DWIGHT T. PITCAITHLEY PAPERS
Scope and Contents
The Dwight Pitcaithley Papers span the years 1962 to 2016 and document his personal and professional life. The bulk of the collection chronicles his professional life at the National Park Service and his career after he retired. The correspondence and subject file series are in the original order established by Dwight Pitcaithley and include correspondence, conference programs, meeting agendas and minutes, articles, newspaper clippings, photographs, certificates, reports, notes, brochures, travel information and presentations/articles written by Pitcaithley. Other series include education information, resumes, day planners, VHS and cassette tapes of conferences and news clips and posters from lectures. The digital series includes conference presentations, travel photographs, radio broadcasts and TV interviews featuring Dwight Pitcaithley.
This series contains high school and college transcripts, doctoral degree information, resumes, a biography, photographs, and birthday and anniversary cards.
This series is in the original order established by Dwight Pitcaithley. The files are arranged chronologically and include correspondence, conference programs, meeting agendas and minutes, articles, newspaper clippings, photographs, and presentations/articles written by Pitcaithley.
The subject files are in original order and arranged chronologically. The files contain information about The National Park Service, George Wright Society, conferences, travel, and writing projects. Materials include certificates, articles, reports, agendas, notes, brochures, presentation proposals, newspaper clippings, correspondence, minutes, travel information, photographs, and drafts/final versions of presentations and papers.
The day planners and notepads contain daily notes made by Pitcaithley during his work at the National Park Service.
This series includes video tapes (VHS) of the Twelfth Annual Lincoln Colloquium at the University of Illinois Springfield (1997); the Confederate History Symposium at Hill College, Hillsboro, Texas in 2003; and USS Arizona memorial film controversy news clip (1999). Audio cassettes contain an Op-ed piece about the National Park Service and the Civil War (2000), and the WGN 720 radio program Extension 720 "The Craft of the Historian" (2003).
This series contains posters advertising lectures and workshops where Pitcaithley was speaking.
This series contains digital records related to Dwight Pitcaithley’s work on reinterpreting Civil War battle sites, conference presentations, travel, and interviews. There are videos, audio recordings, PowerPoint presentations, and photographs. The series contains 985 files and 59 folders, totaling 32 gigabytes. The digital records were transferred from DVDs and CDs. There is one file folder in Box 8 containing correspondence, a business card, and a list of the photographs taken in Belgium that were transferred from the DVD/CD cases.
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Biographical / Historical
Dwight Townsend Pitcaithley was born on October 23, 1944 in Carlsbad, New Mexico to Alexander Sydenham Pitcaithley (1904-1983) and Carolyn Townsend (1919-2017). He graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1962. After high school and a few years of college, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. From 1964 to 1967, he served as a radio operator in a 105-mm artillery battery in California and Hawaii and then with the 5th Marine Division near Chu Lai, Vietnam. He married Mary Sabette Stephens on August 22, 1968. The couple has one daughter. After Pitcaithley's military service, he returned to Eastern New Mexico University and received a B.A. (1970) and M.A. (1971) in history. He earned his Ph.D. in history from Texas Tech University in 1976.
Pitcaithley’s work with the National Park Service began with a stint as a seasonal laborer (1963-1964) and park guide (1968) at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Following graduation from Texas Tech, he became a research historian for the Southwest Region in Santa Fe, New Mexico from 1976-1979; Regional Historian for the North Atlantic Region in Boston, Massachusetts from 1979-1989; Chief of the Division of Cultural Resources, National Capitol Region in Washington D.C. from 1989-1995; and Chief Historian of the National Park Service from 1995-2005. Pitcaithley's work at the Park Service focused on historic preservation and the interpretation of historic sites. This led him to be a prolific writer and presenter at conferences where he lectured in the States and abroad. He served as the President of the National Council on Public History and the George Wright Society as well as an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University.
Some of his publications include: The U.S. Constitution and Secession: A Documentary Anthology of Slavery and White Supremacy (2018); The Antiquities Act: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic Preservation, and Nature Conservation, co-editor (2006); and chapters in Becoming Historians (2009), Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory (2006), Preserving Western History (2005), and Public History and the Environment (2004).
Pitcaithley has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Organization of American Historians (2005); an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of North Carolina (2011); Robert Kelley Memorial Award from the National Council on Public History (2006), and the Sequoia Award for contributions to the National Park Service Interpretation and Education Program (2002). He was honored as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow; Visiting Distinguished Public Historian at Middle Tennessee State University (2006); and a Distinguished American Scholar by the Fulbright New Zealand Board of Directors (2000).
In 2018, Pitcaithley is a College Professor at New Mexico State University and resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
10 Boxes (8.75 linear feet)
1 Audiovisual box (.5 linear feet)
1 oversize folder
32 Gigabytes (985 files and 59 folders)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift, Dwight Pitcaithley, 2008, 2011, 2016.
- Historic preservation -- United States. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Letters (correspondence) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Personal papers Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Pitcaithley, Dwight T., 1944- -- Archives.
- United States. National Park Service -- History.
- DWIGHT PITCAITHLEY PAPERS
- Jamie Seemiller
- March 2018, revised October 2018
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script