Skip to Content

Marian E. White Additional papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 22-9F-579

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the papers of Marian E. White concerning her research, teaching, and participation in departmental activities in the Department of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Much of the material concerns her interests in the archeology of Native Americans in Western New York.

Included in the papers are research proposals, documents concerning the operation of summer field schools and highway salvage efforts, materials concerning Marian E. White's participation in Anthropology Department affairs, correspondence, and other materials concerning the establishment of an anthropology museum at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Collection also contains papers concerning courses taught by Marian E. White including copies of exams, syllabi, handouts and other items such as evaluations of graduate student work. Also included are files concerning the Subcommittee on Baccalaureate Requirements of the Educational Planning and Policy Committee of the Faculty Senate, 1972-1973.

These papers are an addition to the Marian E. White Papers, 1934-1975 (22/9F/422) which include personal and professional correspondence, drafts of her articles and books, and other material concerning her work and the archeology of Native American cultures in Western New York.


  • 1960-1975


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Marian E. White Additional papers are open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

UB Anthropology Professor Frederick Gearing said that "Anthropology was Marian White's vocation. More than that, it was her life. More than that, even, anthropology was her religion" ( Reporter, 11/6/1975). Indeed, Marian White, a Professor of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, dedicated her career to western New York archaeology during her sixteen years of service at UB.

In 1942 White graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor's degree. Shortly after graduation she joined the Army Air Force, working from 1944 to 1945 as an IBM Tabulator Machine Operator.

Upon her return to civilian life, she held a position as a Science Guide at the Buffalo Museum of Science until 1952. White became the first woman to graduate from the University of Michigan with a doctorate in Anthropology in 1956.

After receiving her Ph.D., White worked for the next two years at the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences. Initially, White worked as a Research Associate in Archaeology at UB while simultaneously holding the position of Assistant Curator of Anthropology at the Buffalo Museum of Science. She also served as the Assistant Curator of Archaeology at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. In 1968, White was made full Professor in the Department of Anthropology, a position she held until her death on October 31, 1975.

White's archaeological fieldwork took her to Native American sites in New York, Illinois, and Canada. Her growing interest in highway salvage -- protecting important Native American archaeological sites from highway development -- led her to a variety of administrative honors and positions. In 1969, she established the Highway Salvage program at UB to protect lands from highway and industrial development. Her involvement in Native American issues did not end with her professional work; she often volunteered for the same Native American communities who had claims to the sites on which she worked. The Auburn Historical Society awarded White the Cornplanters Medal for her work with the Iroquois.

Marian White was an important part of efforts to preserve the local and regional history:

  1. She served as the first President of the New York Archaeological Council from 1972 to 1974.
  2. She served as the Director of the Niagara Frontier Archaeological Project.
  3. She was appointed by Governor Rockefeller to the New York State Board on Historic Preservation.

During her lifetime, White envisioned an anthropological research museum that would house the artifacts of North American archaeology. In 1979, the Marian E. White Anthropology Museum was established in association with the Anthropology Library.

She also helped organize the University at Buffalo Archaeological Survey which trains qualified Cultural Resource Management (CRM) professionals and provides CRM services to Western New York. The Survey's mission praises White as a "a staunch proponent and pioneer of historic preservation and CRM archaeology. The Survey continues as a legacy to her recognition of the need for qualified local professionals with regional interests in public archaeology and archaeological site protection."


Born, Hartland Corners, Niagara County, New York
B.A., Cornell University
Army Air Force, IBM Tabulator Machine Operator
Science Guide, Buffalo Museum of Science
M.A. in Anthropology, University of Michigan
Research Associate and Junior Anthropologist, Rochester Museum and Science Center
Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Michigan
Research Associate in Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo
Assistant Professor, University of Buffalo
Professor of Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo
Established Highway Salvage program, State University of New York at Buffalo
President, New York Archeological Council


9 Linear Feet (6 cartons)


Additional papers of Marian E. White concerning her research, teaching and participation in departmental activities in the Department of Anthropology. Materials include research proposals, documentation of salvage efforts, and course materials such as copies of exams, syllabi, and student evaluation. This collection supplements 22/9F/422, Marian E. White papers.


The collection is arranged in 9 series: I. Committees, II. Correspondence, III. Courses, IV. Field schools, V. Graduate Students - Anthropology Department, VI. Grants, VII. Highway salvage, VIII. Museums, and IX. New York Indians.

While the series have been reordered alphabetically, the papers have been maintained in the order they were in when received from the Anthropology Department.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the University Archives from the Department of Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo, via Marion Dickson on November 10, 1980.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

22/9F/422, Marian E. White papers, 1934-1975

Processing Information

Collection processed by Archives staff, circa 1980.

Finding Aid for the Marian E. White Additional papers
Finding aid prepared by Archives staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)