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Donald Lee Parman Papers

Identifier: MSS-804-BC

Scope and Content

This collection is separated into two series that contribute to understanding the research and narrative trajectory of The Navajos and the New Deal book. As a whole, this archive offers an in-depth and critical engagement with New Deal politics and their effects on the Navajo reservation.

Correspondence (1924-1974): This series consists of official correspondence from the Department of the Interior, the Office of Indian Affairs, Commissioner John Collier, Senator Dennis Chavez, J. C. Morgan, the Department of Interior Field Services, and other federal, state, and local organizations. The correspondence discusses matters of stock reduction, the New Mexico Boundary Bill (relating to Navajo Indian Reservation boundaries), education and health issues on the Navajo reservation, and protests and petitions from various Navajo tribal communities. This series is organized chronologically by year and contains two sub-series. The first sub-series is correspondence written to or by Donald Parman in relationship to his book project. The second sub-series, which is the bulk of the series, contains copies of correspondence from other sources.

The Navajos and the New Deal Book Project (1883-1994): This series consists of research materials Parman used for his manuscript. The series begins with several chapter drafts which do not correspond with the chapters in the book. These were written years after the book was published, for a court case that never went to trial. Newspaper articles, clippings, and handwritten transcriptions are also included in this series; they are alphabetically organized by newspaper title and then chronologically filed. Education and health related files are also filed by date. The last section of this series is research materials, consisting of articles, interviews, biographies, transcribed materials, and other documents related to New Deal politics and the Indian Reorganization Act/Wheeler-Howard Bill.


  • 1883-1994
  • Majority of material found within 1933-1944


Language of Materials


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 publications or distribution.

Biography / History

Donald Parman received his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Oklahoma in 1967 and continued his research on twentieth century Native Americans in the United States. Some of his publications include Navajos and the New Deal and Indians and the American West in the Twentieth Century. A recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities grant in 1972, Professor Parman continued to dedicate his research and writing to understanding the complex relationship between Native Americans and the Federal Government during the 20th century.


4 boxes (3.45 cu. ft.)


This collection contains correspondence and research materials used by Donald L. Parman for his book The Navajos and the New Deal. The collection offers a grounded perspective about Navajo life during the New Deal era along with in-depth discussions about how tribal council leaders and the United States federal government worked within respectful yet contentious relationships in terms of reservation life, education and health issues, and land rights.


Arranged in two series:
  1. Correspondence
  2. The Navajos and the New Deal Book Project

Related Material

John C. Collier Papers Yale University Library. Microfilm available at the Center for Southwest Research (E93.C7 A2 1922a) United States Soil Conservation Service Region Eight Records Center for Southwest Research. University Libraries. University of New Mexico Dennis Chavez Papers Center for Southwest Research. University Libraries. University of New Mexico

Processing Information

1 box unproccessed. Located B3-11A.
Finding Aid of the Donald Lee Parman Papers, 1883-1994
For Approval
Eric Castillo
© 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Funding provided in part by: University of New Mexico Center for Regional Studies, Dr. Tobias Durán, Director

Revision Statements

  • 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