Contents and Arrangement

Subseries 2: Affiliates and Offices, 1922-1964

4 boxes
Restrictions may apply. See Access Note.

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 1: Organizational Files, Subseries 2: Affiliates and Offices (1922-1964) consists of correspondence, reports, minutes, by-laws, membership lists and other documents relating to a number of local organizations with ties to the AAIA. Also to be found in this subseries are somewhat meager files concerning the AAIA's Southwest and Washington, D.C. offices. The character and sphere of the Association's affiliates, which were also known as branches or chapters, varied considerably. At one end of the spectrum can be found the short-lived Missouri Association on Indian Affairs, which was little more than a source of funds and where "no one," it was reported, "is really more than mildly interested." Positioned at the other extreme is the long-running New Mexico Association on Indian Affairs -- later known as the Southwestern Association on Indian Affairs -- with its noteworthy history of involvement in and advocacy of Indian concerns, be it the preservation of their lands, the improvement of their health, or the promotion of their arts and crafts.

The relationship between the AAIA and its affiliates lacked definition, reflecting the circumstances of each party rather than a systematic pattern. While this ambiguity did not go unchallenged, General Counsel Arthur Lazarus, Jr. voiced a prevailing view when, in 1958, he noted that the "present thinking of the Association is that its relationship with local organizations should not be in accordance with a rigid formula, but rather should depend upon the wishes of the local citizenry and the nature of their organization." Establishing affiliates was a precarious undertaking, as files on abortive ventures in Arizona, Idaho, and Illinois attest. Success was often attributable to the presence of a zealous individual, and the material in this subseries bears witness to the potency of women such as Mary Wheelwright in Massachusetts, Margretta Dietrich in New Mexico, and Pearl Chase in California.

While the file on the AAIA's Massachusetts Branch includes a comprehensive set of minutes, among other internal documents, and while such material can be found in modest amounts elsewhere, it is the relationship between the AAIA and its affiliates which is the focus of this subseries. In the course of a rich correspondence, harmony -- "the Colorado Springs Chapter has done nobly" -- and discord -- "the whole Santa Barbara branch business is certainly a nightmare" -- are documented, as are many intervening shades of feeling. (The words are President Oliver La Farge's in 1933 and 1955 respectively.) What emerges from these exchanges is the strength, the weakness, and, above all, the individuality of the AAIA's affiliates, the product of local initiative and national outreach.


Materials in this subseries are arranged in alphabetical order by the state of the affiliated office.

Collection History


No information about appraisal is available for this collection prior to the 2007 addition. Materials related to particular scholarships were separated from the August 2007 addition [ML.2007.027] and returned to the donor as requested.

No materials were separated from subsequent additions in 2008-2015. The exception is the 2014 addition [ML.2014.007]; AAIA newsletters that had already been catalogued by Princeton's Firestone Library were removed.

Approximately 1.5 linear feet consisting of routine financial information, personnel records, and other out-of-scope materials were removed from the October 2016 addition [ML.2016.034].


These records were processed with the generous support of The National Endowment for the Humanities and The John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information

These Records were initially arranged and described between December 1995 - June 1997 by John S. Weeren, with the able assistance of many hands and, in particular, Tom Rosko, Mitra Martin, Christina Aragon, and Shawneequa Callier. Additions received from 2005 to 2008 were processed in 2008 by Lynn Durgin. An inventory, the MARC record and the finding aid were updated at this time. Materials from subsequent additions from 2009-2016 were added to the collection as separate series. Box and folder lists for these additionss were created and the MARC record and finding aid were updated. Some materials in the May 2011, September 2012, and 2014 additions were re-housed in archival boxes or folders during accessioning. Digital materials in Series 8 were processed by Elena Colon-Marrero in July 2015.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

All records in Series 1 are open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

This collection contains materials acquired from an Apple iMac desktop computer and other unknown desktop computers. Researchers are responsible for meeting the technical requirements needed to access these materials, including any and all hardware and software.

Credit this material:

Subseries 2: Affiliates and Offices; Association on American Indian Affairs Records, MC147, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 30-33