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Charles A. Hoffman Papers

Identifier: MS Group 292

Scope and Content

The Hoffman collection covers Hoffman's work in the fields of Caribbean studies, Columbus' first landfall, big game hunting and early Florida Native Americans. The collection includes his correspondence, publications and writings, an assortment of project files, and field notebooks on his Columbus and Caribbean research and the Silver Springs Paleo-Indian Run and Guest Mammoth Kill Site. His fieldwork is also documented in photographs and slides. Field notebooks and images are housed with their corresponding manuscript or project file in most cases. Some slides, negatives and images were identified by Hoffman; others are unidentified. Other audio-visual material can be found in box 8 of the collection. Some field notebooks were written by Hoffman; others were created by students or assistants who helped with the project.


  • Creation: 1958-2005
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1966-1990


Language of Materials

Materials are in English, but some materials, including some correspondence, are in Spanish.


The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Andrew Hoffman was born in Wildwood, New Jersey, on August 17, 1929. He attended the University of Florida where he earned his B.S.J. in Journalism, as well as his MA in Anthropology concurrently with a minor in Geology. He went on to achieve a Ph.D. in Anthropology with a minor in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Arizona in 1967. He served in the U.S. Navy in Korea.

His disciplines included people and cultures of the Caribbean area, past and current anthropology of historic sites, Paleo-Indians of the New World, Columbus' first landfall, eastern Arizona archaeology and anthropological theory. A major portion of his work and interest were the excavations of the Silver Springs Paleo-Indian Run and Guest Mammoth Kill Site in Florida. He often traveled to the Caribbean to study the cultures of the native people and investigate Columbus' first landfall. He was considered an expert on Columbus' first landfall and was very active in conferences and discussions relating to the topic.

He studied under and worked closely with University of Florida anthropologist, John M. Goggin. Hoffman also worked closely with the Florida State Museum, now the Florida Museum of Natural History. Indeed, while analyzing some of the materials at UF which he had brought back with him from the Caribbean he realized there were no fish skeletons on hand with which to compare his samples. He wrote to a friend at the museum in 1962, "If you have ever felt a strong urge to mail someone a cold fish, now's your chance. By all means, exercise this desire to the utmost and you will have made a tremendous contribution to science." He finished his career as Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University, retiring in 1995. He died July 1, 2005 in Flagstaff, Arizona at the age of 75.


4 Linear feet (8 boxes)


Charles A. Hoffman was a distinguished archaeologist and anthropologist who worked in the American Southwest, Florida and the Caribbean. His areas of interest included eastern Arizona archaeology, mammoth and Native Peoples interactions (big game hunting) and Columbus' first landfall. The collection is comprised of materials primarily related to Florida and the Caribbean, including his field notebooks, publications and research files, photographs, membership and association files, correspondence, and grant proposals.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

The collection was transferred to the University of Florida Smathers Libraries from the Cline Library at Northern Arizona University.

Related Material

Materials regarding Hoffman's work after he left Florida can be found at Northern Arizona University. Additional Caribbean materials collected by Hoffman are housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. The University of Florida Libraries also hold other collections relating to anthropology and archaeology in Florida and the Caribbean, including the John M. Goggin Papers.

A Guide to the Charles A. Hoffman Papers
Finding aid created by Jessica Peters
October 2011
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

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