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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 3: Biographical and research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:  Documents concerning Charlie Joseph, including correspondence with his son regarding biography in Haa Kusteeyi, rough draft of biography for that project, February 1990.

Fd 2:    Documents concerning Peter Simpson, contains general biography, March 18, 1985, and one regarding his personal and Tsimshian involvement in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, March 10, 1985, both written by his daughter Gertrude Mather Johnson.

Fd 3:    Documents concerning rededication of Princeton hall in 1984, 1994.

Fd 4:    Documents concerning Louis Shortridge, contains copy of “Raven’s Journey” rough draft of biography, notes page concerning biography.

Fd 5:    Historical writing on the history of Mt. Edgcumbe school, May 1985.

Fd 6:    Documents concerning Charlie Joseph contains further rough drafts of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, March 1994, transcripts (from tapes) of interviews about his life and traditional Tlingit upbringing, which were used for Haa Kusteeyi, and translated by Ethel Makinen.  Interview conducted in 1978.

Fd 7:    Documents concerning Johnny C. Jackson, contains rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, April 1994, notes in Tlingit, notes documenting stories told by Jackson in interviews.

Fd 8:    Documents concerning Austin Hammond, contains Tlingit stories and details of his life, including stories on native art and Christianity, 1984, some notes in Tlingit.

Fd 9:    Documents concerning Jennie Thlunaut, contains story in Tlingit and English about giving of gift to Jim Marks, April 1994, other drafts of story, December, May 1992.

Fd 10:  Documents concerning Jennie Thlunaut, contains several drafts of her speech to fellow weavers, February 26, 1985.

Fd 11:  Documents concerning Andrew P. Johnson, contains several drafts of speech on traditional Tlingit beliefs, in Tlingit and English, December 5, 1975. Transcribed from cassette tape.

Fd 12: Documents concerning table of contents and acknowledgements for Haa Kusteeyi, 1993, programs from past Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood meetings, newspaper about the founding of ANB, 1912, brief information on the history of the ANB, 1993.

Fd 13: Documents concerning introduction and acknowledgements for Haa Kusteeyi, June 1993, notes on revisions, Sealaska Corporation newsletter, September 1993, article on “William Paul and the Alaska Voter’s Literacy Act,” in Alaska History Magazine,  Winter 1986/87.

Fd 14:  Documents concerning revisions to introduction of Haa Kusteeyi,1992, copy of Sealaska Corporation newsletter, April 1990, clippings from Juneau Empire, 1992, research notes, sheet music, notes on revisions, undated.

Fd 15:  Documents concerning Frank Peratrovich, information and correspondence re native land claims, 1994, 1950, information about founders of the ANB, 1994.

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