Timothy Asch was an anthropologist and ethnographic film maker who devoted his professional life to using film as a recording and teaching medium. His papers cover the period from 1966 until his premature death in 1994 and reflect his active career in the field. A large portion of the files relates to his work among the Yanomami people of Venezuela and to his concern with bias in film making.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Timothy Asch document his career as an anthropologist, educator,
photographer and filmmaker through correspondence, photographs, research files
(articles and notes), and teaching materials (course information and lecture notes). The
files relating to Asch's film projects include articles, field notes, and reviews. The major
correspondents in this collection are Patsy Asch, Tom Beidelman, Napoleon Chagnon,
James Fox, Robert Gardner, Douglas Lewis, Peter Loizos, David & Olga Sapir, and
The collection is arranged into the following 13 series:
Series 1) Correspondence (1953-1994)
Series 2) College and graduate School (1955-1965)
Series 3) Teaching materials (1964-1993)
Series 4) Film projects (1964-1991)
Series 5) Articles and reviews (1972-1994)
Series 6) Alpha-Subject (1955-1989)
Series 7) Conferences, film festivals, and film organizations (1963-1993)
Series 8) Grants (1962-1993)
Series 9) Other people's work (1952-1995)
Series 10) Personal and family (1951-1994)
Series 11) Photographs (1947-1991)
Series 12) Sound recordings (bulk 1960s-1970s)
Series 13) Note slips, rolodexes, and business cards (1987, undated)
Asch studied photography at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. While serving in the United States Army in Japan from 1951-55 he spent his off-duty hours photographing rice production and household activities in remote Japanese villages. After his military service, he enrolled in Columbia University graduating in 1959 with an undergraduate degree in Anthropology. After graduation, he went to work at the Peabody Museum at Harvard as an assistant editor to John Marshall on the Kung Bushmen film project. In 1964, he received a Masters Degree in Anthropology from Boston University where he studied in the African Studies Progam and read Anthropology with T.O. Beidelman at Harvard. In 1968, Asch and Marshall founded Documentary Educational Resources, a film distribution company. Anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon approached Asch in 1968 to film among the Yanomammmi people of Venezuela. This collaboration led to a major project resulting in over thirty films.
1950-1951 -- California School of Fine Arts and Apprenticeships with photographers Minor White, Edward Weston and Ansel Adams
1953-1954 -- Military Service in Korea
1959 -- B.S. in Anthropology Columbia University
1959-1962 -- Ethnographic film consultant, Harvard University's Peabody Museum
1964 -- M.A. in Anthropology Harvard University
1965-1966 -- Curriculum Consultant, Ethnographic studies and the Bushmen Social Studies Curriculum Project (initially Educational Services, Inc., later called Educational Development Center)
1966-1968 -- Lecturer in Anthropology and Theater Arts, Brandeis University
1966-1968 -- Anthropology Curriculum and Media Consultant to the Newton Public Schools
1967-1994 -- Co-Founder and Director of Documentary Educational Resources, Watertown, Massachusetts, a non-profit curriculum development corporation distributing educational media
1968-1970 -- Visiting Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department, New York University
1969-1973 -- Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Brandeis University
1973-1979 -- Research Fellow in Ethnographic film, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University
1974-1976 -- Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University
1975 -- Research Cinematographer, National Anthropological Film Center, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
1976-1981 -- Senior Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Institute of Advanced Studies, the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
1982 -- Visiting Research Scholar, Department of Anthropology at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
1983-1994 -- Director, Center for Visual Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California
The Human Studies Film Archives holds 93,000 feet (43 hours) of original film footage and the accompanying sound as well as the edited films from the 1968 and 1971 film projects by Timothy Asch and Napoleon Chagnon documenting the Yanomamo Indians of southern Venezuela and northern Brazil (between the Negro and Upper Orinoco rivers).
Donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Patsy Asch in 1996.
The papers of John Joseph Honigmann (1914-1977) consist largely of research material of a specialist in personality, socialization, and social problems of Subarctic and Arctic people. Trained at Yale University (M.A., 1943; Ph.D., 1947), Honigmann spent most of his professional career at the University of North Carolina (1951-77) and was chairman of its Department of Anthropology from 1970-1975. Some material reflects his classroom teaching and administrative work. There are also general reference materials and materials relating to the history of anthropology.
