Fonds 117 - Marjorie M. Halpin fonds (private records)

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Marjorie M. Halpin fonds (private records)

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the records in the fonds.

Level of description


Reference code


Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 9.03 m of textual records and other material

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1937 - 2000)

Biographical history

Marjorie Myers Halpin was born on February 11, 1937 in Tampa, Florida. She received both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Anthropology from George Washington University in 1962 and 1965 respectively. Between 1963 and 1968, Halpin was employed as a docent and an instructor in anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. During this time, she was also a part-time lecturer at George Washington University. Halpin’s involvement as teacher and scholar at the University of British Columbia began in 1968 when she was hired as a sessional lecturer in the Anthropology Department. Her duties evolved to include part-time curating at the Museum of Anthropology at U.B.C. She received her Ph.D. from U.B.C. in 1973 and was hired for the position of Assistant Professor and Curator in the same year. Halpin was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and Curator at U.B.C. in 1981 and remained in this position until the time of her death in 2000. She was also Acting Director of the Museum from 1983 to 1984.

As a professor in U.B.C.’s Anthropology Department, Halpin taught both lower and higher level anthropology courses. She also supervised the work of many Master’s and Ph.D.-level students and served as Chair and University Examiner for numerous Ph.D. students. As part of U.B.C.’s faculty, Halpin served on various committees including the Department Equity Committee, the Graduate Studies Committee and Green College’s Membership Committee. As scholar and writer, Halpin’s main interests were in Coast Tsimshian and Gitksan ethnology, museum anthropology, and the anthropology of art and ritual, which led her to produce many articles and essays on native art and culture. In addition, Halpin also gave presentations and public lectures at national and international conferences. She wrote two books, Totem Poles: An Illustrated Guide and Jack Shadbolt and the Coastal Indian Image, both of which were published as part of the Museum of Anthropology’s Museum Note Series. Halpin also edited and reviewed many publications within the anthropological field and contributed chapters to Canadian Encyclopedia, The Handbook of North American Indians and Consciousness and Inquiry, among many other publications. Her scholarly interests have also led to her involvement with electronic publications on Northwest Coast art, namely with CD-Roms and websites.

Halpin was an active member of numerous societies such as the Canadian Ethnology Society, the Canadian Museums Association and the Native Studies Art Association of Canada. She was also a member of the Tri-Council (MRC, SSHRC, NRC) Committee on Collections Documentation (2000), Chair of the Totem Pole Advisory Committee for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation (1983-84) and Chair of the Committee on Museum Ethics for the Canadian Ethnology Society (1974-75). In addition to her duties as teacher, scholar and anthropologist, Halpin also took on the role of consultant for numerous private projects. Marjorie Halpin passed away in White Rock in 2000.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created by Marjorie Halpin as a professor and scholar of Anthropology. The records mainly consist of textual records and audio-visual material including photographs, slides, audio-cassettes, video-cassettes, posters and maps. The records include correspondence, memoranda, reports, curriculum vitae, cue cards, invitations, lecture notes, planning notes, research notes, draft copies of articles and papers, reviews of publications written by Halpin and reviews of Halpin’s own work, grant applications, budgets, negatives, contact sheets, postcards, overheads, taped interviews, minutes of committee meetings, published proceedings of conferences and other material relating to Halpin’s participation in conferences.

The fonds has been organized into the following series:

  1. Teaching and Education Files, 1971-2000
  2. Research Files, 1938-1999
  3. Published and Unpublished Works, 1968-2000
  4. Community Service Files, 1972-2000
  5. Correspondence Files, 1924-2000

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records in this fonds were held by Halpin until her death in 2000.


When retrieved from Halpin’s office, the records were placed in boxes in a manner that attempted to emulate the original order of the records. Arrangement of the records was completed in accordance with this order.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Some files are restricted. Consult archivist for details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Some series contain records with copyright and reproduction restrictions. Consult archivist for details.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Records relating to Tsimshian research are located in the Wilson Duff fonds.

Records related to Halpin's work as curator at MOA are in the Marjorie Halpin (MOA Curator) fonds.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

During the original processing of these records, a sixth series was created called “Wilson Duff Files, 1919-1976”. This series included research files on the Tsimshian that Duff had given to Halpin prior to his death in 1976. In July 2002 it was decided that Duff’s records should be removed from the Marjorie M. Halpin fonds and placed in the Wilson Duff fonds, thereby becoming Series 13: Tsimshian Files. Halpin records that were included in this series were removed and have been processed into the Marjorie M. Halpin fonds, Series 2: Research Files, Sub-series A: Research Notes. They can be found in Box 20: files 9, 10, 13, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 35, 38, and 48.

Physical description

Includes ca. 9.0 m of textual records, 588 photographs : b&w and col., ca. 2461 negatives : col., ca. 3300 slides : col., 14 contact sheets : b& w, 1 floppy disk, 45 audio cassettes, 6 video cassettes, 3 maps, 6 posters and 1 drawing.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Lisa Beitel and Y. M. Chong September 2002
Updated by Laura Mason November 2012
Added to AtoM in December 9, 2015
Updated by Petra Warren March 2020

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres