ublogo print

University at Buffalo Libraries

Archival & Manuscript Collections

Return to Search Results | Citation | Print View

Finding Aid for the Marian E. White Papers, 1934-1975


State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo, New York 14260
United States
Phone: 716-645-2916
Fax: 716-645-3714
Email: lib-archives@buffalo.edu
URI: http://library.buffalo.edu/archives

Finding aid prepared by University Archives staff.
Finding aid encoded in EAD by Sheryl Saxby, March 2006.
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid prepared using local best practices.

Please use the following URL when citing this document:

© 2006. State University of New York at Buffalo. All rights reserved.

Collection Overview

Title: Marian E. White Papers, 1934-1975
Creator: White, Marian E. (Marian Emily), 1921-1975.
Extent: 8 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, 3 card boxes, 1 flat box (6.0 linear feet)
Language of Material: Collection material in English.
Repository: State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives
Abstract: The collection contains drafts of papers and articles as well as other materials relating to Marian White's work on the prehistory and ethnohistory of the Iroquois and other Native American groups in New York State. Also included are detailed course notes from graduate work at the University of Michigan and personal memorabilia.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Item information and date], Box/Folder #, 22/9F/422, Marian E. White Papers, 1934-1975, University Archives, The State University of New York at Buffalo.

See the Archives' preferred citations instructions for additional information.

Acquisition Information

This collection of material was donated to the University Archives by Ethel White, sister of Marian White, on April 8, 1976 and July 21, 1977. Additional items transferred from the Department of Anthropology, September 5, 1978.

Terms of Access

The bulk of the Marian E. White Papers are open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Processing Information

Processed by Archives staff, circa 1980.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Biographical Note

UB Anthropology Professor Frederick Gearing said that "Anthropology was Marian White's vocation. More than that, it was her life. More than that, even, anthropology was her religion" (Reporter, 11/6/1975). Indeed, Marian White, a Professor of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, dedicated her career to western New York archaeology during her sixteen years of service at UB.

In 1942 White graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor's degree. Shortly after graduation she joined the Army Air Force, working from 1944 to 1945 as an IBM Tabulator Machine Operator.

Upon her return to civilian life, she held a position as a Science Guide at the Buffalo Museum of Science until 1952. White became the first woman to graduate from the University of Michigan with a doctorate in Anthropology in 1956.

After receiving her Ph.D., White worked for the next two years at the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences. Initially, White worked as a Research Associate in Archaeology at UB while simultaneously holding the position of Assistant Curator of Anthropology at the Buffalo Museum of Science. She also served as the Assistant Curator of Archaeology at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. In 1968, White was made full Professor in the Department of Anthropology, a position she held until her death on October 31, 1975.

White's archaeological fieldwork took her to Native American sites in New York, Illinois, and Canada. Her growing interest in highway salvage -- protecting important Native American archaeological sites from highway development -- led her to a variety of administrative honors and positions. In 1969, she established the Highway Salvage program at UB to protect lands from highway and industrial development. Her involvement in Native American issues did not end with her professional work; she often volunteered for the same Native American communities who had claims to the sites on which she worked. The Auburn Historical Society awarded White the Cornplanters Medal for her work with the Iroquois.

Marian White was an important part of efforts to preserve the local and regional history:

• She served as the first President of the New York Archaeological Council from 1972 to 1974.
• She served as the Director of the Niagara Frontier Archaeological Project.
• She was appointed by Governor Rockefeller to the New York State Board on Historic Preservation.

During her lifetime, White envisioned an anthropological research museum that would house the artifacts of North American archaeology. In 1979, the Marian E. White Anthropology Museum was established in association with the Anthropology Library.

She also helped organize the University at Buffalo Archaeological Survey which trains qualified Cultural Resource Management (CRM) professionals and provides CRM services to Western New York. The Survey's mission praises White as a "a staunch proponent and pioneer of historic preservation and CRM archaeology. The Survey continues as a legacy to her recognition of the need for qualified local professionals with regional interests in public archaeology and archaeological site protection."


1921 Born, Hartland Corners, Niagara County, New York
1942 B.A., Cornell University
1944-1945 Army Air Force, IBM Tabulator Machine Operator
1946-1952 Science Guide, Buffalo Museum of Science
1953 M.A. in Anthropology, University of Michigan
1956-1958 Research Associate and Junior Anthropologist, Rochester Museum and Science Center
1956 Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Michigan
1959 Research Associate in Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo
1960 Assistant Professor, University of Buffalo
1968-1975 Professor of Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo
1969 Established Highway Salvage program, State University of New York at Buffalo
1972-1974 President, New York Archeological Council

Scope and Content Note

The papers of Marian White pertain primarily to her work on the prehistory and ethnohistory of the Iroquois and other Native American groups in New York State.

