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Etienne B. Renaud Papers

Identifier: M015


Etienne B. Renaud (1880-1973) served as a faculty member of University of Denver Department of Anthropology from 1920-1948. Renaud influenced archeaological survey methods describing one of the first attempts at systematic excavation in the American Southwest. In 1929 he directed a field expedition for the Colorado Museum of Natural History. He conducted archaeological surveys of the American plains area including Eastern Colorado, 1930-1933; Eastern Wyoming, 1931; Western Nebraska, 1933; Northeast New Mexico, 1934-1935; Southern Wyoming, 1935-1939; and Southern Colorado, 1940-1943. Renaud deposited artifacts from his field expeditions in the University of Denver Anthropology Museum. His papers contain field notes, archaeological survey manuscripts with original sketched site maps and artifact drawings, photographs, maps, journal articles, newspaper clippings, and microfilm.


  • 1916-1965


Digital Repository

Etienne B. Renaud Papers

Language of Materials

These materials are primarily in English with some materials in French.

Biographical / Historical

Professor of Anthropology Etienne B. Renaud (1880-1973) began working as a lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Denver in 1920 and remained a faculty member until his retirement in 1948. He was the first professional archaeologist to make a systematic study of eastern Colorado. In the summer of 1929, Renaud directed a field expedition for the Colorado Museum of Natural History (now the Denver Museum of Nature and Science). He then proceeded with other archaeological surveys of the western High Plains. His archaeology reports were supported not only by the University of Denver, but also by the Smithsonian Institution. After his retirement, he continued to travel, write papers, and give lectures. The collection reflects Renaud's influence on archaeological survey methods, showing one of the first attempts at systematic excavations ever made in the western High Plains. Renaud was instrumental in the development of the Anthropology Department at the University of Denver, becoming its first full professor in 1924. When the Mary Reed Building was built in 1932, Renaud designed the space for the Museum of Anthropology. Many of the artifacts collected during Renaud's archaeological fieldwork are part of the museum's collection. Renaud was a forerunner in the field of archaeology in the Rocky Mountain Region, and contributed greatly to the field as a whole. He influenced many students and colleagues, writing approximately 125 articles for American and European publications on archaeology, craniometry, linguistics, and Native American religion.


8 Linear Feet (5 record boxes, 1 flat box, 1 legal document box, 1 map box)

Scope and Contents

The papers contain Renaud's original field notes; archaeological survey manuscripts with sketched site maps and artifact drawings; reports from the Archaeological Survey of the High Western Plains; maps; microfilm; photographs of Egypt and Central America; newspaper clippings and journal articles about early civilization, prehistoric figurines, and the cultures of the western High Plains.


The papers are arranged into 15 series:

  1. Correspondence, 1927-1965
  2. Field Notes, 1921-1941
  3. Article Notes and Manuscripts, 1926-1939
  4. Articles by Renaud, 1925-1960
  5. Reports and Surveys by Renaud, 1931-1947
  6. Articles citing Renaud, 1943
  7. Articles about Renaud, 1921-1936
  8. Publications Authored by Others, 1922-1963
  9. Photographs, 1923-1937
  10. Negatives, undated
  11. Postcards, 1937, undated
  12. Maps and Travel Information, 1916-1952
  13. European Cave Drawings, undated
  14. Ephemera, undated
  15. Printing plates, undated

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the E.B. Renaud Estate, 1973. Gift of Roy Bartee II, 2006. Gift of Club Sevigne, 2006.


Accrual to collection received from the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology, 2013 October 10. Materials included microfiche of field notes and several printing plates.

Related Materials

The European Collection of E.B. Renaud, Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Steve Holen, Archaeologist)

Separated Materials

Books were removed from the collection and cataloged separately. A list is available in Special Collections.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428