Washo Research Notes

Identifier: 98-17

Scope and Contents

These papers represent the research carried out by Anita Spring during her anthropological summer field studies in 1965.

"Clean" copies of summary materials can also be found in the records of the National Science Foundation Field Training Project in Anthropology, collection 92-09 in the Special Collections Department of the University of Nevada, Reno (box 3).

Spring's papers include information about the specific informants on whom she relied and general information about the Washo people living at Dresslerville. She collected genealogies; marriage and life histories; kin relationships; Washo terminology for specific topics; and information on medicines, doctoring, games, and dances. Other important topics included children, residence and households, courtships, divorce and separation, polygyny, close kin marriage, and census data. She compiled maps of individual houses and photographed the community of Dresslerville. Also included in this collection are Spring's field notebooks, Washo word cards, and several drafts of her thesis. A copy of Spring's completed thesis accompanied this collection but has been removed for cataloging as a monograph and inclusion in the Special Collections stacks.


  • 1965



Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Biographical Note

Dr. Anita Spring was a graduate student in the Anthropology Department of San Francisco State College (now University) when a Field Training Project in Cultural Anthropology was initiated. The project was jointly sponsored by the University of Nevada, the University of Pittsburgh, and Stanford University and funded by grants from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Spring conducted two months of field work among the Washo Indians at Dresslerville, Nevada, during the summer of 1965. Her research focused on marriage practices of the Washo and relied on information gathered from several residents of Dresslerville, as well as Spring's own observations. The research resulted in Spring's master's theses: Washo Marriage: A Social Institution in Transition (San Francisco State College, July, 1967).

Dr. Spring is currently professor of Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Florida.


1.25 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Dr. Anita Spring's field notes documenting Washo Indian marriage customs at Dresslerville, Nevada, include genealogies, marriage and life histories, kin relationships, children, residence and households, courtship, divorce and separation, and census data. Also included are Washo terminology for specific topics, maps and photographs of all buildings at Dresslerville, and drafts of Spring's thesis. Spring was a graduate student in anthropology. Material from 1965.


Arranged by topic.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Dr. Anita Spring in April 1998.

Separated Materials

Photographs and negatives have been transferred to the photo archives of the Special Collections Department.

A part of

Nevada women's archives.


A Guide to the Washo Research Notes
Susan Searcy, with assistance of student Rebecca Richards
April 22, 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)