The collection documents the
archaeological excavations, fieldwork, research, and writings of the nineteenth-century
photographers, antiquarians, and amateur archaeologists Augustus and Alice Dixon Le
Plongeon, the first persons to systematically excavate and photograph the Maya sites of
Chichén Itzá and Uxmal (1873-1886). The couple's pioneering work in documenting Maya sites
and inscriptions with photography, which in many cases recorded the appearance of sites and
objects that have subsequently been damaged or lost, was overshadowed in their own lifetimes
by their theories of Maya cultural diffusion, and in particular by their insistence that the
Maya founded ancient Egypt. The Le Plongeon's work, and evidence of their wide-ranging
interests, is found in manuscripts, diaries, correspondence, and photographs. The collection
also contains papers belonging to Maude and Henry Field Blackwell, who inherited the
literary estate of the Le Plongeons.
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Collection material is in English,
Spanish, and French.
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