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Anthropology Research in the Bancroft and Online Archives: Papers in Special Collections

Guide to materials in Berkeley's special collections, online archives, and other public anthropology archives online libraries and archives.

Anthropologists' Fieldnotes and Letters in the Bancroft

If you are doing research on anthropologists from Berkeley, the Bancroft's special collections preserves the papers, early drafts, and letters of many well-known anthropologists. Below is a quick list:

Barrett, Samuel
Barrett studied with Alfred Kroeber, graduating in 1908. Director (1920-1940) of the Milwaukee Public Museum. Location: His papers are at MSS 86/172; finding aid at The Bancroft Library

Bascom, William
Bascom was a professor of anthropology and director of the anthropology museum at Berkeley. His papers concern West African art, culture and folklore, and include correspondence, field notes, lecture notes, and course notes. Fieldnotes document the Kiowa Indians; Afro-Cuban religion (santeria); Gullahs of Georgia and South Carolina;  Ponape and Yoruba people of Nigeria. Notes and drafts for the unpublished book Yoruba proverbs are included, as well as files from his presidency of the American Folklore Society. Location: MSS 82/163 c [Non-circulating]

Benedict, Burton
Benedict's research in the 1950s - 1970s includes agricultural indebtedness of rural workers in Mauritius, census data from English River, and papers and reports form the Social and Economic Survey in Mauritius and the Colonial Fisheries Advisory Committee on fisheries in Mauritius and the Seychelles. Location: MSS 87/225z [Non-circulating]

Gayton, Anna
Gayton wrote on the Yokuts Indians in California; includes letters, 19 books of fieldnotes, and manuscripts. Location: MSS 79/6 c (Non-circulating, finding aid).

Gifford, Edward
Correspondence with Edward Sapir on kinship terms and American Indian linguistics, & letters from Hubert Gregory, William Egbert Schenck and Herbert L. Mason. Location: MSS C-B 768 [Non-circulating].

Hearst, Phoebe
Correspondence on family life, friendships, civic activities and charities, and service to the University of California as regent and benefactor. Biographical sketches, invitations, programs, photographs, calling cards, and clippings. Location: MSS 72/204 (offsite/non circulating; request in advance).

Heizer, Robert
Heizer directed archeological fieldwork in the Sacramento Valley, Lovelock, Nevada; and the Mayan sites of La Venta, Tabasco, Mexico and Abaj Takalik, Guatemala, published 500 books and articles, and served as an expert witness in Indian land claims cases. Location: MSS 78/17 c (finding aid:, cf UCAS

Kroeber, Alfred
Kroeber worked with several Klamath River groups (Karok, Wiyot, and Yurok), the Yokuts of Central California, and with Ishi, the last member of the Yahi band, the Mohave Indians of the Colorado River region; and the Zuni Indians of New Mexico. He led archaeological field work in Mexico and Peru, and served as an expert witness in the Indian land claims cases. Location: MSS C-B 925 (finding aid); family correspondence with daughter Ursula LeGuin at MSS 82/132 c (non-circulating).

Lowie, Robert
Robert Lowie was a specialist on the Crow Indians, who studied at Columbia University under Franz Boas. Worked for the American Museum of Natural History before joining the faculty at Berkeley in 1921. Lowie published in English, German, and Crow, and died in Berkeley in 1957. Location: FILM 2284 [Non-circulating, finding aid.

Luomala, Katharine
Class notes and essays from her school days at Berkeley, 1923-1938; research notes with annotations by Alfred L. Kroeber. Luomala receieved her PhD from Berkeley in 1936, and taught at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu. Location: MSS 89/122 cz

Mandelbaum, David
Fieldnotes from the Kota and Toda tribes in the Nilgiri Hills of Southern India, and the Plains Cree and Chippewa Indians; manuscripts, reviews and speeches; correspondence and course materials. Early ethnographer of India, he died in 1987. Location: MSS 89/129 cz [Non-circulating] Finding aid available. Kota Field notes from Carton 11, folders 11-38 are also available on microfilm.

McCown, Theodore
McCown's papers include correspondence, journals, manuscripts, reports, and photographs from excavation sites in Africa, Palestine, India and California. UCB Anthropologist and Asst. Curator of Lowie Museum. Location: MSS 86/3 c [Non-circulating]

O'Neale, Lila Morris
Papers and field notes at MSS 86/194 c [Non-circulating]

Palmer, Edward (1831-1911)
Palmer's notes and clippings from 1859-1891 on Indians of North America and Mexico include California and Mexican tribes, Choctaw, Coahuilaa, Delaware, Hualapai, Otoe, and Pimo, plus material relating to Yosemite Valley. Formerly part of the C. Hart Merriam Papers. Location: MSS 78/23 z [Non-circulating]

Shack, William A.
Unarranged collection, currently unavailable for use. Inquiries should be directed, in writing, to the Head of Public Services at The Bancroft Library. Location: MSS 2001/138 cz [Non-circulating; unavailable]

Spier, Leslie
Papers on American Indians, correspondence on Indian cradles, comparative ethnography, field notebooks on the Plains and Klamath Indians, and material relating to Salish Indian weaving. Location: MSS 79/7 c [Non-circulating] Finding aid

Washburn, Sherwood
Sherwood's correspondence, writings, research notes, lectures, speeches, field notes, biographical information and photographs in physical anthropology cocnersn evolution and document his role in education. Field notes on primate anatomy and canine teeth. Field work in Ceylon, Thailand, Borneo, Rhodesia, and East and South Africa. Location: MSS 98/132 c [Non-circulating], Finding aid available


Ethnological Documents of the Department and Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
Field notes on ethnography, mythology, geography, customs, language, etc., primarily of Indian groups of California. Includes original manuscripts and typescripts; some items include photographs, maps, genealogical charts, etc. You can now find this online at XXXYYY. FILM 2216 [Non-circulating]

Records of the Department of Anthropology, 1901-[ongoing]
Syllabi and exam questions (1902-1948), reports and correspondence that include notes from Pliny Earl Goddard and from E.W. Gifford. during U.C. archaeological expeditions, as well as records of the anthropology museum, mainly prior to its being named the Lowie Museum of Anthropology in 1958.

UC Archives CU-23 [Finding aid available]

Unpublished Archaeological Manuscripts
Phoebe Hearst Museum. This is a list of fieldnotes, completed and partially finished site reports, and drawings, for sites in California and western North America. Includes unfinished University of California Archeological Survey (UCAS) reports, Contributions of the Archeological Research Facility, & other publications of the University of California, although many site reports and manuscripts formed the core for published documents elsewhere.