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Edmund Snow Carpenter papers

Creator:
Carpenter, Edmund, 1922-2011  Search this
Names:
De Menil, Adelaide  Search this
Flaherty, Robert Joseph, 1884-1951  Search this
Heye, George G. (George Gustav), 1874-1957  Search this
McLuhan, Marshall, 1911-1980  Search this
Schuster, Carl, 1904-1969  Search this
Extent:
26.25 Linear feet
Culture:
Arctic peoples  Search this
Iglulik Eskimos  Search this
Inuit  Search this
Inuit--Canada  Search this
Inuit--Greenland  Search this
Iroquois Indians  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Place:
Canada
Greenland
New Guinea (Territory)
Papua New Guinea
Date:
circa 1938-2011
Summary:
Edmund Snow Carpenter (1922-2011) was an archaeologist and visual anthropologist who worked extensively with the indigenous peoples of the Canadian Arctic as well as Papua New Guinea. With his colleague and close collaborator Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), he laid the groundwork for modern media theory. Carpenter is also known for his work as an ethnographic filmmaker and as a collector of Paleo-Eskimo art. The Papers of Edmund Carpenter, circa 1938-2011, document the research interests and projects undertaken by Carpenter in the fields of cultural anthropology, ethnographic filmmaking, media theory, archaeology, and indigenous art.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Edmund Carpenter, 1940-2011, document the research interests and projects undertaken by Carpenter in the fields of cultural anthropology, ethnographic filmmaking, media theory, archaeology, and indigenous art. Specific research projects and interests documented are: his 1950s fieldwork among the Aivilik Inuit in the Canadian Arctic as well as his studies into Inuit concepts of space, time, and geography; his partnership and collaboration with media theorist Marshall McLuhan and his ethnographic studies of Papua New Guinean tribal communities; his early-career archaeological digs at Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) burial mounds in Sugar Run, Pennsylvania, as well as later archaeological interest in Arctic peoples, Siberia, and the Norwegian artifact dubbed the "Norse Penny"; his reflections on the disciplines of anthropology and media studies; his editing and completion of the work of art historian Carl Schuster at the Museum der Kulturen (Museum of Ethnology) in Basel, Switzerland; his editing of The Story of Comock the Eskimo, as told to Robert Flaherty; and his museum exhibitions compiled on the topics of surrealist and tribal art. The collection also documents Carpenter's correspondence with fellow scholars, ethnographers, filmmakers, and colleagues; his published writings; and elements of his personal life, such as obituaries and personal photographs.

Materials in this collection include artifact and burial records; correspondence; drawings and illustrations; essays; interviews and oral histories; inventories and catalogues; manuscripts and drafts, and fragments of drafts; maps; memoranda and meeting minutes; notes, notebooks, and data analysis; obituaries and memorials; photographic prints, slides, and negatives, including personal photographs and portraits; proposals and plans for museum exhibits; reports; resumes and bibliographies; reviews; and sound recordings on CD-Rs and audio cassettes. Additional materials include books and book chapters; journal copies and journal excerpts; magazine, newspaper, and article clippings and excerpts; museum and gallery catalogues, brochures, and guides; pamphlets; and reprints. A portion of the material collected here consist of consolidated research into specific topics, gathered from archival repositories, museums, correspondence, and published works. This material consists of research reprints and archival reference photocopies and photographic prints from various repositories.

Items worthy of special mention in this collection include: annotated draft chapters from Marshall McLuhan's seminal work on media theory, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (Series 2); a 1957 letter from e. e. cummings to Carpenter, written in verse (Series 3); an undated thank-you note addressed to "Sadie" from Helen Keller (Series 3); and a transcript of an interview of Carpenter by his former student, Harald Prins (Series 2).

Audiovisual material in this collection is currently undergoing processing.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into the following 7 series:

Series 1. Fieldwork and drafts, 1940-2011 (bulk 1940-1959)

Series 2. Research and project files, 1940-2011

Series 3. Correspondence, circa 1938-2011

Series 4. Publications and lectures, circa 1942-circa 2006

Series 5. Personal, 1942-2011

Series 6. Film and visual material (in-process)

Series 7. Writings by others, 1960-2009, undated
Biographical Note:
Edmund Snow Carpenter (1922-2011) was an archaeologist and visual anthropologist who worked extensively with the indigenous peoples of the Canadian Arctic and Papua New Guinea. With his colleague and close collaborator Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), he laid the groundwork for modern media theory. Carpenter is also known for his work as an ethnographic filmmaker and as a collector of Paleo-Eskimo art.

