Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 1983


Great Plains Quarterly Vol. 3, No. 4, Fall 1983, pp. 238-39.


Copyright 1983 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


One of the shortcomings of any bibliography is that it is somewhat out-of-date by the time it is published. The more being written in its area of coverage, the sooner it needs to be updated. It is an indication of the current interest in Indian white relations that Francis Paul Prucha's compendious bibliographical guide published in 1977 has already had to be supplemented with a bibliography containing more than three thousand entries. In the single area of legal relations, for example, nearly three hundred fifty new titles have appeared in the years 1975-1980.

Users of Prucha's original guide will find the organization of the supplement essentially the same, though because of the smaller number of items some subheadings have been combined. The encyclopedic thoroughness of the earlier work characterizes the supplement as well, and the self-imposed limitations (e.g., the exclusion of "strictly anthropological works") of the former have been observed here also.

Given the overlapping nature of many works, the choice of a heading under which to place each one must have posed a difficult problemone that has been very well met on the whole. Because of the decision to list each item only once and to dispense with cross-references, the user must expect to refer frequently to the extremely full index. Some titles might almost as logically have been placed under one heading as under another. For example, the collection of short biographies of the men who have served as commissioners of Indian affairs, edited by Robert Kvasnicka and Herman Viola, is not listed under "Persons Concerned with Indian Affairs" but under "The Indian Department."

The user needs to keep in mind the coverage of this book: it is a bibliography of works on Indian-white relations, not on the American Indian in general. Nevertheless, since the recorded history of most tribes amounts to a chronicle of their contacts with Europeans, such a bibliography includes the titles of many works that treat of much more than Indianwhite relations. For example, numerous tribal histories are listed, such as those in the Indian Tribal Series published at Phoenix. If the number of entries is an accurate reflection of the amount of work being done on individual tribes, some are receiving far more attention than others-an inference one might draw from the inclusion of eighty-six titles on the Cherokee Indians and only two on the Chickasaws.