The manuscript and pamphlet file is virtually a potpourri of documents, including correspondence, notes, drawings, maps, photographs, printed and processed materials, paper specimens, reports, writings, catalogs, motion picture film, bibliographies, and other types of documents. Of concern is a wide variety of subjects such as anthropological specimens, museology and museums, Smithsonian history, archeological and ethnological methods, exhibits, expeditions, history of anthropology, and so forth. The file seems to have been maintained in the Division of Ethnology--in one document it was referred to as being Herbert W. Krieger's morgue--and the subject matter is largely ethnological.
Some documents, however, concern archeology and physical anthropology. The file also contains some administrative materials--records relating to the Department of Anthropology's use of Work Projects Administration workers, for example. In addition, it is the main location of materials not generally accepted as being strictly anthropological in the modern sense. It includes, for example, material on the First Ladies' Gown exhibit now in the National Museum of American History, fish and fisheries, whaling, religions, armour, biblical studies, modern appliances, the seal industry, European music and musical instruments, lace, aeronautics, and other similar subjects.
The file includes the papers of many different persons. The file also includes sets of papers of Otis Tufton Mason, Walter Hough, Talcott Williams, Edwin H. Hawley, and Thomas Wilson. It includes documents, sometimes of a secondary nature, about the following cultural groups and geographic areas; Arabs, Bannock, Baubi, Blackfoot, British Columbia, Caddo, Chinook, Cochiti, Comanche, Cossacks, Cuna, Delaware, Diegueno, District of Columbia, Dyak, Eskimo, Europe, Fox, Goajira, Haida, Hawaii, Hittites, Hupa, India, Innuit, Iran, Ireland, Jamomadi, Japan, Jivaro, Kabyles, Kiowa, Kirghese, Klamath, Korea, Luiseno, Madagascar, Madeira, Maidu, Makah, Maori, Mataco, Maya, Micmac, Micronesia, Mission, Modoc, Mohave, Mongolia, Moro, Morocco, Naltunnetunne, Nanticoke, Narragansett, Navaho,