," presents the results of a series of research projects focused on museum and archival collections, while the final section, "Nature in Culture," uses North American and European case histories to explore linkages between cultural and natural worlds.


  • Sturtevant, William C
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Kennicott, Robert
  • Dall, William Healey 1845-1927
  • Fitzhugh, William W. 1943-
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Dept. of Anthropology
  • Anthropological Society of Washington (Washington, D.C.)
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Each essay is followed by Notes and/or Literature Cited Sections.

Contained within

Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology Number 44 (Festschrift)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Historians
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Anthropology
  • Ethnology
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Anthropolgy
  • Biography
  • Museum curators
  • Indians of North America
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees
  • Anthropological museums and collections


  • United States
  • North America
  • Washington (D.C.)

Physical description

357 pgs

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