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M149 Al and Alice Lancaster papers

Collection Summary    back to top

Title Al and Alice Lancaster papers
Dates (Inclusive) 1863-1993
Dates (Bulk) 1960-1990
Creator Al and Alice Lancaster, also includes printed materials from various sources
Abstract This collection contains family papers, photographs, awards, monographs, published and unpublished reports, and other printed materials. Posters and maps pertaining to archaeology of the Southwest and related topics, a burial flag, and other ephemera are also included.
Unique ID M149
Quantity 10 linear shelf feet, 13 document cases, and 3 oversize flat boxes

Biographical Note    back to top
J. A. "Al" Lancaster was a distinguished archaeologist with a long association with Mesa Verde and the National Park Service. His wife was a noted pioneer of the Southwest region. The following is a brief biographical description, in the University of Colorado award in 1977 that honored Mr. Lancaster for his contributions in archaeological work.


Arrangement    back to top
The series and boxes are numbered consecutively. Because we do not expect to add to this collection, the boxes are numbered in one single numbering scheme starting with 1. Arrangement within each series is chronological by the date of the creation of the document

Scope & Contents    back to top
This collection contains family papers, photographs, genealogical records, scrapbooks, plaques, awards, honorary certificates, monographs, published and unpublished reports, brochures, periodicals, articles, and other printed materials, posters and maps pertaining to archaeology of the Southwest and related topics, and the burial flag and guest registration books from Mr. Lancaster's funeral service.  It also includes ephemera, such as lapel pins, badges, and medals.  The Center's curatorial section has tools/items used and/or worn by "Al" Lancaster while doing field archaeology.

Restrictions    back to top
Access. There are no access restrictions on the use of these materials for research purposes. This collection is open to the public for use in the Delaney Southwest Research Library at the Center of Southwest Studies.

Use and Copyright. These materials are for use only in the Delaney Southwest Research Library; they are noncirculating. Limited duplication of print materials is allowed for research purposes. The user assumes full responsibility for observing all applicable laws regarding copyright, property rights, and libel.

Preferred Citation    back to top
Al and Alice Lancaster papers, Fort Lewis College. Center of Southwest Studies.

Processing Info    back to top
This collection was arranged and described by Linda Baker and other archival student workers under the supervision of the archivist.  Archival Assistant Meredith Provera finished the arrangement and produced the folder list and series descriptions in the fall of 2007.  Two record boxes of personal family items that were duplicates or lacked long-term historical research value and a small wooden chest were returned to the family on November 1, 2007 - the 15th anniversary of the death of Al Lancaster. Library student worker Tia Flippin edited, added to, and reformatted the online inventory in the Fall of 2009.

Acquisition Info    back to top
The heirs of Mr. and Mrs. Lancaster donated the collection to the Center of Southwest Studies by deed of gift on June 12, 1996 (accession 1996:06004). The gift (including a library of approximately 350 volumes of books, inventoried separately) was appraised by Gary Matlock, as documented by his letter dated September 29, 1995 to the Director of the Southwest Studies Center.  The family's gift also included a Navajo weaving (SWT112) that was woven of handspun wool circa 1962 in the Wide Ruins (Chambers, AZ) area.

Separated Materials    back to top

Related Materials    back to top

Book at Delaney Southwest Research Library Archeological excavations in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, 1950, by James A. Lancaster [and others].  Washington, National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 1954.
Pathfinder #8 Archaeological work in the Four Corners region of the Southwest: a partial guide to special collections holdings at the Southwest Studies Center
U 004 Southwest oral history collection. Recording 140.
M 214 Robert and Florence Lister papers
P 055 Robert and Florence Lister photographs

Access Terms    back to top

Lancaster, James A.

Series/Container List    back to top


Series 1: Al and Alice Lancaster personal documents
Series 2: Al Lancaster archaeological documents
Series 3: Al and Alice Lancaster photographs
Series 4: Al and Alice Lancaster oversize items

Series 1: Al and Alice Lancaster personal documents    back to Series list

1863-1992. 48 folders in 5 legal-size document cases, and 2 oversized boxes. Further arranged in 3 sub-series: awards, correspondence and family records.

