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Tlingit Elders Biographical Manscripts and Oratory Collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Biographical and research files

Biographical and research files

Biographical and research files

Research files

Research files

Research files

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Tlingit Elders Biographical Manscripts and Oratory Collection, 1968-1994 | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

By Stephanie Brown, Assistant Archivist

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Collection Overview

Title: Tlingit Elders Biographical Manscripts and Oratory Collection, 1968-1994Add to your cart.

ID: MS/025

Primary Creator: Dauenhauer, Richard L. (1942-2014)

Extent: 6.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 00/00/1994

Subjects: Tlingit Indians--History.

Languages: English, Tlingit

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains six boxes of working files from scholars Richard Dauenhauer and Nora Marks Dauenhauer while researching and composing their books Haa Kusteeyi, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories (1994), Haa Tuwunaagu Yis, For Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory (1990), and Haa Shuka: Our Ancestors (1987) that were joint published by Sealaska Heritage Institute and University of Washington Press. The Dauenhauers were employees of the Sealaska Heritage Institute while these working files were generated.

Regarding the content of the working files, these consist of interviews the Dauenhauers conducted various Tlingit elders, as well as compiled biographical files on certain Tlingit elders and topics, which contain some primary source materials not published in the books. Some of these working and biographical files contain correspondence, transcripts, interviews, clippings, programs, genealogical information, and other. The collection also contains documents from an oral transcription project (translation of speeches from Tlingit to English) undertaken by Nora Marks Dauenhauer, funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant and the Sealaska Heritage Institute. Some of the final translations appear at the end of Haa Kusteeyi and Haa Tuwunaagu Yis. Some biographical information collected in the course of research for this book would also later be included in Haa Kusteeyi. Folder 18 in Box 5 contains documents relating to Haa Shuka, and consists mostly of the University of Washington Press’ correspondence with the Dauenhauers regarding editing and other technical matters. All in all, this collection documents the process of writing these three major Tlingit studies books and provides valuable biographical and cultural information on various Tlingit elders and Tlingit culture.

Biographical Note

Richard L. Dauenhauer (1942-2014) was an American poet and translator who married into, and became an expert on, the Tlingit nation of southeastern Alaska. His wife is the Tlingit poet and scholar Nora Marks Dauenhauer. Richard, who went by Dick, held a B.A. in Russian and Slavic languages from Syracuse University, a M.A. in German from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin Madison, with his dissertation titled “Text and Context of Tlingit Oral Tradition.” He studied in Finland under a Fulbright Fellowship in 1966-1967, before coming to Alaska in the late 1960s to teach at Alaska Methodist University. He was an author and poet and published several volumes of poetry as well as translations of poetry from languages including German, Russian, Finnish, and classical Greek. In 1981, he was named to a four-year term as Poet Laureate of Alaska. In the most recent decades Dauenhauer’s work focused on the Tlingit of Southeast Alaska. He worked for the Sealaska Heritage Institute during the 1980s and 1990s, before moving to University of Alaska Southeast, where he became President's Professor of Alaska Native Languages. The author of numerous articles and book chapters, together the Richard Dauenhauer and his wife Nora Marks Dauenhauer were also the author-editors of the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s highly regarded Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature series, titles which include, Haa Shuká, Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives (1987), Haa Tuwanáagu Yís, for Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory (1992), Haa Kusteeyí, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories. (1994), and Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká: Russians in Tlingit America, The Battles of Sitka 1802 and 1804 (2008).

Subject/Index Terms

Tlingit Indians--History.

Administrative Information

Repository: Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Acquisition Source: Sealaska Heritage Institute

Acquisition Method: The materials in this collection were transferred to SHI archives following the publication of each of the books. Transfers to Special Collections for files concerning Haa Kusteeyi occurred in 1994, Haa Tuwunaagu in 1990, and Haa Shuka in 1987. Accession numbers: 1987.001, 1990.001, and 1994.001

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Biographical and research files],
[Box 2: Biographical and research files],
[Box 3: Biographical and research files],
[Box 4: Research files],
[Box 5: Research files],
[Box 6: Research files],

Box 1: Biographical and research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:    Documents concerning Matilda Paul Tamaree, including correspondence, memoranda, stories about her and from her as told by her daughter-in-law, Frances Lakey Paul. Also contains documents for and rough drafts of biography meant for Haa Kusteeyi, 1993, Paul family trees, newspaper clippings regarding her social activism, and her obituary from August 26, 1952, documents on her involvement in the Presbyterian church, 1931.

Fd 2:    Documents concerning Matilda Paul Tamaree, including correspondence, biographical Documents used for and rough drafts of biography meant for Haa Kusteeyi. 1993.

Fd 3:    Documents concerning Judson Brown, including draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, newspaper interviews, native issues newsletter sent to him to his address in Seattle in 1994.

Fd 4:    Documents  concerning Dr. Walter Soboleff,  including information about Soboleff family photograph collection, circa 1960s, Soboleff family tree, copy of photograph of annual Presbyterian meeting, undated, copy of Tlingit Values” statement drafted by Soboleff, 1992, handwritten research notes and interviews with some former members of his congregation, undated.

Fd 5:    Documents concerning Louis and Florence Shortridge, including draft biography for Haa Kusteeyi, articles on Chilkat blanket weaving, information on the “Tina Blanket,” undated, correspondence re manuscript of Florence Shortridge, 1994.

Fd 6:    Documents concerning William Johnson, contains biographical newspaper article, 1979, family trees, from interview with Johnson, biographical information compiled for Haa Kusteyi.

Fd 7:    Documents concerning George Davis, contains biographical information and notes for Haa Kusteeyi. Undated.

Fd 8:    Documents concerning William Paul, contains obituary from Anchorage Daily News, 5/6/1994, correspondence regarding his biographical information compiled for the Haa Kusteeyi book, 1994, rough draft of  biography for Haa Kusteyi book, 3/24/1994.

Fd  9:  Documents concerning Paul Liberty, contains family tree, rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi book, 6/24/1993, research notes and documents used for biographical information, obituary for daughter Helen Howard, 2/3/1984.

Fd 10: Documents concerning Charlie Joseph, contains press clippings documenting Hoonah plane crash which he and his wife survived, November 6, 1954, newspaper containing article documenting 70th wedding anniversary, 1985, obituary, 1986.

Fd 11: Documents concerning Horace Marks, contains draft from an obituary written on his death on 4/2//1994, and a rough draft of the obituary.

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