Born in 1922 in Rochester, New York, Edmund (nicknamed "Ted") Carpenter served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II before receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1950 under Frank Speck for work on Iroquoian prehistoric archaeology. Carpenter began teaching at the University of Toronto in 1948 while simultaneously working as a programmer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). In the 1950s, he undertook fieldwork in the Canadian Arctic among the Aivilik (an Inuit Igloolik subgroup). This fieldwork resulted in several publications in the field of cultural anthropology, including Time/Space Concepts of the Aivilik (1955), Anerca (1959), and Eskimo (1959, republished as Eskimo Realities in 1973).

Also in the 1950s, Carpenter began a working relationship with media theorist Marshall McLuhan. Together, they received a Ford Foundation grant (1953-1955) for an interdisciplinary media research project into the impact of mass communications and mass media on culture change. Carpenter and McLuhan's partnership resulted in the Seminar on Culture and Communication (1953-1959) and the journal series Explorations. In 1957, Carpenter was the founding chair in the interdisciplinary program "Anthropology and Art" at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge). There, he collaborated with Bess Lomax Hawes and other colleagues in the production of several ethnographic films, including Georgia Sea Island Singers about Gullah (or Geechee) songs and dances. During this period, Carpenter worked with McLuhan on the latter's seminal book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964). The article published as "Fashion is Language" in Harper's Bazaar under McLuhan's name (1968) was actually written by Carpenter. It was later published in book form under Carpenter's name, with the title They Became What They Beheld (1970).

In 1969, Carpenter took a research professorship at the University of Papua and New Guinea sponsored by the government of Australia. Alongside photographer Adelaide De Menil (whom he would later marry), he applied many of the ideas about media literacy and culture change to indigenous communities of Papua New Guinea. These activities led to developments in the field of media ecology, as well as the publication of Carpenter's best-known work, Oh, What a Blow the Phantom Gave Me! (1976).

Carpenter taught intermittently at various universities throughout his career, including Fordham University, the University of California-Santa Cruz, Adelphi University, Harvard University's Center for Visual Anthropology, the New School for Social Research, and New York University. He spent eight years associated with the Museum of Ethnology in Basel, Switzerland (1973-1981), editing art historian Carl Schuster's research.

In addition to his teaching and research, Carpenter, with his wife Adelaide De Menil, collected tribal art, eventually amassing the largest private collection of Paleo-Eskimo art in the United States. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Carpenter curated various exhibitions on art and visual culture, including the Menil Collection's Witness to a Surrealist Vision and the Musée du Quai Branly's Upside Down (later reconstructed at the Menil Collection). In later years, Carpenter resumed his archaeological interest in Arctic peoples, researching and collaborating on the Zhokhov Island Mesolithic site in the Russian Arctic with Russian scientists from the Institute for the History of Material Culture and archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

Carpenter died on July 1, 2011 at his home in New York.

Sources consulted:

"Edmund Snow Carpenter." https://edmundsnowcarpenter.com/about

Grimes, William. "Edmund Carpenter, Archaeologist and Anthropologist, Dies at 88." The New York Times. 2011 July 7. https://www.nytimes.com

Prins, Harald E. L. and John Bishop. "Edmund Carpenter: Explorations in Media and Anthropology." Visual Anthropology Review 17:2 (Fall-Winter 2001-2002): 110-140.

Chronology

1922 September 2 -- Born in Rochester, New York

circa 1940-1941 -- Archaeological field work, Sugar Run mounds, Pennsylvania

1942-1946 -- Served in the United States Marine Corps

1948-1957 -- Anthropology Department, University of Toronto

circa 1950 -- Began work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

1950 -- Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania (Anthropology)

1950s -- Fieldwork among the Aivilik Inuit

1953-1959 -- Ran the Seminar on Culture and Communication with Marshall McLuhan

1957-1967 -- "Anthropology and Art" program at San Fernando Valley State College (California State University, Northridge)

1967-1968 -- Schwitzer Chair, Fordham University (with Marshall McLuhan)

1968-1969 -- Carnegie Chair in Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

1969-1970 -- Research Professor, University of Papua and New Guinea

1973-1981 -- Associated with the Museum of Ethnology in Basel, Switzerland for Carl Schuster papers project

circa 1989-2005 -- Collaboration regarding Zhokov Island archaeological site

2011 July 1 -- Died in East Hampton, New York
Separated Materials:
Film and video recordings are retained by the Human Studies Film Archives (HSFA) as the Edmund Carpenter-Adelaide de Menil Collection (HSFA 2004-04). Once processing is complete, they will be described in the following finding aid in Series 6.
Provenance:
The Edmund Snow Carpenter papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives in 2017 by Adelaide de Menil on behalf of the Rock Foundation.
Restrictions:
The Edmund Snow Carpenter papers are open for research.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the Human Studies Film Archives may not be played.

