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John Collier Papers, 1922-1968

Location: Microfilm E93 .C7 1968


This microfilm collection duplicates most of the John Collier Papers at the Yale University library. The papers have been arranged in four parts, each part representing a significant career period in Collier’s life.

Part I (1922-1933) contains materials that deal with Collier’s affiliation with the American Indian Defense Association (AIDA).  “Shortly after the Association’s incorporation in May 1923, Collier became its executive secretary, and he served in this capacity until 1933 when he resigned to become Commissioner of Indian Affairs.” (Guide) Part I is divided into five series as follows:

Series I Correspondence of John Collier, 1922-1933
Series II Correspondence and Papers of Others, 1907-1937
Series III Subject File, 1914-1933
Series IV Office File of the AIDA, 1922-1933
Series V Writings and Research Materials, 1903-1933

Part II (1933-1945) contains materials related to Collier’s serving as Commissioner of Indian Affairs.  “Much of the material deals with the Wheeler-Howard Bill, which formed the basis of Collier’s “New Indian Deal”.  There is also a large amount of material on the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest.” (Guide) Part II is divided into four series as follows:

Series I Correspondence, 1933-1945
Series II Memoranda and Reports, 1933-1945
Series III Commissioner’s Subject File, 1933-1945
Series IV Addresses and Writings, 1933-1945

Part III (1945-1960) contains materials related with the Institute of Ethnic Affairs (IEA) and is divided into five series as follows:

Series I Correspondence, 1944-1957
Series II Programs and Projects, 1937-1958
Series III Office File, 1942-1960
Series IV Addresses and Writings, 1943-1957
Series V Subject File

Part IV (1957-1960) contains notes and correspondence kept by Collier after his official retirement and is divided into two series as follows:

Series I Correspondence, 1956-1966
Series II Notes, Writings, and Personal Papers, 1911-1965

“Excluded from the microfilm edition were subject files of printed materials which were gathered by Collier or his staff.  Most of these excluded files were in Parts II and III.  The contents of these subject files are not germane to an understanding of Collier or his work.” (Guide)

“Researchers should be aware that this large microfilm collection provides an incomplete record of Collier’s life.  Before using the collection, readers should consult Lawrence C. Kelly, The Assault on Assimilation (1983); and Kenneth R. Philp, John Collier’s Crusade for Indian Reform (1977).  Furthermore, it might be necessary to examine other major archival holdings that contain collier material, such as the People’s Institute papers, New York Public Library; the Office File of Commissioner John Collier, national Archives; and the California League of American Indians, Bancroft Library, university of California, Berkeley.” (Kenneth R. Philp – review in JSTOR)

How to search the collection

There is a printed guide at Microfilm E93 C7 1968 Guide.  This guide briefly describes how each part of the collection is organized and provides biographical information about John Collier.  “A part and item frame number, i.e., “I:47,” has been assigned to each entry on the reel lists.  Each of the four parts starts with frame number one.  These part and item frame numbers relate directly to the reel lists in this guide.  The use of the asterisk “*” in the reel lists for the various correspondence series in parts II-IV indicates more than ten items to or from the individual listed.  In part I the number of letters to and from an individual, where known, are enclosed in parentheses and follow the dates for the correspondence. (Guide)


The John Collier Papers, 1922-1969 – A guide to the Microfilm Edition – Microfilm E93 C7 1968 Guide

For more information about this subject in our Library Catalog, check out these
Subject Categories:

Collier, John, 1884-1968.

United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Social reformers -- United States -- Correspondence.

Indians of North America -- Government relations -- 1934-

Time Period: 20th Century  

Subject keywords: Native American Studies, U. S. History