Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding aid to J. A. (Joseph Amasa) Munk Papers, 1834-1928 MS.209
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (103.60 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Separated Materials
  • Access
  • Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Related Archival Materials
  • Arrangement
  • Processing History
  • Scope and Contents note

  • Title: J. A. (Joseph Amasa) Munk Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.209
    Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 9.3 Linear feet 27 boxes
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1851-1928
    Date (inclusive): 1834-1928, undated
    Abstract: J. A. (Joseph Amasa) Munk was a Civil War veteran and a doctor of Eclectic Medicine. His interest in collecting publications on Arizona led him to create the Munk Library of Arizoniana, housed at the Southwest Museum. The J. A. (Joseph Amasa) Munk Papers includes papers, scrapbooks, bibliographic index cards of his Munk Library of Arizoniana, printing plates for his publication Arizona Sketches, badges, and photographs.
    creator: Lloyd-Butler, John, 22 February 1891-1973
    creator: Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859-1928.
    creator: McClintock, James H., 1864-1934
    creator: Munk, J. A. (Joseph Amasa), 1847-1927
    creator: Webster, Herbert T. (Herbert Tracy), b. 1836

    Separated Materials

    The following item was removed from Box 3, folder 74 to be added to the Palmer manuscripts: one letter from W. H. Holmes, Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology, to Dr. Palmer, 1907.
    The following items were removed from MS.209 to be added to their own manuscript collection: drawings and papers by 7th and 8th grade school children, and one birch bark memory book. These items were donated by Minnie Linton.
    The following items were separated to be cataloged and added to the Braun Research Library Collection: Arizona, The Denison News Co., Los Angeles, California and the Albertype Co., Brooklyn, New York. Separated from Box 1.
    Lockwood, Frank C., Three Remarkable Southwestern Libraries, an address delivered at the organizational meeting of a Friends of the Library group at the University of Arizona, April 30, 1940, Tucson, Arizona, 1940. Separated from Box 6.
    Munk, J. A., Descriptive Climatology of the Southwest: Read before the thirty-eighth Annual Session of the National Eclectic Medical Association, Kansas City, June 17-20, 1908, Los Angeles, California. Separated from Box 2, folder 32.
    Zimpel, Charles Franz, Die vegetabilische elektrizität zu heilzwocken und die homöopatisch-vegetabilischen hoilmittel des grafen Cesare Mattei, Leipzig, Verlag von Dr. Willmar Schwabe, 1869. Separated from Box 3, folder 56.


    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. A folder-level container list is available from library staff.


    Conditions Governing Use Note (Use): Copyright has not been assigned to the Braun Research Library at the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Braun Research Library as the owner 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

    J. A. (Joseph Amasa) Munk Papers, 1834-1928, Braun Research Library, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.209; [folder number] [folder title][date].


    This collection was donated to the Museum at an unknown date.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Dr. Joseph Amasa Munk was born on November 9, 1847 in North Georgetown, Ohio. He joined up with the Union Army from 1864-1865 and fought in the Civil War. When the war was over, he attended Mt. Union College in Ohio from 1865-1866 and then the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, graduating in 1869. While attending Mt. Union College, he met Emma S. Beazell, and they married in 1873. While in school, Munk also enjoyed learning to read and sing music, a hobby he continued on into the 1870s. By the time he published a book of his own compositions, he was the organist and choir leader of his church.
    Munk was living in Topeka, Kansas in 1884 when he made his first trip to Arizona to visit his brothers Edward and William on their cattle ranch. He came away from the trip so fascinated by Arizona that he set out to collect every publication he could find on the subject. He wrote articles about Arizona and the Southwest which were published in the same medical journals as his writings on medical topics. In 1892, Munk and his family moved to Los Angeles, where Munk was dean of the California Eclectic Medical College from 1907-1915 and president of the National Eclectic Medical Association in 1910.
    About ten years after reaching Los Angeles, Munk decided to open his collection of books to the public and began to seek out a fitting repository. While Arizona was the obvious choice, it was still just finding its footing as a state. Munk’s concerns of access, custodianship, and the lack of a fireproof building led him to decide not to donate the collection to the state of Arizona. Munk kept searching for the proper home for his collection and discussed this with his friend Charles Fletcher Lummis. They shared a concern for the fragility of the Southwestern lifestyle and the desire to preserve its culture.
    In 1903, Munk joined Lummis’s newly established local branch of the Archaeological Institute of America, whose ultimate goal was to create the Southwest Museum. In 1907, the Southwest Museum was incorporated into being, and Munk was elected to the Board of Trustees. In 1910, Munk donated his collection, which Lummis named the Munk Library of Arizoniana, to the Southwest Museum. After the University of Arizona built its own fireproof library in 1923, a bid was made to obtain the Munk Library of Arizoniana from the Southwest Museum. The request was denied, so Munk sent all of his collection's duplicates to the university instead. Munk continued to visit his library housed at the Southwest Museum up until his death on December 3, 1927.

    Related Archival Materials

    Charles F. Lummis Manuscript Collection, 1879-1928, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, Ca.; MS.1.
    George Bird Grinnell Manuscript Collection, 1815-1938, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, Ca.; MS.5.
    Hector and Laurena Alliot Manuscript Collection, 1901-1925, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, Ca.; MS.126.
    Joseph Grinnell papers, BANC MSS C-B 995, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.


    The collection is arranged into the following categories, and a folder-level container list is available.
    • Personal papers and manuscripts
    • Scrapbooks
    • Bibliographic index cards
    • Arizona Sketches printing plates
    • Badges
    • Photographs

    Processing History

    Initial processing and cataloging was performed by library staff and volunteers. Some manuscript materials were processed by Honora J. Hunt as part of the 1938 Historical Records Survey under the Works Progress Administration Division of Women's and Professional Projects. Additional processing and cataloging was performed by Holly Rose Larson, Project Archivist, funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) in 2011.

    Scope and Contents note

    The J. A. (Joseph Amasa) Munk Papers includes personal papers, scrapbooks, bibliographic index cards of his Munk Library of Arizoniana, printing plates for his publication Arizona Sketches, badges, and photographs.
    The collection of papers includes certificates received by Munk, correspondence, manuscripts by and about Munk, as well as manuscripts Munk collected. The manuscripts by Munk cover various topics, such as medicine, music, the Southwest, and his notes and proofs for his publication Southwest Sketches.
    Most of Munk’s medical articles were written for the California Eclectic Medical Journal or the Los Angeles Journal of Eclectic Medicine. These same journals also published Munk’s articles on the Southwest, Arizona, his botanical garden, his brother’s cattle ranch, and his collection of books which eventually became the Munk Library of Arizoniana.
    The photographs in this collection are of Munk in his professional and social life, and of Arizona people and landscapes.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Apache Indians.
    Arizona -- Geography.
    Arizona -- History.
    Book collecting.
    Geology -- Arizona.
    Hopi Indians.
    Medicine, Eclectic.
    Mines and mineral resources.
    Munk Library of Arizoniana (Southwest Museum. Los Angeles, Calif.)