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Florence Hawley Ellis Papers

Identifier: MMA 2

Scope and Content

The Florence Hawley Ellis Papers (1859-2009; bulk 1950-1989) contain personal and professional papers such as correspondence, reports, drafts, notes, archaeological site documentation, research materials and notes, conference papers, student work, colleague correspondence and articles, bibliographic note cards, pottery classification cards, and more.

The Papers are comprised of eight series: 1. Bibliography (Published and Unpublished) (1923-1992); 2. Personal / Biographical (1846-2008); 3. Correspondence (1930-1994); 4. Teaching, Conferences and Research (1846-2008) (Six Subseries – Teaching and Research; Bibliography Cards; Conference Materials; Dendrochronology Research; Field School Student Notebooks and Papers; Pottery Documents); 5. Excavations (1931-1992) (Five Subseries – Chaco; Gallina/Ghost Ranch; Sapawe; Tsama; Yungue/Yunque); 6. Other Sites, Excavations (1904-1935) (Four Subseries – Papers, Reports, Notes; Student and Colleague Papers and Reports; Archaeoastronomy; Mexico, Mesoamerica and S. America); 7. Andrea Ellis Dodge Papers (1869-2002); 8. Media (1976-1991).


  • 1859-2009
  • Majority of material found within 1929-1989

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research by appointment. Please contact the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology Archivist for an appointment.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws.

Biography / History

Florence Hawley Ellis (b. 1906 – d. 1991) was born Cananea, Sonora, Mexico. Ellis worked as both an ethnologist and archaeologist, receiving her Bachelors and Masters from the University of Arizona and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1934. Her dissertation focused on tree ring dating (dendrochronology) at the site of Chetro Ketl in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. She was one of the first researchers to focus on tree ring dating, doing early research in eastern North America (Norris Basin) in the 1930s. Ellis began teaching at the University of New Mexico in 1934, teaching courses on archaeology and cultural anthropology until her retirement from UNM in 1971. In conjunction with teaching archaeology, she spear headed many archaeological field schools including Sapawe (1950s-1960s), Tsama (1971) Yunque / Yungue (1950s). As a woman, she received less money teaching classes normally taught by men. Not only a pioneer in her research and scholarship, she also helped pave the way for the acknowledgement and acceptance of women in academia. Ellis was honored as a Professor Emerita and, in 1988, was granted an honorary Doctorate of Letters by UNM. She also taught courses on archaeology at Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu from 1971 until her death. Her work at Ghost Ranch also involved excavations of Gallina area sites. Ellis also served as a consultant in numerous lawsuits involving Native American land and water claims.

Florence Hawley married Donovan Senter in 1936 and had one child, Andrea “Donita” Senter. They divorced in the late 1940s and she then married Bruce Ellis, a historian working in Santa Fe. She remained married to Bruce Ellis until his death in 1985.

Andrea Ellis Dodge (b. 1939 - d. 2009) was an artist, involved primarily with weaving (a.k.a. Donita Senter, Andrea Ellis, Andrea Eastin, and Andrea Senter). She was also an anthropologist and assisted her mother with overseeing excavations and working on land and water claims cases.


141 Boxes (73.5 linear feet)


The Florence Hawley Ellis Papers (1859-2009; bulk 1950-1989) include personal/biographical papers, correspondence, archaeological field school documentation, publications (published and unpublished articles, monographs, etc.), dendrochronology research, maps, photographs, and teaching and research material on the ethnology, archaeology and anthropology of the American Southwest. Ellis’ Papers also feature papers from her daughter, Andrea Ellis Dodge.

Separated Material

Objects and artifacts recovered during excavations may be reviewed pending approval of a research request submitted to the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Curator of Archaeology.

Processing Information

This project was made possible through grants funded by the State of New Mexico and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)
Florence Hawley Ellis Papers, 1859-2009
Edited Full Draft
Katherine Williams; T.S. Reinig
© 2015
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Maxwell Museum of Anthropology Repository