The Albert Clanton Spaulding Papers consist of correspondence, field project data, manuscripts, and teaching notes documenting his work at the University of Michigan, University of California Santa Barbara, the National Science Foundation, and field work at the Arzberger Site and Agattu.
Scope and Contents:
The Albert Clanton Spaulding Papers consist of correspondence, field project data, manuscripts, and teaching notes documenting his work at the University of Michigan, University of California Santa Barbara, the National Science Foundation, and field work at the Arzberger Site and Agattu. Although it has been noted that there are significant and inexplicable lucunae in Spaulding's papers, they nevertheless touch on most phases of his professional life. There is, however, relatively little field material.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
1. Correspondence, 1948-1982; 2. manuscript of Spaulding writings; 3. material concerning students; 4. site reports and field project data; 4. material regarding conferences and committees; 6. material related to work as National Science Foundation archeology program director; 7. student notebooks and dissertation; 8. material regarding the Arzberger site; 9. administrative material regarding the University of Michigan; 10. academic papers collected by Spaulding, teaching aids, and lecture notes; 11. Philip C. Phillips and Gordon R. Willey file; 12. James A. Ford file; 13. correspondence regarding publications; 14. miscellany; 15. photographs
Albert C. Spaulding was trained at Montana State University (B.A. in economics, 1935), the University of Michigan (M.A. in ahthropology, 1937), and Columbia University (Ph.D., 1946). In 1946-1947, he taught at the University of Kansas and was an assistant curator at the university's Museum of Anthropology. From 1947-1961, he taught at the University of Michigan and was curator of that university's Museum of Anthropology. In 1959-1961, Spaulding was first program director for the History and Philosophy of Science Program of the National Science Foundation and the NAS program director for anthropology. In 1963-1966, he was professor and chairman of the anthropology department at the University of Oregon. In 1967-1971, he became dean of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California at Santa Barbara and continued at that institution as professor of anthropology until 1983. Spaulding served the Society for Amercian Archeology as associate editor, secretary, vice president, and president. In 1964, he was vice president for Section H of American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Although Spaulding carried out several significant field projects, he is best rememberd for his theoretical and methodological concerns. In relating his first archeological field work, he declared: "My fundamental interest at the time (and now) was clarification of the basic concepts of archeology, which led me into explicit definitions of archaeological problems in terms of relationship between or among well-defined variables." Spaulding produced many articles and book reviews in which he dealt with such problems. Some of the best-known appeared in the pages of American Antiquity in 1953 and 1954 when be debated James A. Ford in general terms concerning teh most productive methods of archeology in general and the nature of archeological types and methods of defining them in particular. Because of his espousal of rigor in method, Spaulding is considered on of the main forerunners of the "new archeology" of the 1960s. For his work, he received the SAA distinguished Service Award in 1981.
The Albert Clanton Spaulding papers are open for research.
Access to the Albert Clanton Spaulding papers requires an appointment.
Group portraits of members of the Department of Anthropology and the Bureau of American Ethnology at the time of their merger in 1965. The photographs were made on the steps of the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum building.
The Bureau of American Ethnology was disbanded on July 29, 1964 and its members were merged into the Department of Anthropology, United States National Museum, to form the Smithsonian Office of Anthropology. This later became the Department of Anthropology in the National Museum of Natural History.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 136
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives also holds the Bureau of American Ethnology records and the Department of Anthropology records.
Additional photographs of Department of Anthropology staff can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 24, Photo Lot 39, Photo Lot 70, Photo Lot 76-127, Photo Lot 77-52, Photo Lot 77-80, Photo Lot 79-51, Photo Lot 80-17, Photo Lot 83-15, and the BAE historical negatives.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 136, Portraits of staff of Department of Anthropology and Bureau of American Ethnology, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution