Leuman Maurice Waugh Collection, 1909-1963

Administrative Information

Repository Information

National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, 2011

4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland , Maryland, 20746-2863
Phone: 301.238.1400

Conditions Governing Access note

Access restricted. Researchers should contact the NMAI Archivist for an appointment to access the collection.

Access restricted. Some dental records may be restricted from access, reproduction, or publication under personal health information privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Researchers should contact the NMAI Archivist at 301-238-6624 or archives@nmai.si.edu for an appointment to access the collection.

Conditions Governing Use note

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The National Museum of the American Indian purchased the Waugh collection in 2001 from the Rankin Museum of American and Natural History in Ellerbee, N.C.

Processing Information note

Processed by Gayle Yiotis and Michael Pahn with various updates by Jennifer O'Neal in 2010.

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Summary Information

National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
Waugh, Donald.
Waugh, Leuman Maurice, 1877-1972.
Leuman Maurice Waugh Collection
Date [inclusive]
1746 Photographic prints
2.1 Linear feet, (5 boxes; 1 map case drawer)
1036 Lantern slides
80 Film reels, 16mm
1622 Negatives (photographic)
The Leuman Maurice Waugh papers supplement his related photograph and film holdings through the materials generated by Waugh’s dental expeditions to Labrador and Arctic Alaska to treat members of Inuit communities.

Preferred Citation note

Leuman Maurice Waugh papers, 1909-1963. National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.

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Biographical/Historical note

Born on March 6, 1877 in New Dundee, Ontario, Canada, Leuman Maurice Waugh, moved to Rochester, New York, with his family at the age of nine. He acquired his love for photography in Rochester, which always attributed as the “Kodak city.” Following in his father’s dentistry footsteps, Waugh attended the University of Buffalo, from which he received his D.D.S. in 1900. He took post-graduate studies in Histology, Bacteriology, and Pathology at Buffalo’s School of Medicine, and within two years was appointed Professor of Histology and Embryology at his alma mater. In 1912, Waugh pioneered the design of a unit-type x-ray machine for use at the dental chair, which was later studied and adopted by large dental apparatus manufacturers. By the time he left Buffalo in 1914 to specialize in the infant field of orthodontics in New York City, he had served as Professor of Special Pathology and Officer of the Governing Faculty at the university.

In 1915, Waugh served on the Organization Committee of the Columbia Dental School and shortly thereafter became its Secretary of the Dental Faculty, and sequentially Secretary of the Administrative Board and Professor of Histology and Embryology. In 1921 he was appointed Professor and Director of the Orthodontic Division of the school, and later served as Associate Director, Acting Director and Associate Dean. Waugh’s affiliation with Columbia lasted through 1945. He served as Director of the American Board of Orthodontics from 1949 to 1953, and was asked to serve as Secretary-Chairman of the Orthodontia section of the American Association of Dental Schools in 1930, and as President in 1935. Waugh married Helen “Esty” Marshall, and had a son, Donald (also a dentist), and a daughter, Dorothy.

An active member of the Explorer’s Club and Commodore of the Yachting Department of the New York Athletic Club, Waugh volunteered to undertake Alaskan studies on caries research among the Inuit for the U.S. Public Health Service. In 1929, the Health Service appointed Waugh Dental Director (Reserve) at the rank of Colonel. Waugh was apparently inspired by a lecture he heard as a student in 1908 from Dr. Ales Hrdlicka, Smithsonian Curator of Physical Anthropology at the Institute of Dental Pedagogics, on the dental conditions of human populations. Waugh privately carried out a Labrador study between 1921 and d1927 over the course of five summers. Under the sometimes-partial aegis of the U.S. Public Heath Service, Waugh also studied twelve Alaskan Inuit communities between 1929 and 1938. He was the first dental officer in the U.S. Public Service ever assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Northland’s cruise area of the Bering Sea and Alaska Arctic regions. During his trips, Waugh compiled data on the teeth, mouth, and diet of indigenous communities. In addition, he took many photographs and films of both dental subjects and indigenous communities.

