Rhoads and Morley families papers
Scope and Contents
The collection contains papers from the Rhoads and Morley families, including correspondence, writings, notes, drafts, journals, pictures, scrapbooks, and other personal papers. Collection includes portraits of Franklin Koons and Frances May Cook Rhoads and their daughters Dorothy and Frances, as well poetry, short stories and other writings by Dorothy. It also includes the personal papers of Dr. Sylvanus G. Morley and information he collected on the Mayan ruins. The photographs in the collection are divided primarily into Rhoads and Morley families. Photographs of Mayan artifacts, people, and architeccture are believed to be photographed by Frances Rhoads Morley. Dated 1881 to 1986.
Conditions Governing Access
Open for public research.
Conditions Governing Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at email@example.com.
Sylvanus (Vanus or Vay) Griswold Morley was born June 7, 1883 to Benjamin F. Morley and Sarah Eleanor Constance De Lannoy. Sylvanus attended school at Harvard University, where he received bachelors and masters degrees in archaeology. In 1908, he married Alice Gallinger Williams, and they had one child, Alice Virginia Morley. Sylvanus and Alice got divorced around 1914. After finishing school, Sylvanus worked with the Carnegie Institute and investigated the ancient Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula. He also visited sites throughout Mesoamerica, including Copan, Tikal, Chichen Itza, and Uxmal. His interests included heiroglyphics, monumental architecture, and the Classic and Postclassic Maya. In 1927, Sylvanus G. Morley married Frances Rose Lou Rhoads, and she began to accompany him on excavations and they owned houses in Mexico and Sante Fe. In 1946, Morley wrote The Ancient Maya, a large volume detailing Maya archaeology. Sylvanus died on September 2, 1948 and Frances died March 15, 1955.
The Franklin Koons and Frances May Cook Rhoads family lived in Pekin and Rock Island, Illinios. Franklin Koons Rhoads was born October 23, 1867 in Pekin, Illinois to Samuel Rhoads and Anna Koons. Frances (Fannie) May Cook was born around 1880 to John Spafford Cook and Sarah Dexter. Franklin and Fannie got married April 27, 1892, and they had two children, Dorothy Mary and Frances Louella. Dorothy was born March 19, 1895 and Frances was born September 8, 1898. The family lived in Illinois for many years, near other family members. Frances May died March 28, 1924 and Franklin died March 27, 1943 in Rock Island, Illinois. Dorothy and Frances moved to Sante Fe, New Mexico in about 1920, and Dorothy lived there until 1986, when she died. In 1927, Frances married Sylvanus Morley, and spent her remaining years between Mexico and Sante Fe. Dorothy was a children's book author, and spent time with her sister in Mexico. The family had a Maya godchild named Dorita, who was featured in one of Dorothy's books. Frances died in 1955 and Dorothy died in 1986, both in Sante Fe. Both Franklin and Frances were amateur photographers, and took hundreds of photographs on family trips and other events.
Frances Louella Rhoads was born September 8, 1898 to Franklin Koons and Frances May Cook Rhoads of Pekin and Rock Island, Illinios. Frances had one older sister, Dorothy, and the family lived in Illinois for many years, near other family members. Dorothy and Frances moved to Sante Fe, New Mexico in about 1920, and Dorothy lived there until 1986, when she died. In 1927, Frances married Sylvanus Morley, and spent her remaining years between Mexico and Sante Fe, and would accompany him on excavations. The family had a Maya godchild named Dorita, who was featured in one of Dorothy's books. Sylvanus died in 1948 and Frances died in 1955 in Sante Fe.
67 cartons (67 linear ft.)
Language of Materials
Arranged in four series: 1. Rhoads family papers, 1881-1986; 2. Sylvanus G. Morley papers, 1915-1955; 3. Rhoads and Morley families photographs, dates; and 4. Rhoads and Morley families photo negatives.
Dennis Rowley, Department Chair of Special Collections at the Herald B. Lee Library initiated the acquisition of this collection in June of 1975. Mr. Rowley had requested information on Maya manuscripts from Robert L. Brunhouse of Mobile, Alabama. Mr. Brunhouse suggested looking into the personal papers of Dr. Sylvanus G. Morley, and referred Rowley to Dorothy Rhoads, sister-in-law to Dr. Morley, for more information. Rowley then proceeded to contact Dorothy and confirm possession of a few materials that might be of interest. After confirmation, Rowley began a long process with Dorothy of correspondence through letters, phone calls, and visitations. At the time of her death, Dorothy willed her personal papers, Franklin K. Rhoads papers, and Sylvanus G. and Frances Rhoads Morley papers to Brigham Young University.
The collection was originally received in 57 cartons that were packed by Dennis Rowley and Dorothy's personal representative, Robert Lee, between June and August of 1986.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated; Estate of Dorothy Rhoads; 1986.
Utah and American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).
Processed; Thomasina Morris; 2009-2010. Starting in August 2009, a complete rehousing and processing of the collection commenced. This included the creation of a finding aid, and the processing of the papers and photographs, including correct housing. MSS P 20, MSS P 61, and MSS SC 2746 were combined under MSS 1587.
Processed; Kate Bradley; 2021. Numbering completed and finding aid finalized.
Processed; Jeffrey Rockwood and Sarah Loose; December 2000- February 2002. Dennis Rowley taught a class at BYU that included the processing of documents and cataloging of manuscripts. A portion of the collection was sorted and labeled by a few of his students. Their names are noted in the preliminary rough draft inventory taken by Jeffrey Rockwood, student curator, in December of 2000. Jeffrey proceeded to re-number all of the boxes in this preliminary inventory because the previous students mentioned had only worked on a small portion of the collection and disturbed the original order at the time of acquisition.
- Deteriorated nitrate negatives
- Register of Rhoads and Morley families papers
- In Progress
- Thomasina Morris (student processor)
- June 25, 2010
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English in Latin script.