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Zelia Nuttall papers

PU-Mu. 1056

In 1896 the University of Pennsylvania Museum sponsored its first expedition to Russia. The Museum sent Zelia Nuttall (now remembered mainly for her work in the area of Mexican studies) as its representative on a trip to establish cordial relations and a system of exchanges and cooperation, and to obtain archaeological and ethnological specimens by gift or exchange. Nuttall traveled to Moscow, Kiev, Troitzkoi, Rostov, Nijni-Novgorod, and Riga. She also attended ceremonies for the coronation of Nicholas II and there acquired commemorative prints which she donated to the Museum and to Mrs. Hearst. The collection consists mainly of correspondence from Nuttall to William Pepper and Sara Yorke Stevenson, inventories of objects acquired, and images collected at the Pan-Russian Industrial and Art Exhibition at Nijni-Novgorod (modern Gorki).

Summary Information

Creator(s)Nuttall, Zelia, 1858-1933
Date(s)[bulk] Bulk, 1896-1897
[inclusive] 1893-1903
Call NumberPU-Mu. 1056
Physical DescriptionExtent: 1.0 linear foot
Language(s)eng

Biography / History

In 1896 the University of Pennsylvania Museum sponsored its first expedition to Russia. The Museum sent Zelia Nuttall (now remembered mainly for her work in the area of Mexican studies) as its representative on a trip planned by Dr. William Pepper, President of the Museum, and underwritten by Mrs. Phoebe Apperson Hearst. The purposes of the expedition were to establish cordial relations and a system of exchanges and cooperation, and to obtain archaeological and ethnological specimens by gift or exchange. Nuttall traveled to Moscow, Kiev, Troitzkoi, Rostov, Nijni-Novgorod, and Riga. She also attended ceremonies for the coronation of Nicholas II and there acquired commemorative prints which she donated to the Museum and to Mrs. Hearst. Nuttall succeeded in obtaining for the University of Pennsylvania Museum a number of publications and artifacts, along with examples of native Russian costumes.

Zelia Nuttall was born in San Francisco in 1857 and educated in France, Germany, Italy and Bedford College, London. She specialized in pre-Columbian and Mesoamerican manuscripts and the pre-Aztec culture in Mexico. she came to prominence in 1886 with the publication of "Terra Cotta Heads of Teotihuacan" in the American Journal of Archaeology.

Nuttall was named an honorary special assistant to the Peabody Museum in 1887 and in 1908 named honorary professor of the National Museum of Mexico.

Chronology of Zelia Nuttall's life, 1857-1933
September 6, 1857Born in San Francisco, California
1865-1876Lived and educated in Europe
1873-1874Attended Bedford College for Women, London
1880Married Alphonse Louis Pinant, French anthropologist and linguist
1882Daughter, Nadine, born in San Francisco
1884Separated from husband
1886Appointed "Honorary Assistant in Mexican Archaeology" to the Peabody Museum, Harvard, Harvard; held position for 47 years
Published first paper
Moved to Dresden, Germany
1884-1885Expedition to Mexico; worked in Mexico National Museum
1888Official divorce from husband
1896Sent to Russia by the University Museum to gather books, exhibits, and information
1898Found Codex Nuttall (Zapotecan manuscript), now in British Museum
1901Became charter member of the advisory council for the new Department of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley
1902Published Codex Nuttall (Harvard)
Settled in Coyoacan, Mexico
1914Published New Light on Drake
April 12, 1933Died in Coyoacan, Mexico

Scope and Contents

The collection consists mainly of correspondence from Nuttall to William Pepper and Sara Yorke Stevenson, inventories of objects acquired, and images collected at the Pan-Russian Industrial and Art Exhibition at Nijni-Novgorod (modern Gorki).


Administration Info

Publication Information: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives, 2009

Finding Aid Author: Finding aid prepared by Kathleen Baxter, Maureen Callahan

Use Restrictions: Although many items from the archives are in the public domain, copyright may be retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. The user is fully responsible for compliance with relevant copyright law.


Related Materials

Typed copies of some of the correspondence between Nuttall and Hearst are at the Bentley Library, University of California at Berkeley.


Controlled Access Headings

Form(s)/Genre(s)

Personal Name(s)

Subject(s)


Related Items note

The card catalogue in the registrar's office contains the following inventory numbers of items from what was known as the Nuttall Expedition to Russia:

19569-19597; EU 11-89; A 1731-1811; 13851-13937, 19485-19520, 19582-19583, 19584-19597, 19598-19599, 19600-19607, 19608, 19609-19681, 19682, 19683.


Collection Inventory

Correspondence

Series Description

Most correspondence in this series is between the Zelia Nuttall and Dr. William Pepper (1896-1898) and Zelia Nuttall and Sara Yorke Stevenson (1893-1898, 1901). Correspondence includes reports from Nuttall regarding her fieldwork and information about Nuttall's visit to the Pan-Russian Industrial and Art Exhibition at Nijni-Novgorod (modern Gorki).

Some letters in this collection had been transcribed contemporary to the time of receipt; others were transcribed by Mr. Ross Parmenter in 1964 in the course of writing an unpublished three-volume monograph about Nuttall.

Materials are arranged chronologically and converted from the Julian calendar.

Undated, 1893-1895, Box 1
April-June 1896, Box 1
July 1896, Box 1
August 1896, Box 1
September-December 1896, Box 1
Undated 1897, January-April 1897, Box 1
May-December 1897, Box 1

Collections

Series Description

Materials in this series include visual materials collected for the museum, as well as records about the collections.

Exchanges Offered, Box 1
Tags, Labels, Receipts, ca. 1896, 1897, Box 1
Printed Booklets, ca. 1890, 1896, Box 1

Russian Coronation 1896

Booklet: In Memory of Holy Coronation..., 1896, Box 1
Booklet: Procession of Individuals, 1896, Box 1
Portraits, 1896, Box 1
Portraits [framed], 1896, Box 1
Lithographs, 1896, Map-case M-9
Lithographs, 1896
Triumphal ride in the city of Moscow, Map-case M-9
His Imperial Majesty, Nicholas II, Map-case M-9
Her Imperial Majesty, Alexandra, Map-case M-9
The Holy Coronation of Her Imperial Majesty, Map-case M-9
The Holy Coronation of Their Imperial Majesties, Map-case M-9
Their Imperial Majesties on the Red Stair, Map-case M-9
Procession leaving the Uspensky Cathedral, Map-case M-9
Illumination of the Kremlin, Map-case M-9
Coronation Proclamation of Czar Nicholas II, 1896, Box Conservation 3
[Unidentified -- Conservation Problem], Box Conservation 3
[Unidentified -- Conservation Problem], Box Conservation 3
[Unidentified -- Conservation Problem], Box Conservation 3
[Unidentified -- Conservation Problem], Box Conservation 3
[Unidentified -- Conservation Problem], Box Conservation 3
[Unidentified -- Conservation Problem], Box Conservation 3
[Unidentified -- Conservation Problem], Box Conservation 3

Photographs

Tashkent & Samarkand, Uzbekistan - Bolojinksy Photographs 1890-1896, Box EU3
Tashkent & Samarkand, Uzbekistan - Bolojinksy Photographs [Oversize], Box (OV)P L-AS1
Miscellaneous Photographs: Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan 1890-1896, Box EU3