Waugh’s son, Donald, accompanied him on his 1935 expedition up the Kuskokwim River (Alaska) in their custom designed and built 29 foot yacht Nanuk Mi-kin-inni (Polar Bear Cub). In 1936, Waugh was appointed to a position with the Alaska Health Service by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior via the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. This position allowed him to further his studies of tooth decay throughout Alaska and the Bering Sea region. Waugh’s 1937 expedition included three dentists (one a biochemist), a physician and a nurse, and involved extensive air travel in small planes. A popular lecturer and prolific writer, Waugh continued to advocate for the health of the northern indigenous communities he visited long after his trips ended. He spent the remainder of his professional career at Columbia University, where he rose from Professor of Orthodontia (1923-19435) to (concurrently) Chief of Orthodontia and Director of the Department of Orthodontics. Waugh continued to be active in professional organizations well after his retirement, until a few years before his death at his home in Betterton, Maryland, on May 6, 1972.

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Scope and Contents note

The Leuman Maurice Waugh papers supplement his related photograph and film holdings through the materials generated by Waugh’s dental expeditions to Labrador and Arctic Alaska to treat members of Inuit communities. The materials consist of raw dental data and community census information, professional and personal correspondence, clippings and essays, reports and lectures, and logistics and trip planning documents, in addition to correspondence (letters received and sent), postcards, press clippings, essays, reports, speeches, articles, journals, logs, sketches, drawings, and other materials collected and compiled by Waugh detailing his experiences as a dentist in Arctic Alaska region and Labrador, his dental methodologies, and his personal attitudes towards the individual Inuit and Inuit communities he encountered. The materials reveal the complexities of missionary, anthropology, and other “Lower 48” institutional interactions with indigenous Arctic communities.

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Arrangement note

Waugh’s original order was disturbed over the years after his death and during transfer from the Waugh family to the Rankin Museum. NMAI archivists elected to arrange the collection chronologically.

The records are organized in the following series: I. Dental study data and logistics, II. Correspondence, III. Writings, IV. Realia and ephemera, V. Press clippings and public relations materials, VI. Maps and other oversized materials.Chronological arrangement.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

The National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution hold twenty Waugh photographs which located in the Division of Physical Anthropology Photograph Collection #NAA2223a. NAA also has Waugh material in the Henry Bascom Collins, Jr. Papers, #NAA3131. The Archives and Special Collections at the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Columbia University holds the School of Dental and Oral Surgery Records, 1892, 1915-1976 as well as the School of Dental and Oral Surgery, Historical Collection, 1892-1989.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Association of Dental Schools
  • American Board of Orthodontics
  • Columbia University
  • Nanuk Mi-kin-inni (Yacht)
  • New York Athletic Club
  • Northland (Coast Guard cutter: WPG-49)
  • United States Public Health Service


  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • dental records
  • Maps
  • printed ephemera
  • Realia
  • Writings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Alaska
  • Labrador (N.L.)


  •  Dentist


  • Inuit.


  • Anthropology -- Alaska
  • Anthropology -- Labrador (N.L.)
  • Dentistry -- Alaska
  • Dentistry -- Labrador (N.L.)
  • Dentists
  • Inuit -- Census -- Alaska
  • Inuit -- Dental care -- Alaska
  • Inuit -- Names, Personal
  • Missions, Medical -- Alaska
  • Missions, Medical -- Kuskokwim River (Alaska)
  • Missions, Medical -- Labrador (N.L.)
  • Nutrition and dental health -- Alaska
  • Nutrition and dental health -- Labrador (N.L.)
  • Orthodontists
  • Teeth -- Radiography

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Dental Study Data and Logistics, 1924-1937

Arrangement note

Arranged chronologically.

Box Folder

Photo Log, 1924

1 1

Dental Study Trip to Labrador, 1927

1 2

Data Charts and Essays Relating to Eskimos Health, Culture and Diet, 1929-1937

1 3

Ship Log with Field Notes, Jul 1929-Aug 1930

1 4

Dentistry Log, 1930

1 5

Study Materials, 1930

1 6

Dental Survey Reports and Correspondence Relating to Alaskan Natives, 1934-1936

1 7

Alaska Expedition Materials, 1934-1936

1 8

Alaska Trip Diary and Related Materials, 1935-1936

1 9

Travel Diary: Bethel to Hooper Bay and Related Materials, 1934-1937

1 10

Health and Diet Field Data, 1935-1937

2 1

Drawings by Hooper Bay Eskimos, c.1936

2 2

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Series 2: Correspondence, 1923-1937

Arrangement note

Arranged Chronologically.

Contains correspondence (letters send and received), postcards, and telegrams in addition to speeches, press clippings, articles, notes, statistical data, diaries and other materials relating to L. M. Waugh’s expeditions to Labrador in the 1920s and to Arctic Alaska in the 1930s and his study of Inuit (Eskimo) nutrition and dental health.

Box Folder

Correspondence, 1923

2 3

Correspondence, 1924

2 4

Correspondence, 1925

2 5

Correspondence, 1927

2 6

Correspondence, 1928

2 7

Correspondence, 1929

2 8

Correspondence, 1929

2 9

Correspondence, 1930

2 10

Correspondence, 1931

2 11

Correspondence, 1932

2 12

Correspondence, 1933

3 1

Correspondence with Alaska Survey Data and Expedition Logistics, 1934

3 2

Correspondence with Alaska Survey Data and Expedition Logistics, 1935

3 3

Correspondence with Expedition Documentation, 1936

3 4

Correspondence with Expedition Documentation, 1936

3 5

Correspondence with Expedition Diary and Documentation, 1937

3 6

Correspondence with Expedition Diary and Documentation, 1937

3 7

Correspondence with Expedition Diary and Documentation, 1937

3 8

Correspondence, 1938

3 9

Correspondence, 1939

3 10

Correspondence, 1949-1963

3 11

Letter Fragments, undated

3 12

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Series 3: Writings, 1920s-1940s

Arrangement note

Arrangement is generally chronological.

Box Folder

Writings, 1920s

4 1

Writings, 1930s

4 2

Writings, undated

4 3

A Study of the Nutrition and Teeth of Eskimos of the North Bering Sea and Arctic Alaska, c.1929-1930

4 4

Poems by Leuman Waugh and Others, undated

4 5

Waugh Biographical Materials, c.1930-1937

4 6

The Winged Foot Burgee in Labrador, c.1933-1934

4 7

Writings, 1939

4 8

Writings, 1940-1941

4 9

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Series 4: Realia and Ephemera, 1913-1937

Box Folder

Medical Handbook: Alaska School Service, 1913

4 10

Maps of Alaska, 1917-1937

Separated Materials note

Moved to map case drawer 8.

4 11

Labrador Negatives, 1923-1925

Separated Materials note

Moved to NMAI Photo Archives

4 12

Miscellaneous Study Materials, 1929-1931

4 13

Photography Equipment Brochures and Manuals, c.1929-1935

5 1

Alaska Travel Brochures, Maps and Boating Catalogs, c.1931-1934

5 2

Newsletters, Journals, Directories, Menus, etc., 1932-1945

5 3

Color Postcards, Dental Negatives, Local Cultural and Social Materials, Empty Envelopes and Blank Stationary, c.1936

Separated Materials note

Dental negatives moved to NMAI Photo Archives

5 4

Articles Relating to Eskimos, c.1941

5 5

Business Cards, Greeting Cards, Canadian Postage Stamps, Name and Address Stencil, undated

5 6

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Series 5: Press Clippings and Articles, 1909-1938

Box Folder

Press Clippings and Articles, 1909-1924

5 7

Press Clippings and Articles, 1930-1934

5 8

Press Clippings and Articles, 1935-1938

5 9

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Series 6: Photograph Collection

The photo collection contains around 2000 items including prints, negatives and tinted glass plate negatives. The images have been individually catalogued and their numbers are listed by image type.


Original Image Sleeves, undated


Lantern Slides: L01787-L02822, 1036 Lantern slides

Negatives: N20150-N20192, N42600-N44178, 1622 Negatives (photographic)

Prints: P03420, P30042-P31788, 1746 Photographic prints

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Series 7: Media Collection, 80 Film reels, 16mm, In need of preservation

The media collection contains 80 items but are in need of preservation and can not be viewed.

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