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Lawrence Carpenter Papers

Identifier: MSS 0534

Scope and Content

The Lawrence Carpenter Papers date from 1983-1989 and primarily contain field notebooks, index cards, general files and publications, slides, and AV material related to linguist and anthropologist Lawrence Carpenter's research on the Quechua (note in Ecuador the name of the language is “Quichua”, elsewhere it is “Quechua”) language in South America. The collection is arranged in five series:

Series 1. “Field Notebooks, 1973-1989” which primarily contain analyzed data compiled during Carpenter’s field work on the Quichua language in South America during the early 1970s to 1980s. This data is linked to data found in the Index Cards series and AV series, in some cases including transcriptions of recordings made on audiocassette tapes. Also included are some earlier notebooks from Carpenter’s time in the Peace Corps.

Series 2. “Index Cards, circa 1970s-1980s” which contains a large index card filing system that correlates to the fieldwork AV tapes and field notebooks on the Quichua language. The investigative process included: 1) recording the material or writing it down directly as people speak; 2) copying it cleanly into field notebooks; 3) analyzing the material in the notebooks; 4) filing the material on index cards. Together making a valuable resource for language research. The index cards include grammatical data, phonology, glossaries of Quichua to Spanish and Spanish to Quichua, and other information. Each card is generally systematically structured and also often includes links to the notebook, page, and item numbers that correlate to the field notebooks.

Series 3. “General Files and Publications, 1973-1989” which primarily contains publications of research articles authored by Lawrence Carpenter as well as correspondence, a CV, and other material and documents.

Series 4. “Slides, 1974-1989” contains a number of binders containing mostly unorganized and unidentified slides likely related to Carpenter’s field trips in South America. The images particularly capture scenery, buildings, and people. They have been maintained in their original order and numbering scheme.

Series 5. “AV Materials, 1978-1981” contains two subseries of AV materials. “Master Tapes” includes the tapes related to fieldwork conducted by Lawrence Carpenter and correlated between the “Field Notebooks” and “Index Cards” Series. Many of these are unlabeled. The other subseries contains a Quechua language course for Bolivian Quechua.


  • Creation: 1973 - 1989


Language of Materials

Includes materials written in English, Spanish, and Quechua.


The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Lawrence K. Carpenter was born on March 28, 1948 in Radford, Virginia. He attended Berea College in Kentucky, obtaining a Bachelors in Spanish and French in 1971. In 1974, he received his Masters from Radford University (Virginia) in Bilingual Education/Statistics/Media. Throughout his education and career, Lawrence, dedicated much of his time to fieldwork in South America, conducting studies in Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Chile, and Columbia primarily related to the Quechua language. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1982 in Linguistics/Anthropology. His dissertation thesis title was “Ecuadorian Quichua: Descriptive Sketch and Variation”. After obtaining his doctorate, he held professorial positions at the University of Florida, University of California at Irvine, Indiana University Indianapolis, Indiana University Bloomington, and University of North Florida. He also co-founded the Jatari Scholarship Fund which provided educational opportunities for Andean children. He passed away on September 19, 1990 at age 42.


7 Linear Feet (13 Boxes)


Field notebooks, index cards, general files and publications, slides, and AV material related to linguist and anthropologist Lawrence Carpenter's research on the Quechua language in South America.


Please note that this collection is housed in the Auxiliary Library Facility off campus and will require advance notice for timely retrieval. Please contact the Special and Area Studies Collections department prior to your visit.University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Other Finding Aids

This guide is available in Spanish at

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Daisy Vaughn in May 1994.

Processing Information

Electronic records (floppy disk drives) and some AV still remain unprocessed.

A Guide to the Lawrence Carpenter Papers
Finding aid created by Carla M. Summers and Matt Kruse
October 2023
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • January 2024: The Spanish guide was added to the collection by Martha Kapelewski.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America