Numerous drafts of conference papers and articles, as well as published papers, document the growth and development of Marian White's thought. While earlier papers deal with physical artifacts and settlement patterns, later papers reflect a growing concern with public archeology, the protection of archeological sites and the concerns of present day Native Americans.

Marian White's notes from the University of Michigan, where she received her M.A. and Ph.D., are detailed and offer an unusually complete view of the state of graduate instruction in anthropology and archeology in the early 1950s.

The collection also includes a number of tape recordings. Most of these are cassettes, used by Marian White for the dictation of letters and reports, but two tapes record the recollections of Nellie Jack, a Native American woman, about Iroquois life on the Cornplanter Reservation.

The original folder titles have been maintained. Elsewhere in the finding aid, the term 'Indian' has been replaced with 'Native American.'

Container List

I.     General Files, 1934-1975

This series contains material concerning Marian White's education, employment and research interests.

Box-folder Contents
1.1 Vita, no date
1.2 Memorial service and obituary, 1975-1976
1.3 Biographical clippings, 1956-1973
1.4 Gasport High School, 1934-1938
1.5 Cornell University, 1938-1942
1.6 Army Air Force, 1944-1945
1.7 University of Buffalo transcript, 1952
1.8 Buffalo Museum of Science, 1951-1952
1.9 Vessels vs. Rims, 1950's
1.10 Owasco-Iroquois pottery, 1950's
1.11 Neutral-Wenro, Erie pottery, 1950's
1.12 Mullings, 1950's
1.13 Notes on Emerson dissertation, 1956-1958
1.14 Settlement patterns, 1956-1957
1.15 Newton-Hopper site, circa 1957
1.16-2.1 Iroquois - Odds and Ends, 1959-1961
[2 folders]
2.2 Anthropology 303 - General Ethnology, 1960
2.3 Lockport Glass, circa 1962
2.4 Sigma Xi, 1963
2.5 Correspondence, 1967-1975
2.6 Campus Unrest, 1969-1970
2.7 Anthropology 730, 1970
2.8 Late Woodland Northeast Seminar, 1973
2.9 William Englebrecht Papers, 1974-1975
2.10 Louise E. Sweet Papers, no date
2.11 Memberships - cards and certificates, 1954-1975
2.12 Recommendations and citations, 1965-1968
2.13 Photographs, no date
2.14 Passports and travel documents, 1964-1970
2.15 Miscellaneous materials, no date
II.     University of Michigan, 1952-1958

This series consists primarily of course notes from the University of Michigan, including correspondence related to Marian White's dissertation.

Box-folder Contents
3.1 University of Michigan
3.2 History of Anthropology
3.3 Introduction to Anthropology
3.4 Philosophy 111
3.5 Cross Cultural Similarities
3.6 Archeology of Africa
3.7 Linguistics (Pike)
3.8 Peoples of Asia (Beardsley)
3.9 Techniques of Archeology (Spaulding)
3.10 Archeology of North America
4.1 Primitive Economics
4.2 Physical Anthropology (Theime)
4.3 Middle American Indians
4.4 Archeology of Middle America (Griffin)
4.5 North American Archeology (Griffin)
4.6 Introduction to Social Anthropology (Service)
4.7 1952 course notes
4.8 Anthropology, Introduction to Prehistoric Archeology, 1955
4.9 Dissertation - correspondence, 1956-1958
4.10 Exp. ideas on dissertation, circa 1956-1958
4.11 M.A. diploma, 1953
4.12 Ph.D. diploma, 1958
III.     Manuscripts of Papers

This series contains manuscripts, usually typescripts with author's corrections, of papers written by Marian White. When possible, papers have been identified with the title of the final, published version. However, since Marian White often revised and rewrote her work, the manuscript copy may vary from the final version. See also Series VI, Conferences, which includes manuscripts of papers delivered at professional meetings, many of which were later published.

Box-folder Contents
5.1 "Morgan Chapter Dig" (1956b)
5.2 "Canoes and the Iroquois" (1957a); "An Iroquois Sequence in New York's Niagara Frontier" (1957b); "Questions and Answers on a Dig" (1957d); "A Salvage Dig at Honeoye Lake" (1957f)
5.3 "Dating the Niagara Frontier Iroquois Sequence" (1958a)
5.4 "An Iroquois Sequence in New York's Niagara Frontier" (1958b); "The Niagara Frontier Iroquois: Archaeology and History" (1958c)
5.5 "The Nursery Site" (1962)
5.6 "Settlement Pattern Change and the Development of Horticulture in the New York-Ontario Area" (1963c)
5.7 "The Orchid Site Ossuary, Fort Erie Ontario" (1966a)
5.8 "1965 Excavations at the Simmons Site" (1967b)
5.9 "Iroquois Archaeology or Archaeology of the Iroquois" (1968b)
5.10 "Review of the Archaeology of New York" (1969c)
5.11 "Ethnic Identification and Iroquois Groups in Western New York and Ontario" (1971a)
5.12 "The Crisis in Western New York Archaeology" (1972b); "Late Woodland Archaeology in the Niagara Frontier of New York and Ontario" (1972d); "Review of The Bennett Site" (1972e)
5.13 "Current Problems in Northeastern Archaeology" (1973d); "State-Supported Archaeology in New York" (1973e)
5.14 "NYAC - Friend or Foe?" (1974d)
5.15 Unidentified papers
5.16 Speeches
IV.     Published Articles and Papers

This series consists of an incomplete set of Marian White's published articles, including the published version of her dissertation, Iroquois Cultural History in the Niagara Frontier Area of New York State, 1961.

Box-folder Contents
6 circa 1947-1966
V.     Handbook of North American Indians, 1970-1974

This series contains correspondence, drafts and other materials about sections by Marian White in the Handbook of North American Indians. These drafts vary significantly from the final published version.

Box-folder Contents
7.1 Handbook, 1970-1972
7.2 Handbook, 1973
7.3 Handbook, 1974
7.4 Erie, 1973
7.5 Neutral-Wenro, 1974
7.6 Cayuga, 1974
VI.    Conferences, 1958-1974

This series contains notes, papers, addenda and other materials from conferences of regional and national archaeological and anthropological organizations, primarily dealing with the archaeology of the Iroquois. Many of the folders contain drafts of papers presented by Marian White.

Box-folder Contents
8.1 Eastern States Archaeological Federation, 1958; "Recent Work at Oakfield, a Transitional Iroquois Site"
8.2 Eastern States Archaeological Federation, circa 1960; untitled paper about Niagara Frontier Iroquois Village Movements
8.3 Northeastern Anthropological Conference, 1963; untitled paper about settlement patterns in the Late Woodland Period
8.4 New York State Archaeological Association, circa 1963; untitled paper about the Martin Site
8.5 Iroquois Conference, 1965; untitled paper about settlement patterns at the Simmons Site
8.6 Society for American Archaeology, 1966; "Factors in Cultural Change in Late Woodland Sites in Western New York"
8.7 New York State Archaeological Federation, 1966; paper by Jack Schock, "Caneadea Mound
8.8 Eastern States Archaeological Federation, 1966; untitled paper about settlement at the Simmons Site
8.9 Society for American Archaeology, 1968; untitled paper about Iroquois population
8.10 Eastern States Archaeological Federation, 1968; "Houses, Villages, and Landscapes"
8.11 New York State Archaeological Association, 1968; "Western New York Burial Mounds"
8.12 Iroquois Conference, 1968; "Iroquois Archaeology or Archaeology of the Iroquois"
8.13 Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, 1968
8.26 Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Warren 1969
8.14 American Anthropological Association, 1968; "Archaeological Implications of In Situ Osteological Analysis of Burials from the Northeastern United States"
8.15 Canadian Archaeological Association, 1969
8.16 Iroquois Conference, 1969; "The Nature of Warfare and Confederacies Among Northern Iroquois"
8.17 Northern New York Conference, 1969
8.18-8.19 Society for American Archaeology, 1969
8.20 Society for American Archaeology, 1970; "Late Woodland Sociopolitical Systems in the Northeast"
8.21 Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, 1970; "Communities and Confederacies"
8.22 Iroquois Conference, 1970
8.23 Ohio Valley Archaeological Conference, 1970
8.24 Eastern States Archaeological Federation, 1969
8.25 Eastern States Archaeological Federation, 1970
9.1 Eastern States Archaeological Federation, 1971; "Current Iroquois Research in Central New York"
9.2 Southeastern Archaeological Conference, 1971
9.3 Iroquois Conference, 1971; "Iroquois Sites in the Vicinity of Cayuga Lake"
9.4 Conference on Historic Sites Archaeology, 1971
9.5 New York State Archaeological Association, 1971; "Iroquois Village Movements and Population Shifts near Cayuga Lake"
9.6 Ohio Valley Archaeological Conference, 1971
9.7 Canadian Archaeological Association, 1972; "Neutral in the Seventeenth Century: Social and Political Organization"
9.8 Northeastern Archaeological Conference, 1972
9.9 Iroquois Conference, 1972
9.10 Society for American Archaeology, 1972; "An Archaeological Field School in New York State"
9.11 Ohio Valley Archaeological Conference, 1972
9.12 New York State Archaeological Association, 1972
9.13 Eastern States Archaeological Federation, 1972; "The Influence of Native Views on Archaeological Research"
9.14 Society for American Archaeology, 1973; "Problems in Northeastern Archaeology"
9.15 Ohio Valley Archaeological Conference, 1973
9.16 Manitoba
9.17 Iroquois Conference, 1973
9.18 Eastern States Archaeological Federation, 1973
9.19 New York State Archaeological Association, 1973; "Prehistoric Iroquois Population Shifts"
9.20 New York State Archaeological Association, 1973; "A Discussion of the New York State Archaeological Council"
9.21 Iroquois Conference, 1974
9.22 Ontario Archaeological Society Symposium, 1974
9.23 Society for American Archaeology, 1974
VII.    Index Card Files, circa 1950-1970

