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Frederick A. Peterson Papers

Identifier: MSS-518-BC

Scope and Content

This collection reflects the career of Frederick A. Peterson, a Mesoamerican archaeologist who focused his research on Mexico. Correspondence; anthropological and archaeological research; manuscripts from his book, Ancient Mexico; and eighteenth and nineteenth-century Spanish documents make up the bulk of the collection. The collection is divided into five series: I. Correspondence; II. Clippings and legal papers; III. Research and publications, which includes information on the Lacandon Indians; IV. Spanish language documents; and V. Archaeology, anthropology, and miscellaneous personal papers. The correspondence series contains business and personal letters from colleagues including Richard S. MacNeish. The Research and publications series includes hand-drawn illustrations copied from Mayan codices.

Much of the material in the collection is in Spanish. Photographs are housed in Photoarchives.


  • 1701-1977

Language of Materials

English Spanish

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

Frederick A. Peterson, born in 1920, earned an M.A. in Anthropology and Latin American Studies from the University of the Americas, 1949. Much of his professional career was spent in field excavations and expeditions in Mexico. In addition, he was an instructor at Mexico City College, a special lecturer at the University of Houston summer session in Mexico, field assistant in ethnography at the Milwaukee Public Museum, a staff archaeologist with the New World Archaeological Foundation, an Associate Professor and Director of Latin American Studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College, and a visiting professor at the University of the Americas. He was a fellow in the American Anthropological Association, the Institute Interamerican, and a member of several additional societies. Ancient Mexico, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 1959 stands out as one of Peterson's most well known publications. He passed away in 2009.


6 boxes ( 6 cu. ft. ) + 1 oversize folder

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Frederick A. Peterson Photograph Collection.
Finding Aid of the Frederick A. Peterson Papers, 1701-1977 (bulk 1950-1977)
Processed by J. Brzosko
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 518 BC::Frederick A. Peterson Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss518bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131