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The W.A. Whitten Collection, 1962-1991

Scope and Content

The W.A. Whitten Collection spans the period from 1962-1991 and is organized into three series: Printed Materials, Audiovisual , and Artifacts.

The Printed Materials series contains the sub-series Published Materials, Government Reports , and School Materials. All items are organized alphabetically by the author’s last name. If an author is unavailable, the title is used instead. Published Materials includes books and articles from newspapers, magazines, and journals published in Liberia or covering topics pertinent to Liberian culture or history. Dates span 1964-1991. The Government Reports sub-series contains an economic survey from 1962, some of William Tolbert’s presidential papers, and education reports. The sub-series spans 1962-1983. School Materials include an annual report, commencement exercises, and a student tribute program to President Tubman, all from the Voinjama District spanning 1963-1977.

The Audiovisual series contains two sub-series: Open Reel Tape and Color Transparencies . The Open Reel Tape sub-series contains 11 reels of open reel tapes with recorded town meetings and music from Liberian villages. Dates span 1965-1977. Tapes are numbered and arranged as received by Whitten. There are 669 color transparencies that have been digitized and are available through the Indiana University Image Collections Online. These slides are largely images of Liberian villages and include topics such as village life, parades and processions, town landscapes, dancers, musicians, agricultural facilities, art and handicrafts, village leaders, and rituals. Images span 1961-1978.

The Artifacts series includes physical objects brought back from Liberia by Willie and Lucille Whitten. Examples of objects include textiles, tools, musical instruments, masks, and decorative carvings. These artifacts are cataloged and stored by the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at Indiana University. The dates of these objects are unknown. They are arranged alphabetically according to subject, with descriptions and sub-categories provided by Whitten.