William Curry Holden received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas. In 1929, he joined the faculty of Texas Technological College to teach history and anthropology. He remained there for more than four decades, becoming chairman of the history department in 1936, dean and director of anthropological, historical, and social-science research in 1938, and in 1945, dean of the Graduate School, a position that he retained until 1950. In 1965 Dr. Holder was granted the status of Professor Emeritus of History.
His main interests were the West Texas history and prehistory and, later, the Yaqui Indians of Sonora. In 1934 and 1936 Holden took students on an expeditions to Sonora to study the Yaqui. These expeditions lead to the books Studies of the Yaqui Indians of Sonora, Mexico(1936), for which Holden was primary author andA Yaqui Life.
The collection contains letters from Ramon Torry, Vicam, Sonora. Torry was a Yaqui interpreter for the expedition to Rio Yaqui. There are four letters from Dr. Holden to Mrs. C.J. Wagner as well as letters from others who were on the expedition to the Rio Yaqui. Also included are four 8x10 photographs of Yaquis, including one of the Matachines dancing.