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George B. Gordon General Ethnology Section Records

0066

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
Creator:
Gordon, G. B. (George Byron), 1870-1927
Title:
George B. Gordon General Ethnology Section Records
Date [inclusive]:
1903-1913
Call Number:
0066
Extent:
2.75 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
George Byron Gordon, explorer in Central America and Alaska, and first to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, was born in New Perth, Prince Edward Island, Canada on August 4,1870. Gordon joined the Free Museum of Science and Art(later the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology)in 1903 as Assistant Curator in the Section of General Ethnology. Gordon was appointed Director of the Free Museum of Science and Art in 1910 and oversaw one of the largest periods of growth in its collection and prestige. The records of the General Ethnology Section fill three archival boxes of alphabetical correspondence. Five bound letter books also record correspondence from 1902 to 1910.
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Biography/History

George Byron Gordon, explorer in Central America and Alaska, and first to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, was born in New Perth, Prince Edward Island, Canada on August 4,1870. He was the son of James Gordon and Jane MacLaren Gordon, one of six children. Gordon attended the University of South Carolina for one year in 1888 then completed his degree at Harvard University. Selected as an assistant to John G. Owens in 1892, Gordon accompanied Owens on the Harvard-sponsored excavation at Copan, Honduras. When Owens died in the field, Gordon was given the leadership to close down that portion of the work and then continued as Director of the next six sessions in Copan, until 1900. While performing these duties, Gordon attained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1894.

Gordon joined the Free Museum of Science and Art(later the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology)in 1903 as Assistant Curator in the Section of General Ethnology. He led two expeditions to Alaska, in 1905 and 1907 with his brother MacLaren Gordon. The Gordons chose a new approach to exploration of the region. They descended the Yukon River to Tanana, then followed the Tanana south reaching formerly unknown Lake Minchumina, the source of the Kuskokwim River. Gordon named the hitherto unknown aboriginal tribe from this area as "Kuskwagamutes." His trip laid the groundwork for future exploration in the area and was described in Gordon's book, In the Alaskan Wilderness(Philadelphia:John C.Winston Company,1917).

While selected courses in Anthropology had been offered in the field at the University of Pennsylvania by Daniel Garrison Brinton, George Gordon was first to teach a regular schedule of undergraduate and graduate courses from 1907 through 1915. During this time, the Department of Anthropology was established by Frank G. Speck. Gordon was appointed Director of the Free Museum of Science and Art in 1910 and oversaw one of the largest periods of growth in its collection and prestige. He established the Museum Journal which later became the Museum Bulletin. Gordon is also known for his keen eye as a collector, purchasing the finest of antiquities and driving a hard bargain to obtain them. He oversaw additions to the Museum's collection of treasures from Mesopotamia, Palestine, Egypt, and the American Continent. Gordon's most lasting gift is the Museum's Chinese collection.

Gordon was a voracious reader and writer of both scholarly works and those in the literary vein. He wrote on the history of London in, Rambles in Old London(Philadelphia:George W. Jacobs & Co.,1924) and this collection contains examples of his attempts to publish more popular material.

In 1926, the University of Pennsylvania conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Science on George Byron Gordon. Gordon died, following an accident at the Philadelphia Racquet Club, on January 30, 1927. At the time of his death, Gordon was Director of expeditions conducted by field staff in Beisan (Bet Sh'ean)in the area then known as Mesopotamia(Israel) and at Ur(Iraq).

Gordon was a member of the American Philosophical Society, the Franklin Inn Club, the Lenape Club, the Rittenhouse Club, the Explorer's Club of New York, the American Anthropological Association, the American Ethnological Society, and the Authors Club of London. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Scope and Contents

George Byron Gordon, explorer in Central America and Alaska, and first to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, was born in New Perth, Prince Edward Island, Canada on August 4,1870. Gordon attended the University of South Carolina for one year in 1888 then completed his degree at Harvard University. Selected as an assistant to John G. Owens in 1892, Gordon accompanied Owens on the Harvard-sponsored excavation at Copan, Honduras. When Owens died in the field, Gordon was given the leadership to close down that portion of the work and then continued as Director of the next six sessions in Copan, until 1900. While performing these duties, Gordon attained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1894.

Gordon joined the Free Museum of Science and Art(later the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology)in 1903 as Assistant Curator in the Section of General Ethnology.

Gordon was appointed Director of the Free Museum of Science and Art in 1910 and oversaw one of the largest periods of growth in its collection and prestige. He established the Museum Journal which later became the Museum Bulletin. Gordon is also known for his keen eye as a collector, purchasing the finest of antiquities and driving a hard bargain to obtain them.

In 1926, the University of Pennsylvania conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Science on George Byron Gordon.

