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Malcolm Farmer Papers

Identifier: MSS-920-BC

Scope and Content

Papers relate to Navajo research and fieldwork; California archaeology, anthropology and museum issues; ethnobotany, bear ceremonialism, pottery, rock art, and other general topics. Included are field notes, manuscripts, letters, maps, photos, etc.

The Navajo/Southwest series delves deeply into Navajo boundary issues and Navajo origins, via archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork, as well as including secondary research from published sources. Reports, manuscripts, and correspondence illuminate the process and findings of the various projects. This series is divided into 6 overlapping subseries: Archaeology and Fieldwork; Apachean/Athabaskan; Boundaries and Land Claims; Correspondence; Topical Research and Writings (includes agriculture, ceramics, defense, katcinas, Kokopelli, language); Bibliographic References.

Photographs relate to anthropology and archaeology primarily in Arizona and California, but also in New Mexico and Utah. Photographs depict landscapes, people, events, sites, and material culture. Noteworthy are photographs relating to Navajo culture and history.

Maps focus on Indian lands and boundaries, particularly pertaining to Navajo country. Several maps are more general to tribes in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.


  • 1935-2001


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.


Malcolm French Farmer was born on August 6, 1915, in Los Angeles, CA. He received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1937, and studied anthropology and geography at the graduate level at the University of Washington from 1951-1953 and 1956-1957. He served in the Air Force and Infantry from 1943-1945 in Europe and North Africa. Farmer's employment included: Desert Laboratory, Southwest Museum, 1935; Soil Conservation Service, Arizona-New Mexico, 1935; Social and Economic Survey of the Navajo Service, Arizona-New Mexico, 1938; San Diego Museum of Man: Curator, 1940-1946 and Director, 1946-1950; Navajo Tribal Council, AZ/NM, 1950-1952; Assistant Director, Museum of Northern Arizona, 1953-1956; Whittier College, CA, 1957-1981 (teaching and administration). Farmer's areas of interest included bear ritualism; Navajo prehistory; man's use of the sea; domestication of the wolf; origin of metates; rock art; flaked tool identification; urban archaeology in Southern California. Malcolm Farmer passed away on April 6, 2011 in Whittier, CA.


5 boxes (5 cu. ft.), plus 1 extra oversized folder

Language of Materials



Papers relate to Navajo research: ethnobotany, bear ceremonialism, pottery, rock art, as well as California archaeology, anthropology, museum issues, and other general topics. Includes field notes, manuscripts, letters, maps, photographs.

Related Archival Material

David M. Brugge Papers. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Donald L. Parman Papers. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Processing Information

Navajo/Southwest series, Photographs, and Maps are processed, Remainder of collection is unprocessed.

Inquire with reference staff for access to 18 boxes of unprocessed material. B3:11A: Boxes 1-2: California archaeology; Boxes 3-4: Southern California archaeology; Boxes 5-6: Weaponry; Box 7: Milling; Boxes 8-11: Bear ritualism; Boxes 12-14: General subjects; Boxes 15-18: Bear ritualism. Consult with archivist for additional information. Preliminary contents lists in accession file and for some boxes, in o:\mss\malcolm farmer prelim inv
Finding aid of the Malcolm Farmer Papers, 1935-2001
© 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Finding aid is in English

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