University of Pennsylvania Finding Aids

Navigation Aids

University of Pennsylvania Finding Aids
Search Finding Aids
 

Main Content

Harriet Newell Wardle American Section records

0050

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:
Wardle, Harriet Newell (H.N.), 1875-1964
Title:
Harriet Newell Wardle American Section records
Date [inclusive]:
1929-1955
Call Number:
0050
Extent:
1.2 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
Harriet Newell Wardle came to the University Museum as a volunteer after resigning her position at the Academy of Natural Sciences. She was named assistant curator in the American Section in 1931. Wardle’s work at the Museum centered on the material culture of the South American Indian tribes particularly the double cloth weaving technique and square pile hats of Peru and textiles from the Uhle expedition. The Wardle curatorial papers consist of three boxes of records. Much of the collection is devoted to correspondence, filed in several categories, alphabetically, by area of the American Section, specific object related and those letters pertaining to textiles. Numerous notes taken as a part of her extensive research on Peruvian textiles are a large portion of the research section along with general research notes. Wardle's research notes include texts for 1940s era radio broadcasts on American Indian tribes. Several of Wardle's research papers, mostly unpublished outside of the Museum Bulletin, are a part of the "publications" series.
PDF Version:

Return to Top »

Biography/History

Harriet Wardle was born in Philadelphia and attended Friends Central School and Mount Vernon Seminary. Her involvement in the field of Anthropology began in early adulthood. Wardle’s first appointment was as a “Jessup Student” in 1899 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and she was one of the founding members of the American Anthropology Association (1902), later serving on various committees and as President. From 1905 to 1920 Wardle served as assistant to the curator in charge of the Department of Archaeology at the Academy. Her special project involved the collection of Clarence B. Moore. Wardle was the cataloguer of most of the specimens from Moore’s “mound builder” expeditions.

In 1929, the Academy decided to close the Anthropology Department and planned to sell the collections. Most of them, including that of C.B. Moore, were sold to the Heye Foundation, Museum of the American Indian in New York City. Wardle was opposed to the sale and eventually resigned her position. Wardle came to the University Museum as a volunteer, rising to assistant curator in the American Section in 1931. Ironically, the remainder of the Academy of Natural Sciences' collection from the disbanded anthropology section came to the Museum on permanent loan. Wardle was responsible for re-cataloging these items. Wardle’s work at the Museum centered on the material culture of the South American Indian tribes particularly the double cloth weaving technique and square pile hats of Peru and textiles from the Uhle expedition. The collection contains an unpublished monograph, worked on for much of her life, about Peruvian cloth and weaving. Her written contributions mostly consist of short works, many published in the Museum Bulletin (and others unpublished,) and voluminous notes on the objects from the region. Wardle wanted to write about an early exploration of the Chira Valley of Peru as seen by Samuel M. Scott and planned to report on the masks and wooden objects from Key Marco, Florida housed in the Museum. However she did not accomplish either task before her death in 1964.

Wardle worked during a time of rampant sexism in the professions. For that reason, she used the name H.N. Wardle or H. Newell Wardle for work and publication.

Wardle retired from the Museum in 1948 but was active in museum affairs long after. In 1960, the American Anthropology Association honored Harriet Newell Wardle and Dr. A.L. Kroeber of the University of California by dedicating a volume of Selected Papers of the American Anthropology Association, 1888-1920 to them.

Scope and Contents

Harriet Newell Wardle was born in Philadelphia and attended Friends Central School and Mount Vernon Seminary. Her involvement in the field of Anthropology began in early adulthood. Wardle’s first appointment was as a “Jessup Student” in 1899 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and she was one of the founding members of the American Anthropology Association (1902), later serving on various committees and as President. From 1905 to 1920 Wardle served as assistant to the curator in charge of the Department of Archaeology at the Academy. Her special project involved the collection of Clarence B. Moore. Wardle was the cataloguer of most of the specimens from Moore’s “mound builder” expeditions.

In 1929, the Academy decided to close the Anthropology Department and planned to sell the collections. Most of them, including that of C.B. Moore, were sold to the Heye Foundation, Museum of the American Indian in New York City. Wardle opposed the sale and eventually resigned her position.

Wardle came to the University Museum as a volunteer. she was named assistant curator in the American Section in 1931.

Wardle worked alongside J. Alden Mason, curator of the American Section assisting Mason with the monthly American Section reports (1941-1948. She, along with Edgar Howard and Linton Satterthwaite contributed to the appendices of the reports. Wardle also worked on the records of the Key Marco Expedition and the Stephens Collection.