This series contains index cards used for bibliographies as well as for research and lecture notes. Most of these files are not clearly identified.

Box-folder Contents
10 Anthropology and Archeology; Mesolithic; An Old New Transformation; Old World Development Agriculture; Near East Circumspection, India, China; Summary Lecture; 226 1st two weeks I-IV; Unidentified cards; Erie; Unidentified cards; Van Son (research notes); Bibliography, 1950s, 1971-1972, no date
11 Unidentified cards (primarily notes from Jesuit Relations); Bibliographies (on 3 by 5 index cards), no date
VIII.    Memorabilia, circa 1945-1974

This series consists of miscellaneous items reflecting the personal life and professional career of Marian White.

Box-folder Contents
12 World War II Victory and Good Conduct Medals; World War II Identification bracelet; Phi Kappa Phi pin; Commercial slides and photographs of Baalback, Lebanon and Damascus, Syria; Pocket Memorandum books (2), 1974; Photographs of cat, trips, archeological digs, etc., mostly unidentified, 1950s
13+ Certificate of Membership, New York State Board on Historic Preservation, May 21, 1973 and Cornell University Diploma, 1942
IX.    List of tape recordings

This series contains cassettes primarily used by Marian White for dictation of letters concerning the Department of Archeology and her work for the preservation of archeological sites. Also includes one tape labeled, "Indian Meeting," and two tapes of an Iroquois woman, Nellie Jack.

Box-folder Contents
tr. c. 108 Antiquities Legislation
tr. c.109 Indian Meeting, October 7, 1972
tr. c. 110 Graduate Committee Meeting, January 20, 1975
tr. c. 111 Paleo
tr. c. 112 Marian White, July 24, 1973; Marian White/Nellie Jack
tr. c. 113 Enver I
tr. c. 114 Enver II
tr. c. 115-118 Unidentified
tr. c. 119 Nellie Jack

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Library's online catalog.


Eastern States Archeological Federation (U.S.)
Northeastern Anthropological Association
Ontario Archaeological Society for American Anthropology
State University of New York at Buffalo. Dept. of Anthropology
State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives
University of Buffalo. Dept. of Anthropology
University of Michigan
American Anthropological Association
Canadian Archaeological Association
New York State Archeological Association
Society for American Archaeology
Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology

Subject Terms

Anthropology teachers--New York (State)--Buffalo
Anthropology--Field work
Anthropology--Outlines, syllabi, etc.
Anthropology--Research--United States
Anthropology--Societies, etc.
Anthropology--Study and teaching--New York (State)--Buffalo
Anthropology--Study and teaching--United States
Archaeology--Field work
Ethnohistory--New York (State)
Ethnology--New York (State)
Excavations (Archaeology)--New York (State)
Indians of North America--Material culture--New York (State)
Indians of North America--New York (State)--Antiquities
Iroquois Indians--Congresses
Iroquois Indians--New York (State)--Antiquities
Iroquois Indians--New York (State)--History
Jack, Nellie--Interviews
New York (State)--Antiquities
Salvage archaeology--United States
State University of New York at Buffalo--Archives
State University of New York at Buffalo. Dept. of Anthropology--Faculty
University of Michigan--Students
University of Buffalo. Dept. of Anthropology--Faculty
White, Marian E. (Marian Emily), 1921-1975--Archives
White, Marian E. (Marian Emily), 1921-1975--Correspondence
White, Marian E. (Marian Emily), 1921-1975--Miscellanea
Women anthropologists--New York (State)--Buffalo
Women college teachers--New York (State)--Buffalo

Genre Terms

Card files
Color slides

Associated Material

Related Resources

22/9F/579 , Marian E. White Additional Papers, 1960-1975