Office of Ethnohistorical Research

This is an image of Dr. Dale S. Brenneman, associate curator of documentary history and head of the Office of Ethnohistorical Research

Text by Dr. Dale S. Brenneman, Associate Curator of Documentary History, October 1, 2010

Arizona State Museum's Office of Ethnohistorical Research (OER) holds approximately 8,000 secondary works, reference materials, indexes to major archival collections, maps, ephemera, and guides to paleography and translation and connects with Arizona State Museum’s library collection of 50,000+ volumes related to southwestern archaeology and history.  For more information, visit Office of Ethnohistorical Research in the Research section of the ASM website.

Documentary Relations of the Southwest (DRSW)

Documentary Relations of the Southwest provides the research tools and finding aids to the written record that began with the arrival of the Spanish explorers in the 1530s.

The 1,200+ microfilm reels of documents, many of them collected by the Jesuit Historical Institute, include the diaries of explorers and reports of missionaries and soldiers. They date from the first written accounts of contact with indigenous peoples in the 16th Century to the Mexican declaration of independence from Spain in 1821. The place names, architecture, food, and many of the Southwestern cultures have their origin in the history of this region. The "Southwest" in this case covers Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and northern Mexico—all of what was then northern New Spain.

Finding Aids:

  • DRSW Master Index: an online, computerized index to our archive and other repositories containing documents relevant to our mission.
  • Biofile: a computer-generated biographical dictionary of approximately 19,000 persons appearing in the historical record.

Queries about the ethnohistorical collections should be addressed to:

Dale S. Brenneman, Ph.D.
Associate Curator of Documentary History
Arizona State Museum / University of Arizona
PO Box 210026 
Tucson, AZ 85721-0026
See Dr. Brenneman's Profile

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