Bookmark this page or copy and paste URL to Email message

Gwyneth Harrington Papers,1934-1962

MS 24

Creator: Harrington, Gwyneth Browne (1894-1978)
Title: Gwyneth Harrington Papers,
Inclusive Dates: 1934-1962
Quantity: 1 linear foot (2 boxes)
AbstractCollection consists of biographical information, professional and personal papers and ethnographic notes and reports about Goajiro (South America), Seri, Papago (Tohono O'odham) and Wind River Shoshone cultures.
Collection NumberMS 24
Language English.
Repository: Arizona State Museum
PO Box 210026
Tucson, AZ 85721-0026
Phone: 520-621-4695

Biographical Note

Gwyneth Browne was born in Boston on February 1, 1894. Her father was the head of the New York Life Insurance Company in New England and eastern Canada. She had two brothers, Alan and Gordon. Gordon Browne went to live in Morocco after he graduated from Harvard in 1923. He worked for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II and continued to live abroad. Gwyneth visited him at various times in Pakistan, Borneo and Morocco.

At the age of 21, Gwyneth married Eugene Harrington; they had two children, Josephine and Alan. In 1932, she divorced and went on a trip to Haiti with a friend. She collected some artifacts on the island of La Gonâve in Haiti which she donated to the Peabody Museum at Harvard in 1934.

Gwyneth went to Yugoslavia with Vladimir Fewkes' Peabody-sponsored expedition at Starcevo in 1932. In 1934, she went to the Guajira Peninsula (Venezuela/Columbia, South America) with Lewis Kron and Vincent Petrullo on an expedition sponsored jointly by the University Museum and Columbia University. Sometime during 1930-34, she worked on Lloyd Warner's Yankee town study in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

In 1936, she was a field worker for the Soil Conservation Service on the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming. From 1936-38, she was working for the Soil Conservation Service on the Pima and Papago Reservations in Arizona. In 1938, she was transferred to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board on the Papago Reservation at Sells, Arizona. She remained with the Indian Arts and Crafts Board until 1942 when she had to quit work as an anthropologist as a condition of her marriage to Juan Xavier, her Papago interpreter. She worked on the Museum of Modern Art (New York City) exhibit of American Indian Art that opened in January, 1941 with René d'Harnoncourt, manager of the I.A.C.B.

She and Juan were divorced after a few years. In the early '50s, she returned to Boston to care for her mother. In 1954, she worked for the Amerind Foundation in Dragoon, Arizona. She wrote monographs on Algeria and Tunisia for the Human Relations Area Files during 1955-57. From 1958 until her marriage to Frederick Wulsin in 1959, she was hostess at the Christopher Square Inn, a not-for-profit hotel owned by her friend, Helen d'Autremont. Fred Wulsin had been an anthropology professor at Tufts University before his retirement. He died in 1962. Gwyneth died on May 28, 1978. See ASM Archivist Jeanne Armstrong's biographical sketch of Harrington for additional information, published in the Journal of the Souhtwest, 30(4) in 1988.

Scope and Content Note

This collection comprises seven series in two boxes: Series 1, Biographical Material; Series 2, Goajiro Ethnographic Papers, 1934; Series 3, Bureau of Indian Affairs Reports and Notes, 1936-38; Series 4, Papago (O'odham) Ethnographic Papers, 1942-62; Series 5, Seri Ethnographic Papers, 1937-44; Series 6, Professional Papers, 1954-57; and Series 7, Personal Papers.

The bulk of the collection consists of Harrington's ethnographic papers related to Tohono O'odham, Seri, Goajiro, and Wind River Shoshone cultures. There are also papers related to her work with the Amerind Foundation and Human Relations Area Files in the 1950s. Her personal papers includes photocopies of poems written by Maynard Dixon that were sent to her by Dixon's wife, Edith Hamlin, in 1970.


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

The Arizona State Museum may not own copyright to all parts of this collection. It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona, Arizona State Museum, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Dixon, Maynard, 1875-1946
Harrington, Gwyneth Browne

Corporate Name(s)
Amerind Foundation
Human Relations Area Files, inc.
United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs
United States. Indian Arts and Crafts Board
United States. Soil Conservation Service

Goajiro Indians
Seri Indians -- Mexico
Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming
Shoshoni Indians -- Wyoming
Tohono O'odham Indians -- Arizona

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Gwyneth Browne Harrington's Seri field catalog, her manuscripts on Seri dream pictures, santos and face painting, and her manuscript on the "Cattle Industry of the Southern Papago Districts" were in the Arizona State Museum Archives, probably donated with the collection of Seri artifacts in 1941 (ASM Accession Nos. 164 and 165). Her other papers, including her work on the Wind River and Papago Reservations, were in a carton in the Tucson home of her son, Alan Harrington. He eventually gave them to his neighbor, Rosamond Spicer, wife of anthropologist Edward Spicer (See ASM Archives, MS 5). Mrs. Spicer eventually gave them to ASM Archivist Jeanne Armstrong, while Armstrong was interviewing Mrs. Spicer about Gwyneth Harrington. Alan Harrington subsequently donated the papers to ASM in 1987 (ASM Accession No. 87-39).