Series Description Box/Folder
1.1 Colorado Council of Professional Archaeologists, 1982 1/1
1.1 University of Colorado Distinguished Service Award citation 1/2
1.1 Citation for Distinguished Service, Secretary of the Interior Honorable Stewart L. Udall, Secretary, Dept. of the Interior; correspondence from Watson Smith, James A. Lancaster; correspondence from the National Park Service; includes a b/w photo of " The old pit pro in pithouse E, site 1676 " Daily Events 1/3
1.1 State Archaeologist Award 1/4
1.2 Incoming personal correspondence from Ray and Sarah Foust, et al. 1/5
1.2 Empire Electric award of apperciation 1/6
1.2 Al and Alice Lancaster 70th wedding anniversary 1992, incoming personal correspondence 1/7
1.2 Al and Alice Lancaster 70th wedding anniversary 1992, incoming correspondence June 9th 1/8
1.2 Incoming correspondence includes 2 pages of photos 1/9
1.2 Incoming correspondence 1/10
1.2 Al and Alice Lancaster 50th wedding anniversary guestbook, RSVP cards, napkin 1/11
1.2 Al Lancaster 90th birthday cards, invitation to celebration Sept. 4 1984 1/12
1.2 Letters from Al’s mother’s boyfriend 1/13
1.2 Alice Lancaster Teacher retirement certificate, celebration guest book pages 2/1
1.2 Al and Alice by Jenny L. Adams, draft. Removed from a blue 3-ring binder (not retained) 2/2
1.2 Skipped 2/3
1.3 70th Wedding anniversary guest book and guest book, event unknown 2/4
1.3 US News and World Report May 21, 1990 Western Tales includes Alice Lancaster, Pearl Baker and Paul Ramsey 2/5
1.3 James A. (Al) Lancaster, member news announcement (page 35) Courier Magazine 2/6
1.3 Fort Lewis College commencement program 2/7
1.3 Family ephemera 2/8
1.3 Guest records 2/9
1.3 Al Lancaster biographical articles Nov. 1972- June. 1981 2/10
1.3 Biographical information on Clay Allison 2/11
1.3 Contents removed from leather, tooled, laced 3-ringed " Scrapbook of Memoirs by the Friends of Al," binder. Note: the actual leather binder is in box 5, folder 1. 2/12
1.3 National Geographic membership certificate 3/1
1.3 Security Life and Accident Company records 3/2
1.3 Alice M. Lancaster records of Notary Public Records 3/3
1.3 The Lancaster family Bible 3/4
1.3 Lancaster family and historical newspaper article collection 3/5
1.3 Four-minute essays by Dr. Frank Crane 3/6
1.3 Confession of Faith and Government of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church 3/7
1.3 SMW needlepoint. Note: found in front of family photo album. 3/8
1.3 Lancaster family black and white photo album note: linked to needle point, photos are in series 5 4/1
1.3 McGuffey’s 4th grade reader, Tennessee edition 4/2
1.3 Progressive Primary Arithmetic Book 4/3
1.3 " Al 1925-1964 " leather, tooled 3-ringed binder. Note: actual contents are in box 2, folder 12. 5/1
1.4 Zion National Parks certificate of appreciation James A. Lancaster 5/2
1.4 Student appreciation plaques (2) 5/3
1.4 Byron S. Cummings Award plaque 6/1
1.4 Memorial plaque for James Allen " Al " Lancaster 6/2
1.4 Color Photo Poncho House 6/3
1.4 The Society for American Archaeology Fiftieth Anniversary Award plaque 7/1
1.4 Gila River Indian Community certificate of appreciation plaque 7/2
1.5 50th wedding anniversary wedding scrapbook 7/3
1.5 Lancaster family colored photograph 7/4
1.5 Longhouse black and white photographs 7/5
1.5 Square-Deal-Farm Blako (Oklahoma) photograph 7/6

Series 2: Al Lancaster archaeological documents    back to Series list

1921-1982. 72 folders in 4 legal-size boxes. Arranged by archaeological site names.

