Message #370:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Pecos Conference Archives
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 96 12:31:00 MST
Encoding: 113 TEXT

From: Alan Shalette


As a member of the Pecos '97 organizing committee, some months ago I begain 
inquiring about the existence of an archive of Pecos Conference materials 
which we might use for planning purposes. None of those with whom I spoke 
(with the exception of Brian Kenny) was aware of the collection at the 
Museum of New Mexico's Laboratory of Anthropology (the Lab). Moreover, I 
learned that at least some prior records had been, or would be discarded 
because there was no place to store them on a permanent basis.

Richard Woodbury, in his history of the conference (UNM Press, 1993), 
reports "For the earlier years there was no attempt either to record details 
of the program  or to keep notes on its contents, although sometimes quite 
extensive information has survived in the files of host institutions. At the 
suggestion of Kidder, Stanley Stubbs began, in the 1940s, a systematic 
Conference archival record at the Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe. 
Stewart Peckham took over the responsibility for the Pecos Conference 
Archives after (Stubb's death in) 1959 and generously provided a great deal 
of material for this history. He has been succeeded by Willow Powers, the 
Laboratory's archivist."

I contacted Willow Powers, current archivist at the Lab, to learn about the 
archive and to discuss both my current interests, and broader issues 
concerning the collection.

Willow passed on the following information about the Lab's Pecos Conference 

There seems to have been no regular communication about the PCA in recent 
years, so it's easy to see how its existence may not be widely known.

The PCA has been little-used in the recent past. Richard Woodbury notes his 
use of the PCA as a source for writing his history. On the other hand, he 
reports "What began as a modest effort grew and grew, thanks to the steady 
accumulation of information and records from many people and places. Perhaps 
novels are written by a single person, but any historical account depends on 
myriad sources and much generous assistance, as I record in the 
acknowledgements. Sources range from letters about a coming year's program 
and mimeographed handouts to formal reports in news-letters, and 
professional journals, enriched by personal recollections." In addition to 
the PCA at the Lab and a large number of individuals and organizations who 
supplied information about individual conferences, Woodbury's 
acknowledgements include collections at the Department of Anthropology and 
the Arizona State Museum Archives at the University of Arizona, and the 
Library of the Museum of Northern Arizona.

The PCA is contained in just two record boxes (about 10 in. x 15 in.).

Records for the first 19 years (1927-1945) appear to have been collected at 
a later date in an unknown fashion.

Records from 1946 through 1994 appear to have been collected 
contemporaneously, there being a folder for each year.

The latter group chiefly contains materials regarding organization of the 
conferences - typically, mailing lists, correspondence, and meeting 
programs. There are some photos and slides and some audio tapes from the 
1959 and 1960 conferences. Aside from the audio tapes, whose contents have 
not been identified, there are practically no materials containing papers 
presented at the conferences.

Those who'd like to use the PCA must access it on-site at the Lab, there 
being no provision for support services.

The foregoing suggests a number of issues on which comments are solicited:

1. Should the current contents of the PCA be surveyed in detail and the 
results be distributed? What about the other collections noted above?

2. What should be the contents of the PCA? Woodbury comments "The planners 
and hosts of future Conferences are urged to deposit records of all kinds in 
the Pecos Conference Archives (at the Lab)."

3. How should/might the PCA be used - as a historical resource, or for more 
active support for organizing future conferences, (the current practice 
being to pass information along on an informal basis from each conference 
committee to those organizing the following year's event)?

Responses to these issues, naturally, will lead to other questions. If the 
need for change is widely desired, the Pecos '97 committee anticipates 
formulating a proposal to be presented at the business meeting next year.

Please send your comments to:

Alan Shalette
5294 Mesa Del Oso NE, Albuquerque, NM  87111
(505) 291-9653

Thanks !

[ SASIG Ed. Note  --  I have seen taken at the Pecos Conferences extensive 
notes, tape recordings and numerous photos.  SWA put up the Pecos Conference 
T-Shirt archive at  I am 
sure there are yet other small reservoirs of Pecos Conference data.  Perhaps 
Pecos Conference archives should be discussed as institutions around the 
Southwest establish their regional uniform and accessible electronic site 
file data bases.... Perhaps an NCPTT or other grant program can provide 
funding to create a virtual archive as well as put past data on line..... 
 Without harming the informal nature of the Conference as it has existed to 
date, wouldn't it be helpful for Pecos Conference organizers to specify 
requirements for participants --  submission in electronic format of an 
outline, abstact, or full text version of a proposed talk ???   I too am 
curious what others think about our collective organiztion of the Pecos 
Conference --  Brian Kenny ]