Preferred Citation

Gwyneth Harrington Papers, 1934-1962. Arizona State Museum Archives.

Container List

Series 1: Biographical Material
Series 1 consists of biographical background on Gwyneth Harrington. Folder 1 contains correspondence from her brother, Gordon Browne, to ASM Archivist Jeanne Armstrong and to Watson Smith. Folder 2 contains Charlotte Cardon's unpublished biography of Gwyneth and related research materials, including correspondence with anthropologist Ruth M. Underhill.
11 Gordon Browne Correspondence, 1987-88
12 Charlotte Cardon Manuscripts and Correspondence, 1978-79
Series 2: Goajiro Ethnographic Papers, 1934
Series 2 consists of Goajiro ethnographic papers, resulting from Harrington's field work among the Goajiro during a joint University Museum and Columbia University expedition in 1934.
11 Goajiro Field Notes and Background Notes on Venezuela, Columbia
12 "The Goajiros" Manuscript
Series 3: Bureau of Indian Affairs Reports and Notes, 1936-38
Series 3 is Bureau of Indian Affairs reports and notes related to Harrington's work for the Soil Conservation Service on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, 1936, and on the Pima and Papago Reservations in Arizona during 1936-38. In 1938, she was transferred to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, continuing to work on the Sells Reservation. This work is described in Van Willingen's paper on the Papago Arts and Crafts Board.
11 Soil Conservation Service - Pima, Navajo Notes
12 Wind River Field Notes - Shoshone "Little People"
13-5 Wind River Field Notes - Report, 1936
16 Wind River Report, 1936
17 Notebooks on Papago and Seri Culture
18 Cattle Industry of the Southern Papago Districts, 8/19/38
19 Papago Arts and Crafts Board (by John Van Willingen)
110 Indian Arts and Crafts Board Minutes and Correspondence, Correspondence with D'Harnoncourt and Douglas re: San Francisco and NYC Exhibits, 1938-41, 1937-41
Series 4: Papago (O'odham) Ethnographic Papers, 1942-62
Series 4, the Papago ethnographic papers, contains notes and manuscripts on their traditions recorded from 1942-62. At the time of Gwyneth Harrington's research, the O'odham people were referred to as Papago; they are now officially known as the Tohono O'odham Nation.
11 Papago Sandpainting Manuscript
12 Papago - Notes on Curing, Fiesta of San FranciscoLetter from Wulsin to Muriel Painter
13 Papago - Notes on Backward People, Salt Pilgrimage, Miscellany
Series 5: Seri Ethnographic Papers, 1937-44
Series 5 consists of Seri ethnographic papers resulting from Harrington's trips to the Seri area from 1937-44. She began visiting the Seri when she was a field worker on the Sells Reservation. On her 1941 trip, she made a Seri collection for the Arizona State Museum. In 1988, ASM Archivist Jeanne Armstong edited Harrington's manuscript on drawings by Seris of images from their dreams, and published it in the Journal of the Southwest 30(4), 1988.
11 Seri Field Catalog with Notes
12 Seri Field Catalog and Related Seri Papers
23 Seri Notes
24 Seri Notes, DraftsLetter to Emil Haury
25 Seri Manuscript
26 Seri Dream Pictures Manuscript (illustrated)
(Stored in Oversize)

27 Seri Santos Manuscript (illustrated)
(Stored in Oversize)

28 Seri Face Painting Manuscript (illustrated)
(Stored in Oversize)

29 Seri Dream Pictures (photocopy)Santos, Face Painting
Series 6: Professional Papers, 1954-57
Series 6, professional papers, concerns Harrington's work for the Amerind Foundation, Dragoon, Arizona, a research organization for Southwest archaeology and ethnology, and for the Human Relations Area Files, a research organization that does cultural studies worldwide.
21 Amerind - Notes for Pottery TalksAmerind - Notes for Cataloging Books
22 Amerind - Correspondence
23-5 Amerind - Paloparado Research
26 Human Relations Area Files - Algeria, Touareg, Chaamba Manuscripts
Series 7: Personal Papers
Series 7 consists of assorted papers: correspondence with the Peabody Museum, 1934, and from members of Congress to Joseph Wood Krutch and a related draft describing Harrington's mining research as a member of the Association of Papago Affairs; a text regarding Native American status as citizens, an unattributed illustration of a kneeling archer; notes from lectures; and a letter and several poems written by Maynard Dixon.
21 Correspondence
Peabody Museum
, 1934
Association for Papago Affairs
, 1955
22 "Indians Are Citizens, Not Wards"Unidentified illustration
23 Lecture Notes
Fred Pleasants, Primitive Art
Alfred Irving Hallowell, Cultural Dynamics
24 Maynard Dixon Correspondence and Poetry (photocopies of), 1917-44
(Sent by Edith Hamlin to G. Wulsin, 1970) (no illustrations)