Series Description Box/Folder
2.1 Ceramic profiles in the Western Mound of Awatovi Northeastern Arizona, by Robert F. Burgh 8/1
2.1 Preliminary report of the Peabody Museum Awatovi Expedition of 1936 8/2
2.1 Preliminary report of the Peabody Museum Awatovi Expedition of 1937, by J. O. Brew 8/3
2.1 Preliminary report of the Peabody Museum Awatovi Expedition of 1938, by J. O. Brew 8/4
2.1 Preliminary report of the Peabody Museum Awatovi Expedition of 1939, by J. O. Brew 8/5
2.2 Alkali Ridge correspondence from Emil W. Haury, Earl H. Morris, and William Duncan Strong 8/6
2.3 Watson Smith correspondence concerning Ansel Franklin Hall 1894-1962 8/7
2.3 Awatovi Peabody expedition maps 8/8
  folders 9, 10, 11, and 12 are skipped  
2.4 Chaco inscriptions, El Palacio, Thomas O’Conner, Charles Behler, et al. 8/13
2.5 Hopi and Hovenweep articles 8/14
2.6 Preliminary report on the Peabody Museum Jeddito Expedition of 1935, by J. O. Brew 8/15
2.7 Chronology and Cultural Activity in Johnson Canyon Cliff Dwellings: Interpretation from tree-ring date, by Bruce G. Harrill and Cory D. Breternitz 8/16
2.8 An Archaeological Test at Site MV 1966: A small Pueblo on Long Mesa, report by Winfield L Mitchell 8/17
2.9 Lowry Pueblo Great Kiva drawing 8/18
2.10 Mesa Verde 75th anniversary Anasazi symposium records 8/19
2.10 Mesa Verde 75th anniversary newspaper special edition 8/20
2.10 Emergency stabilization of 5MT264 East Rock Canyon Colorado, report by David A. Breternitz and Adrian S. White 8/21
2.10 Al and Alice Lancaster correspondence from Marmie Gaede, Mesa Verde 8/22
2.10 Activities of MVRC [Mesa Verde Research Center], report 8/23
2.10 Robert Lister articles Soutwest Lore vol. 35 #4 March 1970 8/24
2.10 Tree-Ring dated Basketmaker III and Pueblo I sites in Mesa Verde National Park, by David Breternitz 8/25
2.10 Fixing site locations by radiocarbon finder at Mesa Verde, by Alden Hayes and Douglas Osborne 8/26
2.10 Site 1060 A Basketmaker III Pithouse on Chapin Mesa, Mesa Verde National Park, by Alden C. Hayes and James A. Lancaster 8/27
2.10 Mammals of Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, by Sydney Anderson 8/28
2.10 Ralph A. Luebben correspondence; and An Unusual Pueblo III Ruin Mesa Verde Colorado, by Ralph A Luebeen, Laurence Herold, and Arthur Rohn 8/29
2.10 A tentative classification of the pottery from the Mesa Verde region, by Arthur H. Rohn 8/30
2.10 Mesa Verde ceramic articles, by James A. Lancaster, Jean M. Pinkley, et al. 8/31
2.10 Guy R. Stewart correspondence re: conservation practices in flood water agriculture at Mesa Verde, preliminary report on Chapin Mesa 8/32
2.10 Mesa Verde notes 9/1
2.10 Mesa Verde notes, directions for use of poison ivy pills 9/2
2.10 Brochures of parks and monuments, places of interest mostly in the Southwest 9/3
2.11 Time and erosion at Poncho House, by Marc Marnie Gaede 9/4
2.12 Report on the archaeological reconnaissance in the Rainbow Plateau Area of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, by Lyndon Lane Hargrave 9/5
2.13 Note on the archaeology of the Kaibito and Rainbow Plateaus in Arizona, by Noel Morse 9/6
2.14 Two Pueblo III kiva complexes associated with subterranean rooms in Southwest Colorado, and incoming correspondence from Sam and Jan 9/7