Gordon died, following an accident at the Philadelphia Racquet Club, on January 30, 1927. At the time of his death, Gordon was Director of the expeditions conducted by field staff in Beisan(Bet Sh'ean)in the area then known as Mesopotamia(Israel)and at Ur(Iraq).

The records of the General Ethnology Section fill three archival boxes. Five bound letterbooks complete the collection. The material is divided into four series, the reports consist of section and treasurer's information filed by date; notes and correspondence related to gordon's anthropology courses also filed by date, the alphabetical correspondence and the bound letterbooks, organized by year and then alphabetically within the year.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives,  July 22, 2013

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Eyermann

Revision Description

 7/17/2014

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

George B. Gordon Director's Office Records George Byron Gordon Central American Expedition Records George Byron Gordon Personal Papers

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Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Correspondence
Personal Name(s)
  • Boas, Franz, 1858-1942
  • Coxe, Eckley B., 1839-1895
  • Furness, William H., III
  • Gordon, G. B. (George Byron), 1870-1927
  • Stevenson, Sara Yorke, 1847-1921
  • Woolley, C. Leonard, Sir, 1880-1960
Subject(s)
  • Anthropology
  • Ethnology
  • Finance

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Collection Inventory

Alphabetical Correspondence, 1903-1913. 2 Linear feet.

Box
"A", 1903-1909.
1
Box

Aaronson, Mrs. A. A.

1

Abbot, Rev. Wilfred H.

1

Allen, J. H. Dulles.

1

Alvard, Clarence W.

1

Anatomical Laboratory of Charles H. Ward.

1

Antique Galleries, The.

1

Avery, S. P.

1
"B", 1903-1909.
1
Box

Balis, L. L.

1

Balline, C. F.

1

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company.

1

Bandelier, Ad. F.

1

Barber, Edwin A.

1

Barr, James A.

1

Barrows, Richard Lee.

1

Beattie, Mrs. Aubrey.

1

Bedford, J. Claude.

1

Belville, J. E.

1

Benedict, Laura E. W.

1

Bergmann, Carl F. W.

1

Berolzheimer, D. D.

1

Blake, W.W.

1

Blauch, D. D.

1

Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

1

Boyle, David.

1

Bradford, Mary M.

1

Brainerd, H. J.

1

Brennon, J.R.

1
Bin

Brixen, J.

1
Box

Broomall, Henry L.

1

Brown, Charles E.

1

Bunge, Ed.

1

Burbank, E. A.

1

Burton, John E.

1

Bushnell, D. R. Jr.

1

Barnes, A. E., 1909.

1

Beals, A. T., 1905.

1

Beckwith, Paul E., 1903-1904.

1

Benham Indian Trading Co., 1905.

1

Bhumgara, F. P. and Company, 1904-1909.

1

Blechynden, 1905-1906.

1

Boas, F.-Museum-related Correspondence, 1905-1909.

1

Boas, F.-Professional Correspondence, 1905-1908.

1

Boas, F.-Correspondence re: International School, 1908-1909.

1

Bodine, Samuel T., 1903-1909.

1

Bowditch, Charles, 1904-1909.

1

Breton, Adela, 1905-1909.

1

Brinton, Mrs. D. G., 1904-1905.

1
"C", 1903-1909.
1
Box

Cadwalader, John.

1

Canby, W. W.

1

Carnegie Institution of Washington.

1

Carpenter, William D.

1

Cary, E.

1

Chadman, Wallace C.

1

Chamberlin, Frank.

1

Champion, Honore.

1

Chapman, Henry.

1

Chase, J. W.

1

Clark, John A.

1

Clay, A.T.

1

Coates, Joseph H.

1

Coffen, Herbert.

1

Cole, George L.

1

Colket, C. Howard.

1

Collins, Lewis J.

1

Collins, Mae E.

1

Columbia University.

1

Congdon and Co.

1

Cooke, Mrs. R. S.

1

Cookrie, James H.

1

Covert, Frank M.

1

Craine, Dick.

1

Cruz, Dr. A.

1

Culin, Stewart.

1

Cushing, Emily.

1

Coxe, Eckley B. Jr., 1903-1909.

2

Curtis, Edward S., 1906-1909.

2
"D", 1903-1909.
2
Box

Dana, Charles E.

1

David, M.

1

Davids, Richard N.

1

Deam, Charles C.

1

Decora, Angel.

1

Dellenbaugh, F. S.

1

Dengler, J. G.

1

Doerner, J.

1

Dorsey, George A.

1

Dowling, Thomas.

1

Downing, C. G.

1

Drexel, Mary.

1

Dalton, Rufus H., 1906-1907.

2

Donne, T.E., 1904-1906.

2

Drexel, Lucy Wharton, 1903-1909.

2
"E", 1903-1909.
2
Box

Easetake, Frances Anne.

1

Egypt Exploration Fund.

1

Erney, Auguste M.

1

Explorers Club.

