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Plains Anthropological Society (PAS) records

Identifier: MS-290

Content Description

The Plains Anthropological Society (PAS) records contain materials that have been donated by the officers and members of the Plains Anthropological Society, which is a group that "promotes the study of the peoples and cultures of the North American Great Plains."

New materials are added to the collection on a regular basis. The structure of the finding reflects the hierarchy and organization of the Plains Anthropological Society. Materials are described at the folder level, except for a few areas that require item description. PAS records are divided into three series: Administration, Conference, and Plains Anthropologist.

The Administration series contains materials divided into three sub-series Board of Directors, Committees and Officers. The Board of Directors sub-series contain correspondence, briefing packets and meeting minutes. General Business meeting minutes from the annual conference are filed within this sub-series. Officer lists and student membership drives from 1991-1999 are also included in this series.

The Committees sub-series contain materials from PAS Committees: Archives, By-laws, Conference Handbook, Distinguished Service Award, Native American Student Award, Nominations, Resolutions, and Student Paper Award. Committee correspondence, changes to the by-laws, submissions for awards, the Plains Anthropological Conference handbook and reports are contained within this sub-series. The Officer sub-series only contain materials from the Treasurer. Treasurer materials are comprised of correspondence, financial reports, financial statements, and budgets.

The Conference series contains materials pertaining to the Plains Anthropological Society Conference that is held on a yearly basis in either October or November. This series is comprised of conference correspondence, Programs and Abstracts and newspaper clippings. The series is organized chronologically. Also included in this series are cassette recordings of papers delivered at the 1976 symposium “Anthropology on the Great Plains: The State of Art, 1976” at the 34th Plains Conference that was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a transcript of the 1955 conference.

The largest series in this collection is the Plains Anthropologist series. It contains all materials concerning publication of the Plains Anthropologist. The Plains Anthropologist series is divided into five sub-series: Editor, Manuscripts, Manuscript Correspondence, Printed Materials, and Artwork/Photographs. Included in the Editor sub-series are correspondence, book reviews that are organized by book title, Election of Editor materials, manuscripts of obituaries, permissions forms to reprint photographs and Editor Reports.

The Manuscripts are submissions for publication in Plains Anthropologist. The Manuscript Correspondence is correspondence and reviews concerning the submitted manuscripts. The Manuscripts and Manuscript Correspondence sub-series are organized by author and title and were submitted in the years 1989-2000. The dates in the Manuscripts and Manuscript Correspondence sub-series refer to the date of the last correspondence from the Editor relevant to the manuscript. Manuscripts not dated have no correspondence and were possibly not published.

The Manuscript Correspondence sub-series is RESTRICTED.

The Printed Materials sub-series include issues of the publications Plains Anthropological Conference Newsletter and Plains Anthropologist. The Plains Anthropological Conference Newsletter dates from 1947-1953 and contains news from the conferences. The Plains Anthropologist took over for the Plains Anthropological Conference Newsletter by 1956 and in 1961 the publication began to print scholarly manuscripts.

The Artwork/photographs sub-series is comprised of photographs and artwork published in Plains Anthropologist. This sub series is arranged by Plains Anthropologist issue number. Larger artwork has been filed in an oversized box. Within the oversize box is the Metal printing master for Plains Anthropologist Vol. 1 no. 1.


  • Creation: 1947 - 2020
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1980 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

This collection contains some restricted material. Folders with information about students or peer-reviews of manuscripts are restricted. Researchers are advised to contact the Archives and Special Collections prior to visiting.

Manuscript correspondence, including reviews, shall be restricted for a period of 15 calendar years in order to maintain the confidentiality of manuscript reviews. This period is computed from the date of the last correspondence to or from the Editor relevant to review of the manuscript in question. Access to manuscripts is not restricted.

In the rare case that access to restricted materials is required, the President, Editor, or their designated representative may be awarded access given Board approval. A written statement supporting access to restricted materials must be presented to the Archivist. This statement must clearly outline who shall be allowed access, their Society position or appointment, materials to be accessed, the purpose of their research, and the period for which access is allowed. Board approval of the access request must be indicated by signature of the highest-ranking Society officer other than the person requesting access.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers must obtain a signed Permission to Publish Form if they wish to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information from published and unpublished works held by ASC. Permission to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information materials from ASC does not constitute permission from the holder of copyright or literary rights. The researcher is responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce content from materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

The Plains Anthropological Society supports the growth of knowledge concerning the physical, cultural, archaeological and linguistic variation and evolution of Plains societies. The organization disseminates research results through publication of the Plains Anthropologist, a quarterly, peer-reviewed academic journal and memoir series, and through the exchange of information and ideas at its annual conference. The Society actively encourages and recognizes excellence in scholarship, service to the anthropological community and the maintenance of research collections." (About PAS,, accessed March 31, 2020).

“The first Plains Conference was held in Vermillion, South Dakota in August of 1931. The meeting took place only three additional times (1932, 1936, and 1940) over the next 16 years. It became an annual conference in 1947. From 1947 through 1959, the meeting was held in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Missouri Basin Project headquarters of the Smithsonian Institution - River Basin Surveys. Since the early 1960s, The Plains Conference has been held in all Great Plains U. S. States and Canadian provinces. It has grown from a small, informal gathering of scholars to a major regional three-day conference with attendance generally over 500 people. The conference did not occur in 2020 due to the Covid Pandemic. The Plains Conference and the journal Plains Anthropologist have always been linked under the same organization that was officially named the Plains Anthropological Society in August of 1982. The conference and the journal are operated under the auspices of the Plains Anthropological Society Board of Directors.” (The Plains Anthropological Society Conference: A Guidebook for Hosts and Organizers; Adair, Bozell, Larson and Lees, 1992) "Plains Anthropologist, a quarterly journal, publishes original papers on the anthropology of the Great Plains and adjacent areas of North America. Manuscripts of a more general nature, or those concerned with other areas, will be considered if they are of theoretical importance or if they bear upon problems of humans in Plains environments. Memoir issues of the Plains Anthropologist are published depending on availability of manuscripts and funding." (Plains Anthropologist,, accessed March 31, 2020)


46.5 Linear Feet (69 document boxes, 4 record cartons, 8 card boxes, and 2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials



The Plains Anthropological Society (PAS) records contain materials that have been donated by the officers and members of the Plains Anthropological Society, which is a group that "promotes the study of the peoples and cultures of the North American Great Plains."


The Collection consists of three series: Administration, Conference, and Plains Anthropologist.

Plains Anthropological Society (PAS) records
Anne Hinseth
2002. Plus frequent updates due to frequent accessions.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USD Archives and Special Collections Repository