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Guide to the Charles F. Lummis Papers
MS-R033  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Charles F. Lummis explored and documented the culture and history of the Southwest in his writings and photography from 1884 until his death in 1928. A resident of Los Angeles for most of his life, Lummis was city editor of the Los Angeles Daily Times, city librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, an advocate of Native American rights, and founder of the Landmarks Club and the Southwest Museum. This collection contains a portion of his prolific correspondence to friends and colleagues, documents his tenure as Los Angeles Public Librarian, provides a sample of his photography, and offers a rare glimpse into his college interests and activities.
Background
Charles Fletcher Lummis explored and documented the cultures and histories of Spanish California and the Southwest through his writings and photography from 1884 until his death in 1928. He resided in Los Angeles for most of his life and influenced Southern California as city editor of the Los Angeles Daily Times, city librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, and an advocate of Native American rights. He gained fame in 1884 during his "tramp across America," when he walked from Ohio to California, dispatching newspaper articles about his adventures and gaining respect for the Southwest and its people as he went. He wrote numerous books, reported on the injustices committed against Native Americans, battled to have Native American children released from government schools and returned to their families, advised President Theodore Roosevelt on "Indian affairs," and established the Sequoya League to defend Native American rights. Lummis also photographed and explored the Southwest, Mexico, Central America, and South America, collecting artifacts along the way. He also collected Native American and Spanish folktales and recorded many traditional songs on wax cylinders. He founded the Southwest Museum in Los Angles to share his collections with the public and established the Landmarks Club to restore the old Spanish missions. Lummis' campaigns and editorials in favor of preserving Native American and Spanish culture were unusual for the time and often generated great debate.
Extent
5.6 linear feet (14 boxes and 1 oversized folder)
Restrictions
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Availability
The collection is open for research. Box 1 is restricted due to fragility and mold. Special arrangements must be made to use it. Box 13 is restricted due to fragility of the materials. Photocopies were not made for these items; special permission is required to use them. Box 14 is restricted due to mold. Photocopies were made and have been integrated into the collection.