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Allen Spitzer Manuscript Collection [DOC MSS 55]

Identifier: DOC MSS 55

Scope and Contents

The Allen Spitzer Manuscript Collection documents the teaching and research activities of the first full professor of anthropology at Saint Louis University and the man who was largely responsible for the development of anthropology as a separate field of study at the school. Spitzer and his wife Lillian were also converts to Catholicism, and there is ample material in the collection that testifies to their deep-seated commitment to their faith. The Biographical Material and Clippings series chronicle the life and work of both Spitzers; Lillian was a trained social worker who served as her husband's research assistant. More clippings are located in the Scrapbook series. The Fieldwork series consists of notes on the Spitzers' research in American Samoa, Austria, and Mexico that are, unfortunately, rather perfunctory, being little more than a list of appointments and events. Allen Spitzer's teaching material is contained in the Lecture Notes and Syllabi and Tests series, while his scholarly output is covered by the Manuscripts and Works series. The Subject Files represent perhaps the most interesting part of the collection; included here is evidence of Allen Spitzer's search for academic positions and research opportunities, documentation of his extensive work with the Blackfeet Indians of Montana (including more field notes), and an indication of the importance of their new-found Catholic religion in the everyday lives of both Allen and Lillian Spitzer. The Contracts subseries throws light upon Allen Spitzer's first years at the University as he attempted to establish himself as an exponent of the separate discipline of anthropology within the department of sociology and endured tense relationships with several colleagues.


  • 1930-1985


Conditions Governing Access

Access to portions of this collection is restricted; please consult repository for details.  Collection contains letters of recommendation, graded student papers, material containing the names of social work clients, and notes that contain sensitive personal information

Conditions Governing Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Please contact the Saint Louis University Archives for details.


2.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection consists of the following 12 series: 1. Biographical Material, on both Spitzers; 2. Clippings, largely on the life and work of Allen Spitzer; 3. Correspondence; 4. Ephemera; 5. Fieldwork, notes by Allen Spitzer on his research in American Samoa, Austria, and Mexico; 6. Lecture Notes; 7. Manuscripts; 8. Notes; 9.  Student Papers; 10. Subject Files, including extensive material on the Spitzers' research among the Blackfeet Indians of Montana and book reviews by Allen Spitzer; 11. Syllabi and Tests; and 12. Published Works by Allen Spitzer.  Within these series, arrangement is alphabetical and/or chronological.

Separated Materials

Please see collection of photographs which have been separated from this collection:  Allen Spitzer Photograph Collection (AVA PHO 64)

Physical Description

1,813 items other_unmapped

Allen Spitzer Manuscript Collection [DOC MSS 55]DOC MSS 55
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Repository Details

Part of the Saint Louis University Archives Repository

Pius XII Memorial Library
3650 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis Missouri 63108 United States