University of Arizona

Students, faculty, staff, and the public are now welcome to visit Special Collections without an appointment from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

Papers of Paul Howard Ezell

Desert view with Picacho Peak in distance


Paul Howard Ezell obtained  his PhD. in archaeology from the University of Arizona in 1956. His dissertation was The Hispanic Acculturation of the Gila River Pimas. Ezell was accepted into the Immigration Border Patrol at El Paso, Texas. In 1943, he entered the Navy as a gunnery officer, returning to the Border Patrol in Ajo, Arizona, after his stint. In the 1950s and 1960s, Ezell worked for the Pima-Maricopa Indian tribe and served as an expert witness, testifying before the Indian Claims Commission in behalf of land claims made by the tribe against the United States government. He also carried out archaeological surveys and conducted ethnographic and oral history field work among the Pima-Maricopa Indians.

Archaeological and historical studies of the Indians of southern Arizona, southern California, northern Sonora, and northern Baja California were Ezell's major interests during his career, along with field work in Bolivia and archaeological excavations at the Spanish presidio of San Diego.


The Papers in the first four series include Biographical Information; Ezell's Diaries and Record Books from 1939-1964. The collection also includes project files, and Pima Land Claim Case Files from 1683-1974.

The bulk of the microfilm contains copies of original source materials from the Bancroft Library at the University of California, the Arizona Historical Society, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, Archivo General de la Nacion, the Escuela Nacional de Antropologia Biblioteca, the Biblioteca Nacional Archivo Franciscano, and the Archivo General y Publico. 

The photographic materials include 14 black and white photographs, most of which were taken in 1957 at places occupied by the Pima-Maricopa Indians. Also included are twenty-seven miscellaneous negatives. The bulk of the fifty-two color slides document the burial site of Father Eusebio Kino and missions in Arizona and Sonora. The maps are primarily of southern Arizona and northern Sonora (Pimeria Alta) and contain historical and cultural information relevant to the Pima-Maricopa Indians.