Digital media in the collection is restricted for preservation reasons.

Access to the Edmund Snow Carpenter papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Archaeology  Search this
Cartography  Search this
Ethnographic films  Search this
Indigenous art  Search this
Inuit art  Search this
Menil Collection (Houston, Tex.)  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Paleo-Eskimos  Search this
Visual anthropology  Search this
Citation:
Edmund Snow Carpenter papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2017-27
See more items in:
Edmund Snow Carpenter papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2017-27

The genetic prehistory of the New World Arctic

Author:
Hayes, M. G.  Search this
Villems, Richard  Search this
Hansen, Thomas V. O.  Search this
Pierre, Tracey  Search this
Stafford, Thomas  Search this
Grimes, Vaughan  Search this
Heinemeier, Jan  Search this
Dneprovsky, Kirill  Search this
Dissing, Jø  Search this
Kivisild, Toomas  Search this
Orlando, Ludovic  Search this
Friesen, T. M.  Search this
Grønnow, Bjarne  Search this
Renouf, M. A. P.  Search this
O'Rourke, Dennis H.  Search this
Metspalu, Mait  Search this
Wang, Yong  Search this
Raghavan, Vibha  Search this
Moltke, Ida  Search this
Rasmussen, Simon  Search this
Korneliussen, Thorfinn S.  Search this
Olsen, Jesper  Search this
Fahrni, Simon M.  Search this
Gulløv, Hans Christian  Search this
Melchior, Linea  Search this
Götherström, Anders  Search this
Nielsen, Finn C.  Search this
Raghavan, Maanasa  Search this
Lange, Hans  Search this
Malaspinas, Anna-Sapfo  Search this
Fuller, Benjamin T.  Search this
Khusnutdinova, Elza  Search this
Spitsyn, Victor A.  Search this
Lynnerup, Niels  Search this
Skoglund, Pontus  Search this
Meldgaard, Morten  Search this
Fitzhugh, William W.  Search this
Nielsen, Rasmus  Search this
Malmström, Helena  Search this
Crawford, Michael H.  Search this
Knecht, Rick  Search this
DeGiorgio, Michael  Search this
Rasmussen, Morten  Search this
Willerslev, Eske  Search this
Lahr, Marta Mirazon  Search this
Bustamante, Carlos  Search this
Cornejo, Omar E.  Search this
Jakobsson, Mattias  Search this
Gilbert, M. T.  Search this
Appelt, Martin  Search this
Andreasen, Claus  Search this
Cybulski, Jerome  Search this
Arneborg, Jette  Search this
Albrechtsen, Anders  Search this
Britton, Kate  Search this
Coltrain, Joan  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
2014
Topic:
Natural History  Search this
Anthropology  Search this
See others in:
Anthropology
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_127854

Paleo-Eskimo Cultures of Greenland

Author:
Fitzhugh, William W.  Search this
Damas, David  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1984
Topic:
Natural History  Search this
Anthropology  Search this
See others in:
Anthropology
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_99364

Characterization of Dorset Paleo-Eskimo Nephritic Jade Artifacts from Central Labrador, Canada

Author:
Nagle, C.  Search this
Blackman, M. James  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1982
Topic:
Museum conservation methods  Search this
Museum techniques  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_56761

Ancient DNA Reveals Complex Story of Human Migration Between Siberia and North America

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 05 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_a5425ad8d08db18eb7e8898ff4508038

A Review of Paleo-Eskimo Culture History in Southern Quebec-Labrador and Newfoundland

Author:
Fitzhugh, William W.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1980
Topic:
Anthropology  Search this
Natural History  Search this
See others in:
Anthropology
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_113984

The First People to Settle Across North America's Arctic Regions Were Isolated for 4,000 Years

