National Anthropological Archives

Register to the Papers of Geoffrey N. O'Grady

Collection ID:
O'Grady, G. N. (Geoffrey N.)
bulk 1957-1998
; Due to the linguistic nature of O'Grady's work, much of his field research is written in other languages including
, and
Physical Description:
Plus 3 oversize boxes, 4 record storage boxes, and 3 map folders
11.8 Linear feet
24 document boxes and 3 card file boxes

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection is comprised of the professional papers of linguistic anthropologist Geoffrey O'Grady. Included are research materials consisting of field notes and notebooks, correspondence, published and unpublished writings, annotated copies of other scholars' work, photographs, and sound recordings.
The materials in this collection document O'Grady's career as a linguistic scholar from his days as a jackaroo in the Australian outback to his time at the University of Victoria. The majority of the collection is made up of field research, which contains detailed vocabularies and linguistic analysis for aboriginal peoples of Australia and First Nation communities of Canada. O'Grady's sound recordings represent his work with the Arizona Tewa language among the Hopi as well as various Australian aboriginal languages; they supplement the Field Research series.

The O'Grady collection is arranged into 7 series: (1) Field Research; (2) Writings; (3) Professional Activities; (4) Correspondence; (5) Writings by Others; (6) Photographs; (7) Sound recordings.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Anthropological linguist Geoffrey N. O'Grady was born on January 1, 1928 in southern Australia. He first became interested in languages in high school when he took classes in Latin, German, Russian, and Hungarian. O'Grady became immersed in Australian aboriginal languages during his six years as a jackaroo on a sheep station at Wallal Downs in the Australian Outback. There he spent time with aboriginal peoples and was adopted into the Nyangumarta tribe where he learned to speak their language.
O'Grady was offered a research assistantship at the University of Sydney in 1956. This allowed him to take field research trips into the Outback where he recorded various indigenous languages. During this time he undertook a project to alphabetize the Nyangumarta language. As a result, a literacy program and a Nyangumarta newspaper, which is still published, were established.
In 1960, after completing his BA at the University of Sydney, O'Grady received a Fulbright Scholarship to attend Indiana University. During three summers at Indiana, he travelled to Arizona to conduct field research in Hopi Tewa. After he completed his PhD he accepted a position at the University of Alberta, Edmonton in 1963. While at the University of Alberta he began to study northern Canadian First Nations languages. In 1965 he moved on to the Linguistics Department at the University of Victoria, where he began to study indigenous languages on Vancouver Island and taught courses on phonetics and historical sound change. When O'Grady retired from the University of Victoria in 1993, the Australian National University honored him with a Festschrift entitled "Boundary Rider."
Geoffrey O' Grady passed away on December 28, 2008 after a long struggle with Parkinson's.
Sources Consulted
2009. Geoffrey O'Grady Obituary. Victoria Times Colonist. January 3., accessed April 4, 2012.
John Esling. 2009. In Memoriam: Dr. Geoffrey N. O'Grady., accessed April 4, 2012.
Born January 1
Accepted research assistantship at the University of Sydney and began undergraduate studies
Married wife Alix
Received BA from the University of Sydney
Fulbright scholarship at Indiana University where he finished his PhD
Summer field studies of Hopi Tewa in Arizona
Completed dissertation on grammar of Nyangumarta under the supervision of C.F. and F.M. Voegelin
Began work at University of Alberta, Edmonton
Joined the Linguistics Department at University of Victoria in BC Canada
Project to outline the relationships among all of the Aboriginal languages of Australia
Retired from University of Victoria
Died December 28

Christy Fic
The digitization of portions of this collection was supported by a generous grant from the Arcadia Fund.
Processing Information
The papers of Geoffrey O'Grady were received partially organized. The archivist kept existing groupings and organized the collection into seven series. Original folder titles were retained. Folder titles assigned by the archivist are indicated by square brackets.
Additional information regarding O'Grady's field research, writings, and sound recordings was provided by Claire Bowern and Barry Alpher (April 18-20, 2012). According to Bowern and Alpher, some of the material in Series 1 is not by O'Grady, but is in Kenneth Hale's handwriting. Hale and O'Grady worked closely together for many years. Some of the vocabulary slips are in Arthur Capell's handwriting; Capell was Professor at the University of Sydney and worked on a number of Australian languages, especially in the 1940s and 1950s. A few of these vocabulary slip sets have been subsequently annotated by O'Grady.
Files have been rehoused in acid free folders. Sound recordings were kept in their original cases to retain the metadata along with the recordings. Large items were placed in oversized boxes or in map folders.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by O'Grady's wife Alix O'Grady.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
Geoffrey N. O'Grady Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
For more of O'Grady's language material from Western Australia and sound recordings from his fieldwork among the aborigines in the 1950s and 1960s, consult the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) located in Lawson Cres, Canberra ACT, Australia.

More Information
1959 Significance of the Circumcision Boundary in Western Australia. Sydney, Australia: University of Sydney.
1963 with F. M. Voegelin, Stephen Wurm, Tokuichiro Matsuda, and C. F. Voegelin. Obtaining an Index of Phonological Differentiation from the Construction of Non-Existent Minimax Systems. International Journal of American Linguistics 29(1): 4-28.
1964 Nyangumata Grammar. Sydney, Australia: University of Sydney.
1966 Proto-Ngayarda Phonology. Oceanic Linguistics 5(2): 71-130.
1969 with Terry J. Klokeid. Australian Linguistic Classification: A Plea for Coordination of Effort. Oceania 39(4): 298-311.
1973 with Kathleen A. Mooney. Nyangumarda Kinship Terminology. Anthropological Linguistics 15(1): 1-23.
1974 with Ken Hall. Recommendations Concerning Bilingual Education in the Northern Territory. Darwin, NT, Australia, Department of Education.
1990 with Darrell Tryon. Studies in Comparative Pama-Nyungan. Canberra, A.C.T.: Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University.
1997 editor with Darrell Tryon and Michael Walsh. Boundary Rider: Essays in Honour of Geoffrey O'Grady. Canberra, A.C.T., Australia: Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Indians of North America -- Southwest, New Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arizona Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Linguistics Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field notes Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aranda (Australian people) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Australian Aborigines Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Australia Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vancouver (British Columbia) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopi Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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