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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 2: Biographical and research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:    Documents concerning Jim Marks, contains rough drafts of biography for Haa Kusteeyi book, 1992, outline and research notes documenting what biographical Documents would be covered in the Haa Kusteeyi, rough draft of photo captions to be used in biography, copies (3) of photo showing Hoonah dancers in traditional costume, with hand writing identifying the names of those in photo, undated.

Fd 2:    Documents concerning Emma Marks, contains rough drafts of biographies for the Haa Kusteeyi, September 25, 1992.

Fd 3:    Documents concerning L. Embert Demmert, contains rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, 3/16/1994, research notes, 2/23/1994, correspondence re photos to be put in Haa Kusteeyi, certificate of appreciation for service in the Presbyterian Church, 1993.

Fd 4:    Documents concerning Jimmie George Sr. contains research notes, rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, 2/22/1994, unopened package, rough draft writing of a biography for his 100th birthday, acknowledging his passing later on in the course of editing Haa Kusteeyi, 1990.

Fd 5:    Documents concerning Chester Worthington, contains rough drafts of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, June 1993, January 1994, March 1994, press clippings from the Alaska Daily Empire regarding Alaska Native Brotherhood meeting,1/29/1914, correspondence with Worthington’s granddaughter regarding his inclusion in Haa Kusteeyi, accuracy of documents in the book, etc.

Fd 6:    Documents concerning ANB founders, contains copies of death certificates of Billie Hibson, 1937, Mary Watson, George Fields, 1926, Eli Katanook, 1934, Marie Olson, 1918, and others, rough draft of biography of Peter Simpson, (the only non-Tlingit “founding father” of the ANB).

Fd 7:    Documents concerning Jessie Dalton, contains research into family names, rough drafts of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, October 1992, February 1994.

Fd 8:    Documents concerning ANB, contains advertisement for Elizabeth Peratrovich Day, 1994, article regarding “reverse discrimination” case in Haines, 1981, (printed in News of the Native Community), Documents about the background of Native Alaskan land claims movement in 1920s and 1930s, written by Fred Paul (except from a book).

Fd 9:    Documents concerning Andrew Hope, contains rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, February 1994, March 1993, research notes, undated, article regarding tribute by the ANB, 1968, biography by daughter Ellen, 1992. Interview with Less Yaw by Ellen Land regarding Andrew Hope in Sheldon Jackson school history, 1977.

Fd 10:  Documents concerning William Hobson, contains rough draft of  biography for the Haa Kusteeyi, February-March 1994, biography written by eldest daughter Martha Hobson Thomas, correspondence with family regarding revisions of his biography in the Haa Kusteeyi, 1994, poem written as a tribute by daughter Virginia Hobson Depree, Hobson family tree.

Fd 11:  Documents concerning Sally Hopkins, contains rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, December 1991, research notes and handwritten draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi book, 1990.

Fd 12:  Research notes and articles re Fr. William Duncan and the founding of Metlakatla, Alaska, biographical Documents on the people in the community, especially Edward Marsden, first Native American granted license to preach in North America, undated.

Fd 13:  Documents concerning Helen Mercer contains interview and notes for Haa Kusteeyi, February 25, 1993.

Fd 14:  Documents concerning trip of Sheldon Jackson choir trip to Seattle to perform at the Presbyterian General Assembly conference, 1948.

Fd 15:  Documents concerning Austin Hammond, obituary written on his death in 1993, memorial service programs, July 3, 1993, faxes of obituary, copy of rough drafts of obituary written by Richard Dauenhauer, 1993.

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