October 29, 2022

Ward Frederick Weakly [RG4249.AM]


RG4249.AM:  Ward Frederick Weakly, 1938-1985

Papers:  1955-1985

North Platte, Nebraska; Tulsa, Oklahoma and Denver, Colorado:  Archaeologist

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box


Ward F. Weakly, son of Harry E. and Ethel Weakly, was born in North Platte, Nebraska, on July 16, 1938.  He attended public school in North Platte and, later Newell, South Dakota.  Weakly received his B.A. (1960) and M.A. (1961) in Anthropology from the University of Nebraska.  From 1961-1963 he served in the army.  He received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1968.  His doctoral dissertation was entitled, “Tree-Ring Dating and Archaeology in South Dakota.”

From 1967-1971 Weakly served as assistant professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Tulsa.  From 1971 to 1974, he held the position of Research Associate in Dendrochronology at the University of Missouri.  Weakly was involved in archaeological and dendrochronological research in many states and countries and his many papers and articles reflected that interest.

Dr. Weakly became the Bureau of Reclamation’s Preservation Officer (Chief Archaeologist) in August 1974, working out of the Denver office.  In this position, he assisted in developing programs and projects in compliance with federal laws and regulations related to archaeology, history, and cultural resources.  Among the programs he guided were those associated with the New Melones, the Dolores, and the Central Arizona Projects.  Ward Frederick Weakly died in 1985.


This collection consists of one box of manuscript material arranged in three series:  1) Correspondence, 1955-1985; 2) Ft. Gibson Project Materials, 1968-1972; and 3) Miscellany.  This collection relates to the archaeological career and research of Dr. Ward F. Weakly.

The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence, 1955-1985, found in Series 1.  Comprised of both incoming and outgoing letters, this series traces Weakly’s education and career in the archaeology field.  Letters from the 1950’s and 1960’s detail Weakly’s educational and career goals.  Later letters provide information on his publications and presentations, dendrochronological and archaeological research projects, and interest in preservation issues.  During 1968 and 1969 Dr. Weakly maintained separate files for “business” and “personal” correspondence.  His filing system was maintained during processing.

The Ft. Gibson Project materials of Series 2 include correspondence, budgets, plans and publicity information about an archaeological salvage operation headed by Dr. Weakly during the summers of 1968-1970.  Conducted at the Ft. Gibson Reservoir in Oklahoma, the excavation project yielded thirty new prehistoric sites.  The miscellany of Series 3 is comprised of biographical information on Weakly, book reviews written by Weakly, and applications.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1955-1985

Box 1


    1. 1955 and 1960

    1. 1961

    1. 1962

    1. 1963

    1. 1964

    1. 1965

    1. 1966

    1. 1967

    1. 1968 (January-April):  Business

    1. 1968 (May-July):  Business

    1. 1968 (September-November):  Business

    1. 1968 (December):  Business

    1. 1968 (January-May):  Personal

    1. 1968 (July-December and n.d.):  Personal

    1. 1969 (January-April):  Business

    1. 1969 (May-September):  Business

    1. 1969 (October-December):  Business

    1. 1969 Personal

    1. 1970 (January-April)

    1. 1970 (May-September)

    1. 1970 (October-December and n.d.)

    1. 1974

    1. 1975

    1. 1976-1980; 1985 and n.d.

Series 2 – Fort Gibson Project materials, 1968-1972

    1. 1968-May 1969

    1. 1969 (June)-1970 (April)

    1. 1970 (May-June)

    1. 1970 (July)-1972

Series 3 – Miscellany

    1. Biographical information, book reviews, applications


Subject headings:



Fort Gibson Reservoir site (Oklahoma)

Oklahoma — Antiquities

Weakly, Ward Frederick, 1938-1985


AIP/pmc            06-03-1988


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