The Lawrence Gustave Desmond papers represent over 30 years of exhaustive research and writing by Lawrence Desmond on the
lives and work of Mesoamerican archaeologists Augustus and Alice Dixon Le Plongeon, who lived and traveled throughout Yucatán,
Mexico and Central America from 1873 to 1886, and were the first to systematically excavate and photograph the Maya sites
of Chichén Itzá and Uxmal. Desmond's interest in the husband and wife team began during his graduate studies and they are
the subject of his PhD dissertation and two books, A Dream of Maya: Augustus and Alice Le Plongeon in Nineteenth-century Yucatán
with Phyllis Messenger (1988) and Yucatán through Her Eyes: Alice Dixon Le Plongeon, Writer & Expeditionary Photographer (2009).
Included in the collection are research materials and correspondence assembled by Desmond over the course of his study of
the Le Plongeons along with the drafts and manuscripts for his resulting publications. Inventories of the major holdings of
original Le Plongeon photographs in the United States and of the Dixon family in England, as well as copy photographs of those
holdings, are also included.
Archaeologist, author and photographer, Lawrence Gustave Desmond, was born in San Francisco in 1935. His interest in photography
began as a pre-teen growing up in the nearby small town of San Carlos. After receiving a BA from the University of Santa Clara
in 1957 Desmond saw active duty as a Coast Guard officer from 1957 to 1960 and served in the Coast Guard Reserve through the
1960s, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He completed an MBA at San Jose State University in 1964 and went on to
a career in human resources and management development with Silicon Valley electronic manufacturing companies. During this
period Desmond gradually developed an interest in Mesoamerican archaeology to the extent that he left his business career
in order to study first at the Universidad de Las Americas in Cholula, Mexico, where he received an MA in cultural anthropology
in 1979, and then at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he was awarded a PhD in anthropology and archeology in 1983.
17.66 Linear Feet
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