Dr. Harold Atwood Widdison (1935-2012) was a professor of sociology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona for 30 years. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Widdison had a deep connection with the American West and returned to teach in Arizona after receiving his PhD at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. His professional research focused on method, medical sociology, complex organization, and death and dying. His interest in the last led him to develop one of the first courses on death, grief, and bereavement, help establish such courses in the field on a national scale, and author two books on the subject.
In addition to his professional interests, he was deeply interested in the study of rock art created by prehistoric indigenous peoples. Living in the Southwest provided ample examples and opportunity to visit and study these sites. Widdison also traveled extensively and documented rock art sites throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe for four decades from the 1970s until his death in 2012.
Widdison’s rock art collection at the Museum of Arizona contains tens of thousands of color images of both well documented and lesser known rock art sites, as well as scenic images of many of his travels. For ease of access the photographic materials are organized by location, first by state and then by site name if known. The collection also contains information about rock art in general and information about specific sites’ history, interpretation, and location. Site location information is restricted; please contact the MNA Archivist with requests for access.
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