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Finding Aid to the Mildred Walter Manuscripts and Papers MS.236
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Preferred citation
  • Acquisition
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and contents
  • Processing history
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Mildred Walter Manuscripts and Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.236
    Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 5.3 Linear feet (9 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1933-1986
    Abstract: Mildred Walter (1896-1993) was a Spanish teacher in Los Angeles public high schools, and an avid fan of traditional Mexican costumes and folk dances. Mildred and her husband Keamer Walter danced in performances in Southern California in the 1950s and 1960s. This collection of manuscripts and papers created and collected by Mildred Walter spans from 1933-1986 and includes correspondence, personal papers, business and travel papers, lecture and draft manuscripts, and research files.
    Language: English, Spanish, Nahuatl.
    creator: Walter, Mildred


    Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org.


    Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred citation

    Mildred Walter Manuscripts and Papers, 1933-1986, Braun Research Libary Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.236; [folder number] [folder title][date].


    Donation by Mildred Walter, 1986 August 20.

    Biographical Note

    Mildred Josephine Hall was born on 1896 May 28 in Canada and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Mildred married R. H. (Robert Henry) Keamer Walter in 1917, and the couple moved to Los Angeles in 1921. Mildred taught Spanish in the Los Angeles public schools until her retirement in 1941. Mildred developed a strong interest in Mexican folk dances and costumes and compiled an annotated list on Mexican folk culture and a 112-page manuscript titled Dances of Mexico. According to Mrs. Walter, Dances of Mexico" was written by her in the 1950s and 1960s and reflects her experiences observing dances on approximately 40 trips to Mexico as well as additional research in libraries in the United States and Mexico. Together, Mildred and Keamer traveled through and collected information on folklore and dances in all states of Mexico. The Walters’ repeated travels through Mexico culminated in a collection of Mexican cultural items such as artwork, baskets, men’s and women’s costumes, dolls, jewelry, masks, pottery, toys, and wood carvings. The Walters called their collection Museo Mexicano Mildre and they would open this collection in their home and give lectures and slide shows by appointment.
    Mildred Walter was a devoted student of dance and remained active as a teacher and performer through her late 80s, even giving tango lessons at her house. Mildred danced often with the Antique Academy of Genteel Dance, which gave performances at Christmas programs at Heritage Square in Los Angeles. Mildred passed away on 1993 March 7.
    Sources: Notes prepared by Michael Heisley on 1986 September 5 based on a conversation with Mildred Walter in her home at 12125 Herbert Street, Mar Vista, California on 1986 August 20.

    Scope and contents

    Correspondence and personal papers make up a small amount of the collection. The majority of the collection can be found in the Business and Travel Papers series, the Lecture and Draft Manuscripts series, and the Research Files. Business and Travel Papers include information on Mexican dance, legends, and fiestas, as well as an extensive collection of maps, brochures, and tourist information for different locations in Mexico, as well as information on the Walters’ Museo Mexicano Mildre. The Lecture and Draft Manuscripts series includes manuscripts for lectures on Native Americans and dance and a 112-page annotated list of Mexican dances and dance terms. The Research Files include Walter’s research files from 1935-1985 on costume, dance, and Mexican history and culture.
    Materials in this collection includes books, drawings, magazines, newsletters, newspaper clippings, manuscripts, notes, photographs, and sheet music.

    Processing history

    Initial processing by Braun Library Staff. Biographical notes prepared by Michael Heisley 1986 September 5. Finding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Project Archivist, September 20, 2012, made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).


    • Series 1: Correspondence, 1948-1978
    • Series 2: Personal papers, 1963-1971
    • Series 3: Business and travel papers, 1953-1986
    • Series 4: Lecture and Draft Manuscripts, 1952-1960
    • Series 5: Oscar Lewis, 1964
    • Series 6: Research Files, 1933-1985

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Dance -- Mexico
    Indian dance
    Indians of North America
    Lectures and lecturing
    Legends -- Mexico
    Mexico -- Description and travel
    Mexico -- History
    Sheet music
    Travel literature