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C. Ronald Corum papers

Identifier: 2013_064-UA

Collection contains material related to C. Ronald Corum's research on and relationships with the poeple of the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations in South Dakota (1974-1978), his research on artist Frederick Weygold, and linguist David Maurer, Corum's teacher and mentor. Includes audio cassette recordings, indices for recordings, photographs and photographic slides, correspondence, journal articles and clippings by C. Ronald Corum, Frederick Weygold, and David Maurer. The collection also includes audio cassette recordings of Lakota language and culture instruction from Maurer to Corum as well as Maurer’s Lakota language notes given to him by Frederick Weygold.


  • 1930s-1981
  • Majority of material found within 1954-1981


Language of Materials

The majority of the collection is in English, however it contains audio and written documentation of Siouan languages.

Conditions Governing Access

Parts of this collection are available to researchers. The series “Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservation recordings” and “Images” are restricted until further notice. Please consult with a reference archivist for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to the University of Louisville. The series “Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservation recordings” and “Images” are restricted until further notice. Please consult with a reference archivist for further information.


9 linear feet (2 records center boxes, 3 cassette boxes, 1 reel-to-reel tape box, 1 CD box, 1 small flat, 1 folder, 1 non-standard sized box, 1 briefcase)

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Charles Ronald Corum was born in 1945 and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He attended the University of Louisville (UofL) where he received a B.A. in psychology in 1971; a M.A. in experimental psychology in 1973; and a Ph.D in physiological psychology and psychosomatic medicine in 1975. While attending UofL, Corum became friends with linguist and UofL faculty member David Maurer. Many years prior Maurer had learned the Lakota language from Frederick Weygold, a German artist and ethnographer who was employed by German museums to document Native American life and culture. Maurer shared his knowledge of the Lakota language with Corum who wanted to speak with tribal elders in order to study the Lakota culture as well as their approach to treating diseases such as cancer and chronic pain. In the summer of 1973, Corum made his first visit to the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations in South Dakota. Brian Beun with Foxfire Fund, Inc. and Institutional Development and Economic Affairs Service, Inc. (IDEAS) gave Corum research funding and connected him with Stephen E. Feraca who had lived on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C. Feraca introduced Corum to Edgar Red Cloud, great-grandson of Chief Red Cloud (Mahpiya Luta), who hosted, mentored, and introduced Corum to other Lakota elders, including Harry Jumping Bull and George Eagle Elk. Corum continued visiting the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations until 1978. During his stays he obtained verbal consent to record oral history narratives and songs as well as take photographs. Corum went through a vision-seeking ceremony and was adopted by Edgar Red Cloud who gave him the name "Mahpiya Papomi” (Rolling Cloud). Edgar Red Cloud asked Corum to record and publish the farewell songs and prayers of his great-grandfather, Chief Red Cloud, which had not been documented previously. Drawing from his experiences on the Indian reservations, Corum published scholarly articles regarding Lakota culture and artwork as well as Weygold’s portrait of Chief Red Cloud. Since 1975, Corum has focused his professional research and publication primarily within the field of neurophysiology. He researched and, with Dr. Christian Feest, co-curated a traveling exhibit featuring Frederick Weygold’s paintings of the American West. The exhibit opened in 2016 at the J. B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

From: Corum, C. Ronald and Meyer, Mary Ann (1981). The Farewell Song and Prayer of Mahpiya Luta, Oglal Sioux Chieftain. Adena: A Journal of the History and Culture of the Ohio Valley, 6(1), 7-12.


Series I. Audio Recordings, 1941-1981 Boxes 1-5, 3.38 linear feet Series I primarily includes audio cassette recordings made by C. Ronald Corum on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations in 1973-1975, with exception to a recording at the Crow Fair in Montana. Cassette numbering and information was supplied by Corum, taken directly from his notes on the cassette casings. Jeremiah Cunningham digitized and indexed this group of recordings during the summer of 2014. Subseries B is comprised of recorded conversations between Drs. Maurer and Corum, during which Maurer taught Corum the Lakota language as well as conveyed information about Lakota culture, Indigenous history, world cultures, and stories of his own life and studies. Subseries C is recordings of Corum’s research on the artist Frederick Weygold. Interviews are primarily with Weygold’s sister Frieda Heller ca. 1974. These cassettes were digitized by George Blood, L. P. per a contract with the J. B. Speed Art Museum. The digital masters are included in the collection. Subseries D contains 4 lps recorded by David Maurer with Crazy Bull and Grey Eagle.

Series II: Images, 1954-1975 Box 5, .2 linear feet Series II contains slides taken by C. Ronald Corum on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations approximately dating to 1973-1975. The slides represent many of the people Corum spoke with and recorded, the locations he visited, and his vision seeking ceremony with Edgar Red Cloud. Additionally, Steve Feraca gave Corum photographs (slides 112-133) that he took between 1954-1960, many of which document a Sun Dance. Corum digitized all of the slides; a disc of jpegs is included in this series.

Series III: Articles and Publications, 1951-1981 Box 5, .4 linear feet Series III contains articles and publications written by and about C. Ronald Corum. The articles about Corum appeared in local publications and chronical his experience traveling on the Lakota reservations. The scholarly and non-scholarly articles written by Corum address the topics of Frederick Weygold, Teton tipi artwork, and the farewell songs of Mahpiya Luta. Additionally this series includes clippings related to the work of Dr. David Maurer.

Series IIII: Lakota Language Notes, ca. 1930 Box 5, .4 linear feet Series IIII contains handwritten notes and index cards used in the study of the Lakota language. The notes were created by Frederick Weygold while he was instructing David Maurer ca. 1930. Maurer created the index cards.

Processing Information

The collection is organized at the folder level, with the exception of Series I and II which contain item level metadata. University of Louisville student Jeremiah Cunningham digitized the audio cassettes in series I.A and created an index for each cassette. Print copies of the indices are filed with the collection as well as electronically with the digitized audio. The photographic slides in Series II were digitized by the donor. The digital files are electronically archived and a CD from the donor containing jpegs of the slides is filed along with the originals. Lastly, Series I.C contains audio cassettes related to Frederick Weygold that were digitized by George Blood for the J. B. Speed Art Museum (in preparation for their 2016 Weygold exhibit). The Speed transferred CDs containing the preservation masters as well as the digital audio to the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections, both of which are included with the collection in addition to the original cassettes.



C. Ronald Corum Papers
In Progress
Sarah-Jane Poindexter, Carrie Daniels
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752