Patricia A. Etter papers

Finding aid created by Chinese Historical Society of Southern California staff using RecordEXPRESS
Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
411 and 415 Bernard Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
(323) 222-0856

Descriptive Summary

Title: Patricia A. Etter papers
Dates: 1976-1979
Collection Number: 2009 M.1 Etter
Creator/Collector: Etter, Patricia A., 1932-2013
Extent: 0.83 linear feet (2 boxes)
Repository: Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
Los Angeles, California 90012
Abstract: The collection documents Etter's research about 19th century Chinese opium pipes and smoking at two sites--Donner Summit, California; and Virginia City, Nevada.
Language of Material: English


The collection is open for qualified researchers.

Preferred Citation

Patricia A. Etter papers. Chinese Historical Society of Southern California

Acquisition Information

The collection was formally acquired by CHSSC in May 2009 as a donation made by Patricia A. Etter, with an authorized deed of gift.

Biography/Administrative History

Patricia A. Etter had a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Arizona in 1986; a Bachelor of Arts from California State University in 1979; and an Associate of Arts degree from Santa Monica College in 1977. She also received a Certification in Archives Management from the National Archives & Records Association in 1987; and a recognition as an Outstanding Anthropology Alumnus from California State University from 1991-1992. She was recipient of two Coke Wood Awards from Westerners International for the best journal article (both published in Overland Journal). She was author of To California on The Southern Route: A History and Annotated Bibliography. She was also the editor of An American Odyssey; and California Odyssey: A Journey of Southern Trails. Etter briefly worked under Paul G. Chace and Associates in California. She later served as a Manuscripts Librarian at the University of Arizona. Between 1989 and 2006, she was the curator of the Labriola National American Indian Data Center at Arizona State University (ASU); the center is a part of the American Indian Research Library. At ASU, she was a member of Emeritus College; was on the advisory board of the University Club; and was affiliated with ASU’s sponsorship with the Pima County Public Library’s Southwest Books of the Year program. In addition, Etter was on the Board of Directors of the Oregon California Trails Association and its Editorial Advisory Board; and was on the Editorial Board of the Western Historical Quarterly. Etter passed in 2013.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains correspondence, research materials, photographs, bibliographies, presentations, scrapbooks, published materials, and manuscripts dealing with the collection and study of opium pipes and opium smoking material. The two manuscripts included were used for William S. Evans’ classes who was the Professor of Archaeology at Santa Monica College from 1976-1878. Material were collected at two sites--Donner Summit, California; and Virginia City, Nevada. Also included is a copy of “West Coast Chinese and Opium Smoking,” Archeological Perspectives on Ethnicity in America. These material documents one of the first in-depth studies of opium pipes, accompanying paraphernalia and containers.

Indexing Terms

Chinese American
Chinese Americans --19th Century--History
Chinese Americans --19th Century--California--History
19th century