2.15 The Wetherill Mesa Archaeological Project, report by Douglas Osborne, Alden C. Hayes, et al. 9/8
2.15 Postulations of socio-economic groups from archaeological evidence, Wetherill Mesa, by Arthur H. Rohn 9/9
2.16 A mass interment in an early Pueblo III kiva in Southwestern Colorado, by Ralph A. Luebben and Paul R. Nickens 9/10
2.17 Hohokum petroglyphs of the Sierra Pinacate, Sonora and the Hohokum Shell Expeditions, by Julian D. Hayden 9/11 B
2.17 The Pueblos and the turkey: who domesticated whom, by Jean M. Pinkley 9/12
2.17 Correspondence with Alden C. Hayes 9/13
2.17 Newspaper and magazine articles about archaeology 1962-1983 10/1
2.17 Sandals of Feather Cave, by William B. Roosa 10/2
2.17 University of Arizona bulletins 1952, July-1953, July 10/3
2.17 The Masterkey, by Southwest Museum vol. 27 #4, 1953 10/4
2.17 Trails through High Country in May, by Louise Scott 10/5
2.17 Prehistoric people of the northern Southwest, MT-1 A Basketmaker III site near Yellow Jacket Colorado: A Progress Report, by Joe Ben Wheat 10/6
2.17 The Havasupai, 600 AD-1955 AD: A short cultural history, by Douglas W. Schwartz 10/7
2.17 A reprint from American Anthropology Organization of the American Anthropology Association and Affiliated Soceties vol. 59 #3 June 1957 10/8
2.17 Earl H. Morris publications 1940-1941, 1987 10/9
2.17 Archaeological surface survey of the New Madrid County Missouri, by Robert McCormick Adams and Winslow M. Walker 10/10
2.17 Assorted archaeological articles 1962-1970 10/11
2.17 Assorted archaeological publications 1949-1977 10/12
2.17 Assorted archaeological publications 1930-1986 10/13
2.17 Museum of Northern Arizona Museum Notes and Lyndon L. Hargrave Publications 10/14
2.17 The Corner-Tang Flint artifacts of Texas, by J. T. Patterson 10/15
2.17 Archaeological reports on New Mexico, and Harvard alumni articles 10/16
2.17 Incoming correspondence concerning tree rings 1935-1959 10/17
2.17 Two types of Southwestern cliff houses, from the Smithsonian Report for 1919, by J. Walter Fewkes 10/18
2.17 Prehistoric use of coal by Indians of Northern Arizona, by J. O Brew and John T. Hack 10/19
2.17 Fort Lewis College Foundation minutes, by Robert Beers, Rob Willard, et al. 11/1
2.17 Shell Oil correspondence from David A. Breternitz 1980 Aug. 8 11/2
2.17 K. Vitelli Journal of Field Archaeology and incoming correspondence from Bruce E. Rippeteau 11/3
2.17 Test excavation at Show Site, Cortez, and incoming correspondence from Bruce E. Rippeteau 1976, Feb.-1982, Feb. 3 11/4
2.17 Directory of National Park Service alumni and Directory of Four Corners Area Exploration Personnel 11/5
2.17 Letter to the Participants, 41st Session of Introduction to National Park Service Operations from Dept. of Interior Memorandum for Superintendent, Horace M. Albright 11/6
2.17 Ronald H. Walker correspondence 11/7
2.17 University of Colorado Distinguished Service Award citations 11/8
2.17 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Employees’ compensation 11/9
2.17 Behind the Iron Curtain, by Patt Cline 11/10
2.17 Department of Interior notice of official action 1943 April 1- 1947, Oct. 1 11/11
2.17 Remarks by Dr. J. O. Brew, Harvard University, at the Pecos Conference, sound recording (one reel; 1/4 " tape, not yet copied onto a playable medium) 11/12