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:22:53 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_493c4ea22dfb911c806560f6408d14cd

As the Arctic Erodes, Archaeologists Are Racing to Protect Ancient Treasures

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 26 Jan 2016 17:00:00 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_9f53f76189b0975cf0d4182f863b35f5

Paleo-Eskimo settlements in Scoresby Sund, Northeast Greenland / by Hanne Tuborg and Birger Sandell

Author:
Sandell, Hanne  Search this
Sandell, Birger  Search this
Physical description:
150 p. : ill., maps ; 30 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Greenland
Scoresby Sound
Scoresby Sound (Greenland)
Date:
1999
Topic:
Eskimos--Antiquities  Search this
Inuit--Antiquities  Search this
Ethnology--Antiquities  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology)  Search this
Antiquities  Search this
Call number:
G765.S35 S26 1999
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_597709

Hotel Grønland : human use of caves and rock shelters in West Greenland / Clemens Pasda

Author:
Pasda, Clemens  Search this
Physical description:
90 p. : ill., maps ; 30 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Greenland
Date:
2004
Topic:
Paleo-Eskimos  Search this
Paleo-Eskimos--Dwellings  Search this
Cave dwellers  Search this
Caves  Search this
Human settlements  Search this
Antiquities  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1000270

Kal'unek from Karluk : Kodiak Alutiiq history and the archaeology of the Karluk One village site / Amy F. Steffian, Marnie A. Leist, Sven D. Haakanson Jr., Patrick G. Saltonstall

Author:
Steffian, Amy F.  Search this
Leist, Marnie A.  Search this
Haakanson, Sven D.  Search this
Saltonstall, Patrick G.  Search this
Issuing body:
Alutiiq Museum & Archaeological Repository  Search this
Physical description:
xiv, 383 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 30 cm
Type:
Pictorial works
Place:
Alaska
Kodiak Island
Native Village of Karluk
Kodiak Island (Alaska)
Karluk River Region (Alaska)
Date:
2015
Topic:
Pacific Gulf Yupik Eskimos--Antiquities  Search this
Paleo-Eskimos  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology)  Search this
Villages--History  Search this
Material culture--History  Search this
Antiquities  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1059580

Prehistoric Eskimo toggle harpoon heads of Bering Strait region / Kiyoshi Yamaura = Bēringu kaikyō shūhen ni okeru senshi esukimō no kaitenshiki sentō / Kiyoshi Yamaura

Title:
Prehistoric Eskimo toggle harpoon heads of Bering Strait region / Kiyoshi Yamaura = ベーリング海峡周辺における先史エスキモーの回転式銛頭 / 山浦清
Bēringu kaikyō shūhen ni okeru senshi esukimō no kaitenshiki sentō
ベーリング海峡周辺における先史エスキモーの回転式銛頭
Author:
Yamaura, Kiyoshi  Search this
Physical description:
229 pages : illustrations, maps, color portraits ; 30 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Bering Strait Region
Date:
2016
Topic:
Eskimos--Antiquities  Search this
Harpoons, Prehistoric  Search this
Paleo-Eskimos  Search this
Antiquities, Prehistoric  Search this
Antiquities  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1063213

The Northern world, AD 900-1400 / edited by Herbert Maschner, Owen Mason, Robert McGhee

Author:
Maschner, Herbert D. G  Search this
Mason, Owen K  Search this
McGhee, Robert  Search this
Physical description:
x, 349 p. : ill., maps ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Arctic regions
Date:
2009
C2009
Topic:
Arctic peoples--History  Search this
Arctic peoples--Antiquities  Search this
History  Search this
Antiquities  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_947165

Technology and tradition in the eastern Arctic, 2500 BC-AD 1200 : a dynamic technological investigation of lithic assemblages from the Palaeo-Eskimo traditions of Greenland / by Mikkel Sørensen

Author:
Sørensen, Mikkel  Search this
Greenland Research Centre (Nationalmuseet : Denmark)  Search this
Physical description:
418 p. : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Greenland
Arctic regions
Date:
2012
Topic:
Paleo-Eskimos  Search this
Stone implements  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology)  Search this
Antiquities  Search this
Call number:
E99.E7 S6365 2012
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_981995

Paleo-Eskimo Occupations of the North Labrador Coast

Author:
Cox, Steven L.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1978
Topic:
Natural History  Search this
Anthropology  Search this
See others in:
Anthropology
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_94410

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