Correspondents include David F. Aberle, Saeed K. Alizai, Nels Anderson, Asen Balikci, Victor Barnouw, Harry Basehart, Ronald Berndt, William E. Bittle, Gordon Blackwell, Walter Boek, Paul J. Bohannan, Robert J. Braidwood, Robert Carneiro, Joseph B. Casagrande, Norman A. Chance, Yehudi A. Cohen, Earl W. Count, David Damas, William Davis, Pierrette Desy, Cora du Bois, Richard Duncan, Fred R. Eggan, Loren C. Eiseley, Gary L. Emmons, Vincent Erickson, Sam J. Ervin, Arthur Evans, Lita B. Fejos, Paul Fejos, William N. Fenton, F.L. Fischer, Regina Flannery, Don Charles Foote, Clellan Ford, Morris Freilich, Clifford Geertz, Mickey Gibson, John P. Gillin, Thomas F. Gladwin, Walter R. Goldschmidt, Ward H. Goodenough, Theodore D. Graves, John Gulick, Zachary Gussow, Charles Hamori-Torok, Asael T. Hansen, Edward B. Harper, S.I. Hayakawa, Dwight B. Heath, June Helm, Maria Herzmaier, George K. Hindley, Tom R. Hopkins, Francis L.K. Hsu, Katherine Jocher, Berton H. Kaplan, Michael Kenny, Solon T. Kimball, Harriet J. Kupferer, Gordon B. Laing, L.L. Langness, Margaret L. Lantis, Oscar Lewis, Nancy O. Lurie, Donald S. Marshall, Abraham H. Maslow, John S. Matthiasson, Selz C. Mayo, Tom F.S. McFeat, Margaret Mead, Betty J. Meggers, George P. Murdock, Raoul Naroll, George Nelleman, Arthur Niehall, Marrilee Oakes, Morris E. Opler, Harold Orlans, Cornelius Osgood, Simon Ottenberg, John G. Peck, William Pollitzer, Ruben E. Reina, David Reisman, Marcel Rioux, Frank H.H. Roberts, Jr., Edward S. Rogers, Irving Rouse, Beate R. Salz, A.H.A. Siddiqi, Norman Simpkins, Leon Sinder, Richard Slobodin, Edward H. Spicer, Leslie Spier, Robert F.G. Spier, George D. Spindler, Sol Tax, Morton I. Teicher, Laura Thompson, Mischa Titiev, Brian du Toit, John Trudeau, Arthur Tuden, Victor F. Valentine, Frank G. Vallee, Clark Vincent, Fred W. Voget, Evon Z. Vogt, C. Von Furer-Haimendorf, Willard Walker, Anthony F.C. Wallace, Gene Weltfish, and Eric R.Wolf.
The Honigmann papers are not fully processed and are only broadly desccribed in this finding aid. The collection is arranged into (1) Churchill, five northern towns, and Schefferville, undated; (2) the Cree of Attawapisdat, Ontario, 1947-1956; (3) Frobisher Bay, 1963; (4) Great Whale River; (5) Inuvik, 1967; (6) Material concerning the Kaska of Lower Post, British Columbia, and Southern Yukon Territory, 1944-1945; (7) General anthropological subjects and teaching;(8) General and miscellaneous material on peoples of the world; (9) West Pakistan; (10) Canadian Wildlife Service Arctic Ecology Map; (11) Understanding Culture; (12) Miscellany; (13) Correspondence, ca. 1950s-1970s
Biographical / Historical:
Honigmann was regularly in the field. In 1943, this began with an ethnographic study of the Fort Nelson Slave in Canada. In 1944-1945, he was with the Kaska in British Columbia. In 1947-1948, he worked at Attawapiskat on James Bay and, in 1949-1950, at Great Whale River on Hudson Bay. He investigated town life in Pakistan in 1952 and 1957-1958. During the summers of 1960-1962, 1964-1966, 1972, and 1975, his studies carried him to a village in Austria. In 1963, he worked at Frobisher Bay and in 1967 at Inuvik.
1914 -- Born June 7, New York City, New York
1937 -- Married Irma Grabel
1942 -- Student at Columbia University Received BA from Brooklyn College
1943 -- Received MA from Yale University Field trip with the Fort Nelson Slave in Fort Nelson (3-6 months)
1944-1945 -- Field trip with the Kaska in British Columbia, Canada (3-6 months)
1946-1947 -- Assistant professor of Sociology and anthropology at State College, Washington
1947 -- Received PhD in anthropology from Yale University
1947-1948 -- Field trip at Attawapiskat, James Bay, Ontario, Canada Research anthropologist for the National Committee for Community Health Studies in Toronto, Canada
1948-1951 -- Assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at New York University
1949 -- Published Anthropology, Culture and Ethos of the Kaska Society
1949-1950 -- Field trip at Great Whale River, Hudson's Bay, Ontario, Canada
1951-1955 -- Associate professor of anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
1952 -- Field trip at Pakistan
1955 -- Field trip at Attawapiskat, James Bay, Ontario, Canada
1955-1957 -- Professor of anthropology, UNC, Chapel Hill
1957-1958 -- Field trip at Pakistan
1959 -- Published The World of Man
1960 -- Field trip at Austria
1962 -- Published Foodways in a Muskeg Community Field trip at Austria
1963 -- Published Understanding Culture Field trip at Frobishers Bay, Baffin Island, Canada
1964 -- Field trip at Austria
1965 -- With wife Irma, co-authored Eskimo Townsmen
1966 -- Field trip in Austria
1967 -- Published Personality in Culture Field trip at Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada
1967-1970 -- Postdoctoral fellowship and grants: NSF grant
1970 -- Co-authored Arctic Townsmen Chairman of the department of anthropology, UNC, Chapel Hill
1972 -- Field trip at Austria
1975 -- Field trip at Austria
1977 -- Died at Chapel Hill, NC, August 4
Most of Honigmann's papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Irma Honigman, his wife, between October 1977 and January 1979. Honigmann's daughter, Karen Honigmann Schaefer, donated her father's field journals in July 1993.
Some materials concerning the operations of the University of North Carolina Department of Anthropology are restricted.
Honigmann used pseudonyms when referring to his informants in publications. Irma Honigmann has requested that researchers refrain from publishing their names.