Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Elsie Worthington Clews Parsons collection, 1883-1894

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0978
Bib ID 4079199 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Parsons, Elsie Worthington Clews, 1874-1941
Title Elsie Worthington Clews Parsons collection, 1883-1894
Physical Description 1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Language(s) The journals include extensive information in and on the Hopi language.
Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Readers must use microfilm of materials. Restricted to permission of the Librarian for Rare Books and Manuscripts, due to the extremely fragile condition of the notebooks.

Arrangement

Description

Summary

Field notebooks detailing the customs and ceremonies of the Native American Hopi tribe, collected by Elsie Worthington Clews Parsons, PhD (1874-1941). Thirty of these volumes were the notebooks of Alexander M. Stephen (d. 1894), a U.S. Army officer who, in about 1882, started observing Hopi life. Although chiefly concerned with the Hopis, there are some notes on Hopi-Navajo relations and a few references to the Native American Tewa and Hokya tribes. Stephen's penciled notes and drawings were edited and published by Dr. Parsons as the Hopi journal of Alexander M. Stephen (New York: Columbia University Press, 1936). Also included are three unpublished notebooks of observations made by a young American physician with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Jeremiah Sullivan (1850-1916), who lived among the Hopis (1881-1888) in the village of Sichomovi. A letter from anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber, PhD (1876-1960) to Dr. Parsons explains the provenance of one of Sullivan's notebooks. These last three notebooks [Vols. 31-33] have also been attributed to Alexander M. Stephen by Alex Patterson (February 1994). [See, Alex Patterson's full note at subseries I.2. Jeremiah Sullivan (Vols. 31-33).]

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Readers must use microfilm of materials. Restricted to permission of the Librarian for Rare Books and Manuscripts, due to the extremely fragile condition of the notebooks.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Elsie Worthington Clews Parsons papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Related Materials

Columbia University Press records, 1893-2000s, bulk 1923-2000s, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library [MS#0268] (See, folders titled: "Parsons, Elsie Worthington Clews" in Series I: Catalogued Correspondence, 1893-1954 (Box CC8) and Subseries II.1 Editorial Files, 1920s-1959 (Box 178)).

Alternate Form Available

Most of the notebooks have been published.

Custodial History

Gift of John E. Parsons, 1972.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 08/--/89.

Revision Description

2020-08-16 Replaced PDF with a structured finding aid containing edited and enhanced description. cml

2020-08-16 Following guidelines outlined in the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, corrected inaccurate Hopílavayi [Hopi] language spellings, and added appropriate cultural identifiers regarding geography. cml

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Drawings (visual works) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Field notes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Anthropologists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ethnology -- West (U.S.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Feminists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hokya Indians -- Social life and customs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hopi Indians -- Land tenure Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hopi Indians -- Rites and ceremonies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hopi Indians -- Social life and customs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hopi language -- Glossaries, vocabularies, etc Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Indians of North America -- West (U.S.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Intellectuals -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kroeber, A. L (Alfred Louis), 1876-1960 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Navajo Indians -- Land tenure Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Patterson, Alex Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stephen, Alexander M Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sullivan, Jeremiah Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tewa Indians -- Social life and customs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women anthropologists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Elsie Worthington Clews Parsons (1875-1941) was an anthropologist, sociologist, feminist, and public intellectual. She received her academic training at Barnard College (AB, 1896) and Columbia University (AM, 1897; PhD, 1899).

In regard to her professional research, Dr. Parsons wrote such pioneering feminist sociological investigations as The Family (1906), Religious Chastity (1913, under the pseudonym John Main), The Old Fashioned Woman (1913, as John Main), Fear and Conventionality (1914), Social Freedom (1915), and Social Rule (1916). She also took up the anthropological exploration of Native American tribes and published such studies as the Social Organization of the Tewa of New Mexico (1929), Hopi and Zuni Ceremonialism (1933), Mitla: Town of the Souls (1936), and Pueblo Indian Religion (1939). She also wrote about West Indian and African American folklore. In addition, Dr. Parsons meticulously edited the Hopi journal of Alexander M. Stephen (2 vols., 1936).

Active in several learned societies, Dr. Parsons was president of the American Folklore Society (1919-1920) and for many years associate editor of its journal. She also served as treasurer (1916-1922) and president (1923-1925) of the American Ethnological Society; and as the first woman to be elected president of the American Anthropological Association (1940). Dr. Parsons also helped found the New School for Social Research and lectured at its first session in 1919.