Series 3: Al and Alice Lancaster photographs    back to Series list

1934-1989. 46 folders in 4 letter-size document cases. Sub-series are: archaeological photographs and family photographs. Archaeological photos are arranged alphabetically by site name. Oversize family photographs are in Sub-series 1.5.

Series Description Box/Folder
3.1 Unlabeled photographs 12/1
3.1 Bess Lancaster postcards 12/2
3.1 Al Lancaster photographs 13/1
3.1 Al and Alice Lancaster photo 13/2
3.1 Al and Alice Lancaster Family photographs 13/3
3.1 Alice Lancaster’s family (the Pigg family) photographs 13/4
3.1 Lancaster Family black and white photographs, document series from photo album 13/5
3.1 Al Lancaster’s family photographs 13/6
3.1 Byron S. Cummings Award, Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society photographs 13/7
3.1 University of Colorado Distinguished Service Award photographs 13/8
3.1 Al and Alice Lancaster 50th wedding anniversary photographs 13/9
3.1 Department of the Interior Citation for Distinguished Service photographs 13/10
3.2 Alkali photographs 1932-1933 14/1
3.2 Awatovi photographs 1936-1948 14/2
3.2 Awatovi 40th anniversary photographs 14/3
3.2 Aztec Ruins photographs 14/4
3.2 Chaco photographs by Erwin McNeal 1947 14/5
3.2 Chimney Rock Archaeological Area photographs 14/6
3.2 Hovenweep photograph 14/7
3.2 Lowry photographs 1934-1966 14/8
3.2 Mancos Canyon Road photograph 14/9
3.2 Mesa Verde Cliff Palace photograph 14/10
3.2 Mesa Verde Crow’s Nest photographs 14/11
3.2 Mesa Verde Fairview Area Site 820 photographs 14/12
3.2 Mesa Verde Long House photographs 1960-1961, 1963 14/13
3.2 Mesa Verde Long Mesa photograph 1954 14/14
3.2 Mesa Verde Mug House Stabilization photographs 1935 14/15 A
3.2 Mesa Verde Oak Tree House photograph 14/15 B
3.2 Mesa Verde plaque presentation photographs 14/16
3.2 Mesa Verde Ruin 20 ½ photographs 14/17
3.2 Mesa Verde Site 16 14/18
3.2 Mesa Verde Spring House Stabilization photographs 14/19
3.2 Mesa Verde Spruce Tree photographs 1938 14/20
3.2 Mesa Verde Square Tower House photographs 14/21
3.2 Mesa Verde Stabilization Crew photographs 1964 14/22
3.2 Mesa Verde Step House Stabilization photographs 14/23
3.2 Mesa Verde Swallow’s Nest photographs 1964 14/24
3.2 Mesa Verde Training season photographs 14/25
3.2 Mesa Verde, Wetherill photographs, includes burial photos 1960-1963 15/1
3.2 Mesa Verde Wetherill Mesa, Long Canyon Cave photographs 15/2
3.2 Pottery photographs 15/3
3.2 Painted Ruin, East Rock Creek photographs 1697 15/4
3.2 Snaketown photographs 1964-1965 15/5
3.2 Snaketown Al’s 90th birthday and Snaketown’s 20th anniversary photographs 1964-1965 15/6
3.2 White Rim photographs 1967 15/7
3.2 Willis Ruin photograph 1930 15/8
3.2 Unlabeled photographs 15/9

Series 4: Al and Alice Lancaster oversize items    back to Series list

1962-1993, 5 items in 1 large flat box. Includes a poster, a certificate, and artwork and photography.

Series Description Box/Folder
4.1 Alice Lancaster, charcoal sketch by Dolores 1962 16/1
4.1 History Preservation Week poster. 3 copies; includes picture of Al Lancaster on a scaffold in Long House at Mesa Verde National Park 16/2
4.1 Al Lancaster, tinted photograph by Fred Mang, framed behind glass 16/3
4.1 Al Lancaster, certificate of appreciation, signed by 84 friends and colleagues, with this text: " loyal friend and valued colleague; discoverer, excavator, preserver. Your example has inspired us. We have benefited by your assistance and advice. Mesa Verde, Alkali Ridge, Awatove, Hovenweep, Tumacacori, and Chaco Canyon bear witness to your skills. The archaeologists of the Southwest salute you." 16/4
4.1 Mesa Verde National Park cliff dwelling ruin, large format black and white photograph, under glass 16/5
  • This finding aid was last modified:
  • Friday April 21 2017.