Dr. Arthur Caswell Parker and His Impact on the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences and Native Americans

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Southern New Hampshire University
This thesis examines Dr. Arthur Caswell Parker, an archaeologist, anthropologist, and ethnologist who was Director of the Rochester Municipal Museum (RMM)/Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences (RMAS) from 1926 to 1945. Archives about Parker already exist in the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC), however, more information came from cataloging and packing the new archival Engstrom gift that was loaned to the RMSC by Betty Ann Engstrom in August of 2016. Cataloging and archiving the Engstrom gift has been the top priority at the RMSC over the past three months. While working on the project, the RMSC provided access to personal letters belonging to Parker, his family, and work friends, photographs, unpublished manuscripts, books, and speeches written by Parker, friends, family, and other museum officials. The focus of this research is on the artifacts that were brought in by Parker, but the vault is currently under construction; therefore, there will be no access to the artifacts until after November of 2017. The idea of creating a public program lecture that encompasses the knowledge and research gained from primary and secondary sources will bring about Parker’s legacy of creating Native American exhibits using his own background as Native American, the knowledge he gained from working at the New York State Museum, and with help from mentors to the eyes of the public.