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Vine Deloria Jr. Special Collection

The personal library of Vine Deloria Jr. is housed in a dedicated room in the Lummi Library. At nearly 3,000 volumes, these are the books he read and used for research.

The collection reflects the wide range of his intellectual curiosity: books by and about Indians; traditional academic subjects such as history, psychology, philosophy, law, theology, and anthropology; subjects not traditionally academic such as catastrophism, alternative history, and life after death; and much more. The materials in the collection do not circulate, although the library does own circulating copies of some titles.

Appointments are encouraged to view the collection; please click here to contact a librarian about visiting the collection.

About Vine Deloria, Jr.

Vine Deloria Junior, Standing Rock Sioux, 1933-2005, was an author, educator, activist, and has been called the greatest intellectual Indian Country has ever known. He held degrees in general science, theology, and law, and served in the Marine Corps. His first professional teaching position was in Bellingham, at what was then Western Washington State College, now WWU. He advocated for treaty fishing rights, worked on the legal case that resulted in the Boldt decision, and maintained ties to this community. His first book, Custer Died for Your Sins, was followed by about twenty more books and some 200 articles. He also taught at the University of Arizona and University of Colorado Boulder. After he passed, his widow chose, from among several requests, to donate the materials to this library because the college administration offered to keep the collection intact. The college hosts the annual Vine Deloria Jr. Symposium which keeps alive his intellectual legacy.

Click here to learn more about the annual NWIC Vine Deloria Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium.