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Election Year: 1975
Scientific Discipline: Anthropology
Membership Type: Member
Frederica de Laguna was an archeologist and ethnologist known for her pioneering work regarding Indian and Eskimo cultures of North America. De Laguna was particularly interested in, and wrote extensively about, the Yakutat Tlingit culture of Southeastern Alaska. Her most important contributions to anthropology were the archaeological, ethnographic, and ethno-historic information gathered through her study of these peoples, which still remain the most widely cited works on the subject.
De Laguna graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1927 and earned her PhD from Columbia University in 1933. Following graduation, de Laguna traveled internationally and worked at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. In 1938 de Laguna came back to Bryn Mawr as a lecturer and several years later developed, and directed, the first Department of Anthropology at Bryn Mawr. De Laguna had a rich career in scholarship and was named president of the American Anthropological Association in 1966.