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John M. Goggin Papers

Identifier: Ms 044

Scope and Content

The John Mann Goggin Papers include: his correspondence with family, colleagues and peers, his publications, an assortment of subject files on various topics used by Goggin while conducting his research, and his field notebooks covering the years between 1932 and 1960. His fieldwork is also documented in photographs. Other sections of the collection include his class notes and newspaper clippings on various subjects spanning the years between the 1940s through the 1960s.

Correspondence includes letters organized by writer/recipient, as well as general correspondence arranged chronologically. Subject files, publications, and research files are arranged alphabetically by topic or title.

The field notebooks of Goggin's excavations are arranged in chronological and researchers are referred to his published work and to Brent Weisman's biographical study Pioneer in Space and Time for information on Goggin's extensive resume of fieldwork. Newspaper clippings are arranged both alphabetically by subject and the more general clippings are arranged chronologically. Only about half of the photo collection is labeled with captions. Negatives are unlabeled. Slides are stored in slide boxes and separated by subject tabs. There are five scrapbook photo albums. One scrapbook is labeled on the front cover "Florida" and contains personal photographs and photographs of fieldwork in various places in the state. Another scrapbook is labeled "Bahamas Islands" and contains photographs from the Andros Island archaeological survey, spanning the months July - August in 1937. The photos in this album are labeled. A third scrapbook is labeled "Florida: Camping and Ecological Pictures." All of the photographs in this album are labeled. The fourth scrapbook is labeled "Mexico 1939" and it contains travel documents to Mexico as well as photographs, most of which are labeled. The last scrapbook is a large green album with no title. It contains photographs from various parts of Florida and spans the years 1932 - 1935. All of the photographs in this album are labeled.

There are ten card boxes numbered from 15 to 24. Box 15 is a miscellaneous box containing material such as artifact catalog cards, notes on types of plants, and bibliographical information. Boxes 16 and Box 17 contain notecards on Seminole ethnology. Box 18 contains notes on the Seminoles and early Seminole leaders. Box 19 contains notes on Creek ethnology. Boxes 20 and 21 contain notes on sites and material culture. Boxes 22 through 24 contain lecture notes for classes.


  • Creation: 1912-1975
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930-1963



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

John M. Goggin was born in Chicago in 1916. He moved to Miami at an early age with his family, where much of his childhood was spent in the Everglades developing his love for natural history and anthropology. He studied for a short while at University of Florida and then transferred to the University of New Mexico, where he majored in anthropology and began field work in the Southwest. His first publication was made while he was still an undergraduate. It dealt with the greater Southwest area and southern Florida. He received his B.A. from New Mexico University in 1938, and remained in the Southwest for some time serving as the curator at Colorado State Monument. He went on to complete his graduate work at Yale, receiving his M.A in 1946 and his Ph.D in 1948. Later that year, Goggin accepted a job at the University of Florida where he would work until his death in 1963 at the age of 46.

Goggin's career included work in archaeology, ethnology, and cultural anthropology. As a professor at the University of Florida, he continued his field work in Florida, Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean. His findings contributed important collections to the Yale Peabody Museum, the Florida State Museum (now the Florida Museum of Natural History), and other institutions. One of his most important contributions was his application of the concept of pottery typologies and seriation to the study of additional kinds of archaeological and historical artifacts. He was also the first to develop a time - space chart for Florida archaeology, as well as the first to describe and name cultural traditions amongst Indian tribes in Florida. He was a founder of the Florida Anthropological Society and editor of its journal and was an active member of the Eastern States Archaeological Federation. He was also responsible for establishing the department of Anthropology at UF and for creating an underwater archaeology program at UF. His work on Spanish olive jars and majolicas laid the groundwork for future historical archaeology of the Spanish circum - Caribbean.

In addition to his archaeological work, Goggin dedicated much of his time to the study of the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Florida Seminole, including studies of language, arts, and other aspects of culture. He taught classes in all fields of anthropology.

Goggin published many books and articles. Some of his major works include: Space and Time Perspective in Northern St. Johns Archeology, Florida; Indian and Spanish Selected Writings; Spanish Majolica in the New World: Types of the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries; The Spanish Olive Jar: An Introductory Study; and Excavations on Upper Matecumbe Key, Florida.

Sources: Goggin, John M. 1917 - 1963. "Vita," Box 1; Weisman, Brent Richards, Pioneer in Space and Time: John Mann Goggin and the Development of Florida Archaeology. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, 2002.


12.5 Linear feet (24 boxes)

Language of Materials



John M. Goggin was a renowned archaeologist and anthropologist who worked in the American Southwest and Southeast, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The collection includes his field notebooks, his publications and research files, photographs, and newspaper clippings.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

The John M. Goggin collection was donated by Goggin's widow, Mrs. Margaret Knox Goggin, to the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History.

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Related Material

Other material related to John M. Goggin's research can be found in the Florida Natural History Museum on the University of Florida campus. Scholars who published with and were close to Goggin include: William Sturtevant, Charles Fairbanks, Irving Rouse, David True, and John Swanton. All of these scholars are represented in the correspondence. Researchers who are interested in furthering their understanding of Goggin's research and history should reference the book Pioneer in Space and Time: John Mann Goggin and the Development of Florida Archaeology by Brent Richards Weisman.

A Guide to the John M. Goggin Papers
Finding aid prepared by Eileen Parotino
December 2009
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