The Wardle curatorial papers consist of three boxes of records. A large portion is an alphabetical file of correspondence (she retired in 1948 but was active long after). There are numerous notes in the collection taken as a part of her extensive research on Peruvian textiles. This is also represented in her correspondence with Elsie Mc Dowell who provided pictures of textiles and workers at the loom along with discussions of places and people in the archaeological community.

Wardle's papers include texts for 1940s era radio broadcasts on American Indian tribes. Several of Wardle's research works, mostly unpublished outside of the Museum Bulletin, are a part of the "publications" series.

Photographs of textiles and hats have been housed with the South American textile photographs. Similarly, those relating to Waldegg's Colombian collection.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives,  10/21/2015

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Bryce Little/ Jody Rodgers

Return to Top »

Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Textiles
Personal Name(s)
  • Butler, Mary, 1903-1970
  • Heye, George Gustav, 1874-1957
  • Kelemen, Pal, 1894-1993
  • Mason, John Alden, 1885-1967
  • Means, Philip Ainsworth, 1892-1944
  • Moore, Clarence B., 1852-1936
  • Stephens, Charles H., 1864-1940
  • Wardle, Harriet Newell (H.N.), 1875-1964
  • Wieder-Singer, Ernestine, 1910-1937
  • Willoughby, Charles Clark, 1857-1943
Subject(s)
  • Anthropology
  • Decoration and ornament, Ainu
  • Material culture

Return to Top »

Collection Inventory

Box
Correspondence 1931-1955.
1
Box

Professional A-D.

1

Professional G-J.

1

Professional K-L.

1

Professional M-S.

1

Professional T-W.

1

Professional McDougall, Elsie 1933-1947.

1

North American curatorial A-H.

1

North American curatorial K-R.

1

North American curatorial S-W.

1

Meso American curatorial 1932-1947.

1

South American curatorial B-L.

1

South American curatorial M-S.

1

Re: C.B. Moore reports 1949-1954.

1

Re: Janus-faced Iroquois pipes 1940s.

1

Re: Textiles 1931-1941.

2

Re: Textiles 1942-1947.

2

Re: Textiles 1948-1949.

2

Re: Textiles 1950-1955.

2

Publications.

Box
3
Box

"A Rare Ancient Peruvian Straw Bonnet"-published 1951; XXIXth International Conference of Americanists.

3

"Belts and Girdles of the Inca Sacrificed Women" (includes correspondence, draft, news release), 1935-1936.

3

"A Forgotten Exploration in the Chira Valley, Peru" n.d., handwritten, c. 1937 (1 of 2).

3

"A Forgotten Exploration in the Chira Valley, Peru" notes, illustrations c. 1937 (2 of 2).

3

"Clay Cultus Objects from Vera Cruz, Mexico" 1939 (International Congress of Americanists).

3

Research 1931-1948.

Box
2
Box

General notes.

2

Radio broadcast texts: Pueblo. Inca, Lenape, Hiawatha 1941-1942.

2

Southwestern pueblo.

2

Notes-Uhle textiles from Brazil.

2

Peruvian double and triple cloth-general (1 of 3).

2

Peruvian double and triple cloth-general (2 of 3).

2

Peruvian double and triple cloth-general (3 of 3).

2

Peruvian double and triple cloth-weaving patterns, annotated lists (1 of 2).

2

Peruvian double and triple cloth-weaving patterns, annotated lists (2 of 2).

2

Peruvian double and triple cloth-illustrated catalogue items (1 of 4).

2

Peruvian double and triple cloth-illustrated catalogue items (2 of 4).

2

Peruvian double and triple cloth-illustrated catalogue items (3 of 4).

2

Peruvian double and triple cloth-illustrated catalogue items (4 of 4).

3

Notes on hairnets and knots.

3

Loom and cloth illustrations for publication.

3

Notes on textile marked sherds (n.d.).

3

Notes on Peruvian Collection (Tello, Uhle, Lehmann).

3

Notes on Peruvian square hats.

3

Notes on Peruvian square hats-chronology, articles, comparative ethnological data (1 of 2).

3

Notes on Peruvian square hats-chronology, articles, comparative ethnological data (2 of 2).

3

Peruvian square hats-includes drawings (1 of 3).

3

Peruvian square hats-includes drawings (2 of 3).

3

Peruvian square hats-includes drawings (3 of 3).

3

Textile photographs with Wardle annotations.

3

Textiles-Notes and drawings (1 of 2).

3

Textiles-Notes and drawings (2 of 2).

3

Notes on Mochica, Inca, Ica pottery and Inca wood goblets (in brief).

3

Report on Peruvian textiles and metal 1946 (Roland Terry).

3