Searching for Delila Gifford in the Archives

Vanuatu Cultural Centre, Port Vila, Vanuatu

Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Delila Gifford was a noted malacologist who accompanied her husband, University of Califormia archaeologist, Edward Winslow Gifford (1887-1959), on many of his research trips in the United States and to the Pacific, including the expedition that led to the excavation of the site of 'Lapita' in New Caledonia in 1952. She was clearly directly involved in the fieldwork, but only appears in the general acknowledgements of Edward’s publications until his last monograph on the archaeology of Yap in Micronesia, where she is listed as co-author. But that was probably only because her husband had died before it was brought to press and she had to finalise its publication. This paper combs the archives to provide some detail of her direct involvement with Gifford's foundational Pacific research from 1920 onwards.