National Anthropological Archives

Guide to the Dorothea Cross Leighton papers, 1937-1960

Collection ID:
Leighton, Dorothea Cross, 1908-1992
Physical Description:
4.25 Linear feet

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
These papers reflect a segment of the professional life of Dorothea Cross Leighton when she was a special physician assigned to the Indian Personality, Education and Administration Research Project. The papers in the collection are concerned with research on the Navajo and Zuni and the preparation of
The Navaho, Children of the People
, and People of the Middle Place. Inclusive dates of the collection are 1937-1974, with the bulk 1942-48. The papers consist of incoming and outgoing letters, manuscripts, individual case files (which contain analyses of free drawings and Rorschach and Thematic Apperception Tests, autobiographies, life histories, medical examinations, personality cards, school records, photographs), individual background materials, memos and reports, notes, Rorschach individual record blanks, health records, materials relating to administration and analyses of tests of Zuni and Navajo children. Lisbeth Eubank analyzed the free drawings; William Henry analyzed the Thematic Apperception Tests; and Leighton and Bruno Klopfer interpreted the Rorschach tests. Physical examinations were given by Richard Birnbaum, M.D. Also included are combined reports and records on Hopi, Navajo, Sioux, and Zuni people; book reviews, clippings, maps, photographs, personal papers, and pamphlets. In addition, there is a small number of Rorschach tests of Japanese subjects that were obtained for comparative purposes.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.

The collection is arranged into 5 series (1) Correspondence, 1941-1960; (2) Writings, n.d.; (2) "Tests and Instructions," 1942; (3) Navaho materials, 1941-1953 (most 1943); (4) Zuni material, 1942-1943; (5) Material relating to several tribes, ca. 1943-1945; (6) Miscellany, 1937-1950.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Social psychiatrist Dorothea Leighton began firsthand work with Indians in 1939-1941 when she and her husband, Alexander Leighton, also a psychiatrist, studied the Navajo under a grant from the Social Science Research council. In 1942-1954, Leighton was once again in the field as a special physician for the Indian Education Research Project, a joint program of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the University of Chicago. The project's purpose was to study the development of personality among five Indian tribes and the effects of government policy. Leighton's part involved psychological studies of Navajo and Zuni children and a share in the preparation of resulting publications on those tribes.
Throughout her field work with Indians, she was in close contact with Clyde Kluckhohn, whose own Ramah Project was under way and who was an advisor for the Indian Education Research project. With Kluckhohn, she published Children of the People: The Navaho Individual and His Development (1947). With John Adair, she published People of the Middle Place (1966), which concerned the Hopi.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Dr. Leighton in 1974.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The Dorothea Cross Leighton papers are open for research. Portions of the collection, in particular materials from the Indian Personality, Education and Administration Research Project, are restricted.
Access to the Dorothea Cross Leighton papers requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation
Dorothea Cross Leighton papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.

Related Materials
For additional materials at the National Anthropological Archives relating to the Indian Personality, Education and Administration Research Project, see the papers of Laura Thompson and Robert J. Havighurst. Correspondence from Leighton can be found in those collections as well as in the papers of Esther Schiff Goldfrank.
For materials relating to Leighton and her husband's research on the Navajo during the 1940s-1950s, see the Dorothea C. Leighton and Alexander H. Leighton papers at the Cline Library Special Collections and Archives at Northern Arizona University.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Psychological tests Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
A:shiwi (Zuni) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diné (Navajo) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746