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Anthropology Research Guide: Primary Sources

On Primary Sources in Anthropology

Anthropological Fieldwork Online UCB access only

This database lets you view the original ethnographic fieldnotes of Victor Turner, Bronislaw Malinowski, Max Gluckman, and Ruth Benedict. Sample documents shows how Turner went from pictures and fieldnotes on Ndembu rituals to his later articles, book chapters, and presentations.

California Anthropology

View thousands of ethnographic photos, letters, and oral histories from California online at Calisphere, or search the OAC for finding aids to print materials in the Bancroft and other regional archives. The Hearst Museum also holds site reports from California Archeological Surveys (UCAS) and the Archeological Research Facility.

The Ethnological Documents from Berkeley's anthropology department include fieldnotes on California Indian languages. View in person at the Bancroft, and see also the finding aid for department records in the university archives.

Using the Bancroft Archives

The Bancroft holds old manuscripts, letters, fieldnotes, and historic records. Bancroft Library interior Some are online in Calisphere, but to view other items in person: 

1.  Use the catalog to write down book titles and call numbers before you go to the Bancroft. Finding aids in the catalog or on the Online Archive of California show you what's in each collection.

2. Read the access rules so that you know to bring quarters for lockers, the rules on cameras and photocopies, and to register with two forms of ID!

3. If you want to view something stored offsite at NRLFrequest it online at least 3 days in advance.

4. Need more primary sources? See our guide on Finding Historical Primary Sources, contact a librarian, or view our book of Archival, Library, and Museum Resources (1999) in the anthropology library.

Anthropologists' Papers in the Bancroft Library

The Bancroft archives hold fieldnotes and letters from prominent anthropologists who worked at Berkeley or studied the American West, such as the people below. Use the finding aids or contact the Bancroft reference services to learn more.

You can also learn more from the historic Anthropology Emeritus Lecture Series.

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