1
"F", 1903-1909.
2
Box

deFabrega, H. Vittier.

2

Fackenthal, B. F., Jr.

2

Fairbanks, Arthur.

2

Fairweathers Ltd.

2

Falconer, Fred R.

2

Farabee, William C.

2

Fassett, L.H. (Mrs).

2

Finsch, O.

2

Fitler, Daniel.

2

Fletcher, Alice C.

2

Fletcher, Robert H.

2

Fogel, E. M.

2

Fox, M. H.

2

Frankfort.

2

Franklin, Thomas.

2

Frick, Charles E.

2

Fulton, L.

2

Friends University Biblical School, Wichita, Kansas.

2

Furness, William H. Curator, 1904-1905.

2
"G", 1903-1909.
2
Box

Gentry, A. F.

2

Geuthner, Paul.

2

Giliolo, Henry H.

2

Gimbi, A. H.

2

Giuntini, Lorenzo.

2

Goodman, J. T.

2

Gordon, Anna M. J.

2

Gould, A.

2

Goward, Gustavos.

2

Graham, Robert.

2

Greenman, M. J.

2

Groll, George.

2

Grover, Frederick O.

2

Gue, Margaret B.

2
"H", 1903-1909.
2
Box

Haddon, Alfred C.

2

Hardy, M.

2

Harper, J. F.

2

Harrison, Alfred C.

2

Harrison, Charles C.

2

Hartman, C. V.

2

Haugan, John J.

2

Heckmenn, John.

2

Heming, Arthur.

2

Hesse, W. H.

2

Hewett, Edgar L.

2

Hilprecht, Herman V.

2

Holt, C. A.

2

Hrdlicka, A.

2

Hunter, M. R.

2

Hussey, Caryle P.

2

Hyde, T.B., 1905.

2

Hill, Walter C., General Collection, 1907.

2

Hodge, F. W., 1904-1909.

2

Holmes, W. H., Smithsonian Institute, 1903-1909.

2

Houston, S. F., 1904-1909.

2

Huston, J. T., 1905-1909.

2
"I", 1903-1909.
2
Box

Indian Curio Co.

2
"J", 1903-1909.
2
Box

Johnson, Charles S. (Mary D.).

2

Jones, Frances D.

2

Jordan, John W.

2
"K", 1903-1909.
2
Box

Keen, Florence.

2

Kendall, William C.

2

Kendall, F. P.

2

Kern, D. N.

2

Kervey, H. Rush.

2

Kingsford, H. S.

2

Kirkbride, Franklin B.

2

Knowles, W. H.

2

Krantz, F.

2

Kroeber, Alfred Louis.

2

Krouse, W. H.

2

Kurtz, A. W.

2
"L", 1903-1909.
2
Box

Lamon, D.

2

Land Title Building.

2

Landell, Helen.

2

Landis, D. H.

2

Landsberg, Frederick.

2

Laufer, Berthold.

2

Leatherbee, Ethel B.

2

Leavitt, W. A.

2

Leidy, Joseph.

2

Leiper, Katharine S.

2

Leitner, L.

2

Lenders, E. W.

2

Lester, Francis E.

2

Lewis, John F.

2

Longstreth, William W.

2

Loring, E. R.

2

Low, Lyman H.

2

Lyall, Herbert J.

2
"M", 1903-1909.
2
Box

Macauley, Mary Yorke.

2

MacCurdy, George Grant.

2

Macknight, Dodge.

2

Malghieri, Xenophon.

2

Marks, H. E.

2

Marshall, Henry.

2

Martin, J. W.

2

Martinez, J.

2

Mason, George E.

2

Mason, O. T.

2

Maudslay, Alfred P.

2

Mayer, Abraham.

2

Mayo, G.

2

Mayo, Katherine.

2

McDaniel, Walton B.

2

McGee, W. J.

2

McKenzie, R. Tait.

2

McKinley, C. W.

2

Mead, Charles W.

2

Mead, Francis H.

2

Meyer Limited.

2

Michell, W. P.

2

Mitchell, S. Weir.

Box

Moley, F. J.

2

Molina, Audomara.

2

Montgomery, James A.

2

Mooney, James.

2

Moorehead, Warren K.

2

Morley, Sylvanus.

2

Morris, John T.

2

Mortimer, J. R.

2

Moses, D.

2

Myres, John L.

2

McHugh, Jane M., 1904-1908.

3
"N", 1903-1909.
3
Box

Nadeau, I. A.

2

Nelson, E. W.

2

Newcombe, C. F.

2

Newell, George F.

2

Newton, Elsie E.

2

Nichols, H.

2

Nitzsche, George E.

2

Northern Pacific Railway Company.

2

Nuttall, Zelia.

2

Nicholson, Grace, 1903-1909.

3
"O", 1903-1909.
3

Olney, Charles F.

