Skip to main content

Vine Deloria papers

 Collection
Call Number: WA MSS S-2661

Scope and Contents

The Vine Deloria papers consist of writings, correspondence, subject files, legal files, teaching files, organizational records, awards and tributes, photographs, audiovisual materials, and electronic media documenting the life and work of Vine Deloria. Writings, correspondence, and subject files form the bulk of the collection and document his involvement in issues relating to Native Americans. Organizational correspondence and organizational records document the many groups with which Deloria was affiliated.

Dates

  • circa 1969-2005

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 172 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 173-174 (computer disks): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies of electronic files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Vine Deloria Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from the estate of Vine Deloria on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2010.

December 2011 acquistion: Gift of Northwest Indian College, 2011.

Arrangement

Organized into ten series: I. Writings, circa 1969-2005. II. Correspondence, 1969-2005. III. Subject Files, circa 1969-2003. IV. Legal Files, circa 1992-2004. V. Teaching Files. VI. Organizational Records, 1973-1995. VII. Awards and Tributes, 1970-2005. VIII. Photographs. IX. Audiovisual Materials, circa 1994-1996. X. December 2011 acquisition, 2002.

Extent

160.50 Linear Feet ((171 boxes) + 3 broadside folders)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.deloria

Overview

The Vine Deloria papers consist of writings, correspondence, subject files, legal files, teaching files, organizational records, awards and tributes, photographs, audiovisual materials, and electronic media documenting the life and work of Vine Deloria. Writings, correspondence, and subject files form the bulk of the collection and document his involvement in issues relating to Native Americans. Organizational correspondence and organizational records document the many groups with which Deloria was affiliated.

Vine Deloria (1993-2005)

Vine Deloria Jr., author, theologian, historian, lawyer, and community organizer was a member of the Standing Rock Sioux. Born on March 26, 1933 in Martin, South Dakota near the Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux Reservation, he was the grandson of Tipi Sapa (Black Lodge), also known as Rev. Philip Joseph Deloria, an Episcopal priest and a leader of the Yankton band of the Nakota Nation. Deloria's father, Vine Sr. (1901–1990), studied English and Christian theology and became an Episcopal archdeacon and missionary on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, to which he transferred the family's tribal citizenship. Deloria Jr.'s aunt was the anthropologist Ella Deloria (1881–1971).

First educated at reservation schools, Deloria graduated from Kent School in 1951. After serving in the Marines from 1954 through 1956, he graduated from Iowa State University in 1958 with a degree in general science. In 1963 he earned a masters degree in theology from the Lutheran School of Theology in Rock Island, Illinois.

Rather than joining the ministry, Deloria became executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, the largest intertribal organization in the United States. From 1964 through 1967 he lobbied Capitol Hill, worked to build tribal coalitions, and fought religious and political repression on the reservations. Under his leadership, membership in the NCAI grew from 19 to 156 tribes.

In 1969, Deloria published Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, the first of more than twenty books and 200 articles he would write or edit on matters concerning Native Americans. A year later he received a law degree from the University of Colorado, and began his academic career at Western Washington State College at Bellingham, Washington.

While teaching at Western Washington State College he advocated for the treaty fishing rights of local Native American tribes and worked on the legal case that led to the historic Boldt Decision of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. In 1977, he became a board member of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Deloria became Professor of Political Science at the University of Arizona in 1978. Over the next twelve years he established the first master's program in American Indian Studies in the United States. From 1990 to 2000, Deloria taught American studies, law, history, religion and political science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2000 he returned to Arizona and taught at the School of Law.

Vine Deloria Jr., died on November 13, 2005 in Golden, Colorado.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections [as they are acquired], and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Title
Guide to the Vine Deloria Papers
Author
by Michael Rush and Leigh Golden
Date
September 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • September 2020: Added 2011 addition

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.