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Guide to the Stan Steiner Papers, ca. 1940-1987 M0700
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope And Content
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation:
  • Provenance:
  • Publication Rights:
  • Access Restrictions:
  • Series Arranegment Note

  • Title: Stan Steiner Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M0700
    Contributing Institution: Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 69.0 Linear feet
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1940-1987

    Scope And Content

    The Steiner Papers include the personal and professional papers of Stan Steiner covering the time period from 1940 -1987 and occupy 69 linear feet. They document the personal and intellectual activities of a writer, a social historian, a moralist, a folklorist, an anecdotalist, and a myth-teller. His writings-some twenty books and countless articles-are a continuing search for vanishing cultures and the histories of forgotten people, specifically of the American West. To that end, Steiner wrote about Native Americans, the Chinese who helped build the West, Mexican Americans, New Mexico and New Mexicans, ranchers, farmers, cowboys, and Islanders. His goal was to disabuse his readers of stereotypes and misinformed images of the West by telling the complicated, nuanced, and elemental stories of these people in their own words, what Steiner called "testimonials." His manuscripts provide multiple draft copies of many of these testimonies as well as typed manuscripts and photostats of typed drafts and published works by Steiner.
    Comprising 138 manuscript boxes, the papers are also a valuable trove of clippings and ephemera in the post-War era, documenting everything from right-wing organizations and social movements to Native American tribes and land policy, to the farm worker movements. These interests carry over into Steiner's correspondence and audiotapes, as well, including fairly extensive documentation of correspondence with such notables as Vine Deloria and Cesar Chavez, among others.
    Steiner once wrote, "the roots of America, which are its true heritage and will be its only salvation, are what I seek in my work. For these are my roots. And in seeking and finding them there is joy and peace. There is no other." This collection documents Steiner's lifetime of seeking.


    Stan Steiner was born on January 1, 1925, son of Bernard and Regina Storch Steiner of Brooklyn. After attending the University of Wisconsin for a year, Steiner hitchhiked West from New York in 1945 and began a forty year love affair with the people and places of the American West. The center of his personal and working life until his death was the reevaluation of the history of the West from a Western perspective. This took the form of his many books, from his earliest The Last Horse (1961) to the posthumous publication, edited by Emily Skretny Drabanski, of The Waning of the West (1989).Along the way, Steiner's wrote several seminal works, among them The New Indians (1968), La Raza : The Mexican Americans (1969), The Tiguas : Lost Tribe of City Indians (1972), The Islands : The World of the Puerto Ricans (1974), The Vanishing White Man (1976), Fusang : The Chinese who Built America (1979), Spirit Woman : The Diaries of Bonita Wa Wa Calachaw Nunez (editor, 1980), The Ranchers (1980, rev. 1985), and Dark and Dashing Horsemen (1981).
    Steiner was a member of the Western Writers of America, the Chinese Historical Society of America, and the Western History Association. He was also a founding member of the National Association for Lawman and Outlaw History and the founder and president of the Writers' Cooperative of Santa Fe. He was the recipient of the 1971 Ainsfield Wolf Award from the Saturday Review for La Raza, the 1973 and 1977 Golden Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America for The Tiguas and The Vanishing White Man. Steiner also received a National Endowment grant in 1983. He taught at many colleges and universities throughout the United States and Europe.
    Stan Steiner died in 1987. He is survived by his wife, Vera John-Steiner, the Presidential Professor of Linguistics and Education, University of New Mexico and his three children, Suki, Sandor, and Paul.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Stan Steiner Papers, M0700, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    Donative purchase from Vera John-Steiner, 1994

    Publication Rights:

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Access Restrictions:


    Series Arranegment Note

    Series I. Subject Files Subject Files make up the bulk of the collection. Steiner's clippings, notes, articles, and ephemera are arranged roughly following Steiner's own organization. For clarity, however, primary groupings have been articulated. These groupings have been organized alphabetically. Series II. Correspondence The Correspondence Series is organized into three primary groupings. The bulk of this series is organized chronologically. The second group is an alphabetical collection of correspondence related to the production of his various books, including correspondence with his publishers and fan notes. Finally, the third group of correspondence is general correspondence arranged alphabetically. Series III. Manuscripts by Steiner Steiner's manuscripts, notes on his manuscripts, and collected ephemera related to his manuscripts are gathered here alphabetically by title. Following the provenance of the collection, we have preserved the working titles Steiner gave to his manuscripts. For example, manuscript drafts of The Spirit Woman are available under S and N, following Steiner's working title: The Notebooks of Wa Wa Chaw. The manuscripts are arranged alphabetically. Series IV. Manuscripts by Others Manuscripts by others are arranged alphabetically. Series V. Notebooks Steiner's notebooks are arranged chronologically. Series VI. Reviews Reviews are arranged alphabetically by title. Series VII. Business Files Business Files are arranged alphabetically. Series VIII. Audiovisual Materials Audiovisual materials are arranged into three groups by format: audiocassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, and motion pictures. Within the formats, the materials are arranged alphabetically by title of Steiner's work followed by Steiner's own notation. Steiner's organization of the materials for each work has been preserved. Series IX. Clippings Clippings are a collection of miscellany left disorganized at Steiner's death. They have been organized into basic groupings which follow the organization of the subject files. Series X. Lectures and Academe Series 10 is organized alphabetically. Series XI. Publications Publications are organized alphabetically. Series XII. Steiner Library The Steiner Library is only a container listing. These volumes can be found in Stanford University Libraries stacks.