University of Arizona

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Bernard Fontana Papers

Part of sketch map, Los Ruinos, Arivaca Canon, 2 miles above Arivaca, Pima Co. Az

Bernard (Bunny) Lee Fontana was a prominent anthropologist based out of the University of Arizona. He participated in many activities around Sonora and southern Arizona and was also a prolific author who preferred to be known as Bunny.

Bunny Fontana  earned his Ph.D. in anthropology in 1960. Bunny held the positions of field historian in the University of Arizona Library, ethnologist in the Arizona State Museum, and lecturer in the Department of Anthropology. He was very active professionally and wrote many articles, books, and other literary contributions. He was also an editor, active community member, lecturer and private consultant.

Among his contributions are the books A Gift of Angels: The Art of Mission San Xavier del Bac; Trails to Tiburon: The 1894 and 1895 Field Diaries of W J McGee. Bunny Fontana was very involved in Tohono O'odham affairs. Fontana's main research interest was Southwest ethnohistory, history, and ethnology, including the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua. He was a member of Patronato San Xavier which is dedicated to preserving and promoting the Mission of San Xavier del Bac. 

Bunny retired from the University of Arizona in 1992 and Hazel Fontana passed away in February 2009. Bunny Fontana remained active in organizations and continued attending meetings, conferences, and writing articles and book reviews.

This collection contains materials relating to Bernard (Bunny) Fontana, a prominent anthropologist and active community member in Southern Arizona. Materials include activity files, which include documentation of activities in organizations, speeches, conferences, and research; writings, which include manuscripts and book reviews. Also included is correspondence, personal files and oversize materials.