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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

William B. Van Valin Papers MSS.2655

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Publication:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266
205.348.0500
archives@ua.edu

January 2010

Creation:

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2010-01-27T15:35-0600

Language Usage:

English

Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

William B. Van Valin Papers

Unit ID:

MSS.2655

Repository:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Quantity:

0.4 Linear feet

Dates:

1913-1982

Abstract:

Contains materials related to William B. Van Valin's work with the Eskimos in western Alaska in the early 20th-century.

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains materials related to William B. Van Valin's work with the Eskimos in western Alaska in the early 20th-century. It includes correspondence from several of his Eskimo students and friends and newspaper clippings regarding his work there, as well as correspondence between Van Valin and Dr. G.B. Gordon of the University of Pennsylvania Museum and other related correspondence.

Also included are lists of the reels of motion picture film Van Valin took while in Alaska, and the handwritten description of a child's hide-and-seek type game called "He-mo, He-mo." There are photocopied excerpts from Van Valin's book, Eskimoland Speaks and an article appearing in The Smithsonian in 1982 about Edward W. Nelson and the Bearing Sea Eskimos [Michael Olmert, "The true face of Eskimo life stares out from the primal past." v.13, n.2, May 1982].

The collections ends with an unidentified person's handwritten and typed pages of notes on the University Museum Collection (University of Pennsylvania) and a few other miscellaneous documents.

Biographical/Historical note

William B. Van Valin was a teacher, ethnologist and amateur archaeologist in the early 20th- century. He worked first as a teacher for the Alaska Division of the United States Bureau of Education in the Alaskan village of Wainwright between 1914 and 1915. After a falling out with the Bureau, Van Valin lived for several years with his family in and around Point Barrow, Alaska, collecting artifacts, photographs and motion pictures of the native Eskimo culture and life for the University of Pennsylvania's Univerity Museum.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Wade Hall, 2008

Preferred Citation:

William B. Van Valin Papers, W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Processing Information:

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2010

Source(s)

Eskimos (lcsh)

Correspondence - Incoming Box 2655-001 Folder 1

Correspondence - University Museum, Univesity of Pennsylvania, 1917-1945 (photocopies) Box 2655-001 Folder 2

List of Films and Film Reel Subjects Box 2655-001 Folder 3

Game - "He-mo, He-mo" Box 2655-001 Folder 4

Excerpts from Eskimoland Speaks (photocopies) Box 2655-001 Folder 5

Newspaper Clippings Box 2655-001 Folder 6

Smithsonian Article, 1982 Box 2655-001 Folder 7

Notes on the University Museum Collection (University of Pennsylvania) Box 2655-001 Folder 8

Miscellaneous Materials Box 2655-001 Folder 9