Orchard, W. C.

Ord, James T.

deOwen, G.

"P", 1903-1909.
3
Box

Palen, Edward F.

3

Pardee, C.

3

Pearsall, M. C.

3

Penniman, Josiah H.

3

Pennypacker, James L.

3

Pepper, Frances.

3

Perie, Harry.

3

dePerigrey, M. de.

3

Philadelphia Museums.

3

Pieris, Paul E.

3

Pierson, Ida G.

3

Platt, Elizabeth.

3

Pollak, L.

3

Pollock, Alliston and Thomas.

3

Porloch, Thomas.

3

Potts, C. S.

3

Prince, J. D.

3

Purcell, Edith J.

3

Putnam, F. W.

3

Patterson, E.E., 1905-1908.

3

Peeso, Frederic E., 1906-1908.

3

Pepper, B. Franklin, 1906-1909.

3

Pepper, George H., 1905-1909.

3
"R", 1903-1910.
3
Box

Rathbun, Richard.

3

Rausch, Edward.

3

Ray, P. H.

3

Read, Theo H.

3

Reimach, Thomas.

3

Rhoads, Edward D.

3

Rhoads, E. M.

3

deRicci, Seymour.

3

Ridgely, L. B.

3

Robinson, Edward.

3

Roddy, T. R.

3

Rogers, Fred M.

3

Rondinella, L. F.

3

Rosengarten, J. G.

3

Roth, H.

3

Rothenberger, Urias.

3

Rowe, L. S.

3

Ruger, Henry A.

3

Rupp, S. Edwin.

3
"S", 1903-1909.
3

Saiger, Walter J.

Saleeby, A. M.

Samios, Frank.

Samuels, M. D.

Sands, Winfield S.

Savage, M. F.

Saville, Marshall.

Sehnback, Fred.

Schernikow, E. O.

Schlatter, Karl.

Schoechert, Emma.

Schoff, Wilfred H.

Schwartz, J. S.

Box

deSchweinitz, Paul.

3

Scott, Charles P. G.

3

Scott, S. M.

3

Seler, D.

3

Seton-Karl, H. W.

3

Simms, S. C.

3

Skiff, F. J.

3

Slack, T. A.

3

Smith, Harry T.

3
Bin

Smith, Sam Jr.

3
Box

Soloman, Julian N. Jr.

3

Soper, Daniel E.

3

Sprugt, Carlo.

3

Standley, J. E.

3

Stefansson, V.

3

Steiner, H. H.

3

Steiner, Roland.

3

Stengel, Alfred.

3

Sterne, Alan H.

3

Stevenson, Matilda Coxe.

3

Stewardson, E. L.

3

Stewart, W. H.

3

Stuch, Hudson.

3

Swanton, John R.

3

Swentzel, H. J.

3
"W", 1903-1909.
3
Box

Walsh, H. C.

3

Ward, Fanny B.

3

Wetherbee, B. H.

3

West, George.

3

Wetherill, Richard.

3

Whittekin, F. F.

3

Whittendale, Katharine.

3

Wicks, Moye.

3

Wiestling, J. M.

3

Willey, Day Allen.

3

Williams, Talcott.

3

Williams, H.

3

Wissler, Clark.

3

Wister, F. A.

3

Woodman, George B.

3

Wren, Christopher.

3

Wrigbe, Mario R.

3

Stevenson, Sara Yorke, 1903-1909.

3
"T", 1903-1909.
3
Box

Taft, Charles P.

3

Taney, W. C.

3

Tew, Margaret W.

3

Thompson, Edward.

3

Thompson, May A.

3

Tidball, Benjamin B.

3

Tozzer, Alfred M.

3
"U-V", 1903-1909.
3
Box

Union League House.

3

deValle, V.

3

Vaux, George Jr.

3

Vernen, S. P.

3

Volk, Ernest.

3

Ward, Charles H., 1904-1907.

3

Wiestling, G. E., 1903-1909.

3

Willoughby, Charles C., 1903-1909.

3

Woolley, C. Leonard, 1907-1909.

3
"Y", 1908-1909.
3
Box

Yarnall, Charlton.

3

Yerxa, Cabot A.

3

Young, L.

3
"Z", 1904-1906.
3
Box

Zavaleta, Manuel B.

3

Zimmerman, E. H.

3

Reports.

Box

Section reports 1903-1905 (1 of 2).

1

Section reports 1906-1910 (2 of 2).

1

Treasurer's reports 1902-1912.

1

Teaching.

Box

Anthropology courses 1903-1910.

1

Bound Letterbooks, 1902-1910. 0.75 Linear feet.

Volume

Number 1 1902-1905.

1

Number 2 1905-1906.

2

Number 3 1906-1908.

3

Number 4 1908-1909.

4

Number 5 1909-1910.

5