Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Newsletter of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 3, Number 2, May 1981. ISSN 0196-7134


© Association for Documentary Editing, 1981. Used by permission.


It is in these two problem areas, lack of material and ethnocentric bias, that the historical editor can best offer help to the ethnohistorian. The importance of any single early colonial document containing description of preliterate peoples in North America is almost incalculable. In some few instances our knowledge of the very existence of individual tribes rests upon such a single document. 5 For this reason the historical editor should consider the needs of ethnohistory when he is choosing documents to edit for publication. The modern growth of interest in social history has broken the hold of the "Great White Men" bias in historical editing, and Native Americans are among those groups which have suffered from this kind of neglect in the past. But just as is the case with documentary materials which give us more information about the lives of women, blacks, and the poor, ethnohistorical materials make a solid contribution to a more complete history, and this reason alone offers adequate justification for paying special attention to them.