W.C. Holden Expedition Papers, 1938-1949

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W.C. Holden Expedition Papers, 1938-1949

MS 537

Collection Summary

Creator: Holden, William Curry, 1896-
Collection Name:W.C. Holden Expedition Papers,
Inclusive Dates: 1938-1949
Physical Description:2.5 inches
Abstract:The collection contains photographs of Yaqui Indians taken during an expedition to Rio Yaqui and letters of people who were on the expedition.
Collection Number:MS 537
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
University of Arizona
PO Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
Phone: 520-621-6423
Fax: 520-621-9733
URL: http://speccoll.library.arizona.edu/

Biographical Note

William Curry Holden (also known as Curry Holden) was born in Coolidge, Limestone County, Texas, in 1896. W. C. Holden attended high school in Rotan, Texas. He received B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas. In 1929, Holden joined the faculty of Texas Technological College to teach history and anthropology. He remained there for more than four decades, becoming chairman of the history department in 1936, dean and director of anthropological, historical, and social-science research in 1938, and in 1945, dean of the Graduate School, a position that he retained until 1950. In 1965 Dr. Holder was granted the status of Professor Emeritus of History.

His main interests were the West Texas history and prehistory and, later, the Yaqui Indians of Sonora. In 1934 and 1936 Holden took students on an expeditions to Sonora to study the Yaqui. These expeditions lead to the books Studies of the Yaqui Indians of Sonora, Mexico(1936), for which Holden was primary author andA Yaqui Life. Which he coauthored (with daughter Jane Holden Kelley) in 1971.

Dr. Holden past away in April 1993 at the age of 96.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains letters from Ramon Torry, Vicam, Sonora. Torry was a Yaqui interpreter for the expedition to Rio Yaqui. The letters describe: the murder of Jesus Rahju, a Yaqui village leader, by a group of men from Potam Village; a flood on the river and the effect on some of the villages; and letters in relation to personal matters between Torry and Dr. Holden.

There are four letters from Dr. Holden to Mrs. C.J. Wagner as well as letters from others who were on the expedition to the Rio Yaqui.

Four 8x10 photographs of Yaquis, including one of the Matachines dancing.


This collection has no series,only one box and two folders



There are no restrictions on the 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, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Related Material

Related materials on William Curry Holden maybe found at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Torry, Ramon.

Matachines (Dance).
Yaqui Indians--Mexico--Sonora (State).
Yaqui Indians--Photographs.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Items in this collection came from the estate of Helen Wagner, daughter of Dr. C J. Wagner who was on the expedition to the Rio Yaqui led by W.C. Holden, professor of history and anthropology at Texas Technology University.

Credit Line

W.C. Holden Expedition Papers (MS 537). Special Collections, University of Arizona Libraries.

Container List

11 Yaqui Photographs 1938
12 Correspondence 1938-1939, 1948