Skip to main content

Murray L. Wax papers

Identifier: Ayer-Modern-MS-Wax

Scope and Content of the Collection

Fieldwork, correspondence, publications of Murray L. Wax, and secondarily of Rosalie Hankey Wax, 1944-1992, but dating mainly from the 1960s.

Includes field notes, interviews, and manuscript drafts of project reports for U.S. Office of Education-funded Indian education field projects directed by Murray Wax and focusing on the Pine Ridge Reservation Oglala Sioux, 1962-1964, and rural and urban schools among the Oklahoma Cherokee, 1966-1968. There is material on a University of Chicago Cherokee project directed by Sol Tax, a Rough Rock Demonstration School visit by Wax in 1966, and a National Indian Health Board project on which Wax consulted. There are copies of published and unpublished reports and articles by Murray and Rosalie Wax, as well as work by several of their students (Robert Breunig and Marilyn Henning), research assistants, and other anthropologists relating to the Sioux, Cherokee, and other Native American subjects; numerous newspaper clippings concerning topics of Wax's research and the projects themselves; and miscellaneous field notes. Also included are files relating Rosalie Wax's fieldwork in the Japanese internment camp at Tule Lake, Calif., 1944-1945.


  • 1944-1989
  • Majority of material found within 1962-1969



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Murray L. Wax papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Interview and field note files contain details about living persons that, if revealed, would constitute an invasion of personal privacy. Researchers must sign the Newberry Library's Murray Wax Papers Access Statement form before gaining access to these materials.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Murray L. Wax papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Murray L. Wax

American anthropologist and sociologist; author of numerous articles and studies on Native American education and other topics.

Murray L. (Murray Lionel) Wax was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1922. He attended the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, attaining a Ph.D. in sociology and anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1959. After taking a position at Emory University, he and his wife, Rosalie directed a project studying the education of the Oglala Sioux of Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota in 1962-63. He later directed several more projects, including an Indian Education Research Project (1965-68) and Project on Early Childhood Education among North American Indians (1967-68). In her book, Doing Fieldwork, published in 1971, Rosalie Wax describes her own and her husband's field experiences in South Dakota and Oklahoma among other locations.

After spending several years at the University of Kansas, Wax moved to Washington University in St. Louis in 1973, where he continued to teach as a professor in the department of Sociology. In 1993 he became a Professor Emeritus of Anthropology.

Murray Wax married Rosalie Amelia Hankey (born November 4, 1911 in Des Plaines, IL) in 1949. They had no children and were later divorced. She earned her Ph. D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1950. Her fieldwork began in a Japanese internment camp at Tule Lake, California in 1944. Rosalie Wax died November 4, 1998.


16.3 Linear Feet (39 boxes)


Fieldwork and correspondence of anthropologist-sociologist Murray L. Wax, primarily between 1962 and 1969. Also copies of published articles and unpublished papers by other anthropologists, newspaper clips, and serials pertaining to Native Americans; field notes of Rosalie Hankey (later Rosalie Wax) from Japanese relocation camp at Tule Lake, 1944-45.


Papers are organized in the following series:
Series 1: Correspondence and Related Material, 1960-1989
Boxes 1-2
Series 2: Pine Ridge, 1961-1964
Boxes 3-9
Series 3: Pine Ridge Dropout Project, 1964
Box 10
Series 4: Pine Ridge Schools, 1958-1972
Box 11
Series 5: Sioux Monographs and Related Material, approximately 1945-approximately 1975
Boxes 12-14
Series 6: Head Start, 1965-1966
Box 15
Series 7: Miscellaneous Fieldwork, 1965
Box 16
Series 8: Rural and Urban Schools, 1965-1969
Boxes 17-20
Series 9: Carnegie Cross-Cultural Education Project, 1965-1968
Box 21
Series 10: Cherokee-Related Material
Boxes 22-23
Series 11: Rough Rock Demonstration School, 1966-1977
Box 24
Series 12: National Indian Health Board Project, 1983-1985
Box 25
Series 13: Professional Files
Boxes 26-28
Series 14: Student Work, 1968-1979
Boxes 29-31
Series 15: Tule Lake, 1944-1945
Box 32
Series 16: Wax Works, 1963-1978
Box 33
Series 17: Material on Canadian Native Peoples, 1965-1972
Box 34
Series 18: Serials by or concerning Native Americans, 1968-1974
Box 35
Series 19: Newspaper Clippings, 1962-1992
Box 36
Series 20: Miscellaneous Material, 1945-1977
Boxes 37-38
Series 21: Oversize Material
Box 39

Collection Stack Location

3a 57 5-8


Gift of Murray L. Wax, 1996.

Separated Materials

The following items were removed from the Murray L. Wax papers:

  • Catalogue No. 27. Indios. Susan Bach Books, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Government of the Indian People; Indian Memories; The Indians Speak for Themselves; Learning of the Indian People; Science – An Indian Perspective; Social Life of the Indian People; (All prepared for the Indian Ethnic Heritage Studies Curriculum Development Project, 1974-1975, Pierre, S.D., Office of Indian Education, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, Dept. of Education and Cultural Affairs)
  • Phillips 66 Highway Map. Chicago and San Jose, H.M. Gousha Company, 1962.
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Planning Support Group. American Indian Tribes of Montana and Wyoming. Report No. 262. Billings, Mont., USDI, 1978.
  • The Bulletin. (The Institute of Indian Studies, University of South Dakota). Feb. 1989, Aug. 1989.
  • The Indian (American Indian Leadership Council). Vol. 1, no. 10 – Vol. 2, no. 3, Jan. 8, 1970 – Aug. 6, 1970.
  • The Indian Historian. (American Indian Historical Society.) Vol. 9, nos. 3-4, 1996.
  • The Oglala War Cry. Vol. 1, no. 1, June 1970.
  • The Renegade. May 1969, June 1971, June 1972.
  • The Shannon County News. June 4, 1964 - Jan. 8, 1970 (misc. issues)
  • The Warpath (United Native Americans, Inc.) Vol. 1 - Vol. 4 (misc. issues)
  • Wassaja. Vol. 1, no. 2 - Vol. 9, no. 3 (misc. issues)
  • Processed by

    Morag Stewart, 2001
    Inventory of the Murray L. Wax papers, 1944-1989, bulk 1962-1969
    Morag Stewart, 2001
    Language of description
    Script of description

    Repository Details

    Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts Repository

    60 West Walton Street
    Chicago Illinois 60610 United States