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 collection consists of domestic and foreign advertisements--primarily tearsheets from medical journals--leaflets, and product literature from 1962 to 1978, maintained by Syntex to track its competitors' products.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of domestic and foreign advertisements primarily from medical journals, leaflets, and some product literature from 1962 to 1978, maintained by Syntex of its competitors' products. Many of the ads have "press advertisements control of repetition" slips stapled to them. These slips, maintained by Syntex, captured the journal title the contained the advertisement, the country, year, month, and length of time the ad ran. For example, The Medical Journal of Australia Advertiser, Australia, 1971, April, 17 days. General drug product categories include anti-inflammatories, analgesics, dermatologicals, respiratory drugs, psychological therapies, anabolic steroids, sex hormones, and oral contraceptives. The arrangement of each series reflects the original order. Some of the series contain a coding system presumably applied by the company. For example BC means birth control; GYN means gynecological and PT means psychological therapy. Only Series One, Two and Three have these acronyms applied at the folder level.
Series 1, Birth Control/Gynecological Therapy, 1962-1978, is arranged alphabetically by country. When known, the name of the drug manufacturer is provided. The oral contraceptive and menopausal hormone advertising is a good source of images of women.
Series 2, Steroids, 1963-1976, consists of advertisements for steroids, but drugs for other conditions are represented here, such as arthritis. The materials are arranged alphabetically by country, followed by the name of the drug manufacturer. In some instances the drug name is noted parenthetically.
Series 3, Psychological Therapy, 1969-1977 and undated, consists of advertisements related to drugs that treat depression and anxiety. Many of the ads feature images of men and women in various psychological states. The series is arranged alphabetically by country followed by the drug manufacturer and the name of the specific drug in parentheses. For example: Australia, Ciba (Trasicor).
Series 4, Analgesics, 1964-1978 and undated, consists of advertisements for drugs that relate to pain reduction or anti-inflammatories. The series is arranged alphabetically by country with the drug manufacturer name provided.
Series 5, Dermatologicals, circa 1970s, consists of advertisements for dermatological drugs such as ointments, acne lotions, nasal sprays, creams, lotions, suppositories, aerosols, and powders. The series is arranged alpabetically by drug type. For example, drugs with dexamethasone are grouped together followed by dietilamine, estilone, and fluazacort. Within that drug group the name of the specific drug is listed parenthetically along with the country. The collection inventory reads as: Dexamethasone (Ortricorten), Germany. In some instances, the drug manufacturer is listed, but overall this information is inconsistent.
Series 6, Cardiovascular, circa 1970s, consists of advertisements for cardiac related drugs. The series is arranged alphabetically by drug categories, followed by the specific drug name if known and country. For example, Practolol (Eraldin), South Africa and Practolol (Eraldine), France.
Series 7, Respiratory, circa 1970s, consists of advertisements for respiratory drugs and therapies. The series is arranged alphabetically by drug categories, followed by the specific drug name, if known, and country. For example, Beclomethasone (Aldecin), New Zealand.
The collection is arranged into seven series.
Series 1, Birth Control/Gynecological Therapy, 1962-1978
Subseries 1, Australia, 1968-1977
Subseries 2, Austria, 1969
Subseries 3, Belgium, 1965-1972 and undated
Subseries 4, Canada, 1974-1976
Subseries 5, England, 1962-1977
Subseries 6, France, 1965-1977
Subseries 7, Germany, 1965-1977
Subseries 8, Hong Kong, 1975
Subseries 9, India, 1968-1973
Subseries 10, Italy, 1965-1976
Subseries 11, Japan, 1972-1973
Subseries 12, Netherlands, 1963-1969
Subseries 13, New Zealand, 1969-1978
Subseries 14, Portgual, 1965-1971
Subseries 15, South Africa, 1969-1976
Subseries 16, Sweden, 1968-1972
Subseries 17, Switzerland, 1964-1974
Subseries 18, Thailand, circa 1970s
Subseries 19, Turkey, 1972
Series 2, [Steroids?], 1963-1976
Series 3, Psychological Therapy, 1969-1977 and undated
Series 4, Analgesics, 1964-1978 and undated
Series 5, Dermatologicals, circa 1970s
Series 6, Cardiovascular, circa 1970s
Series 7, Respiratory, circa 1970s
Biographical / Historical:
Syntex, S.A. was a pharmaceutical company formed in Mexico City in 1944 by Russell Marker (1902-1995), an American chemist who worked for the Ethyl Corporation. Marker successfully made synthetic progesterone (pregnancy hormone) from chemical constituents found in Mexican barbasco plants, which are inediable wild yams. Initially the company was a supplier of steroid chemicals, but it eventually evolved into a producer of other pharmaceuticals under its own name. This led to the development at Syntex of an oral contraceptive pill that was cost effective and a cheap, ample supply of cortisone. The company further broadened its scope to develop medicines to treat chronic illness and major diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's. The pharmaceutical products offered by Syntex related to allergies, anti-inflammatory/analgesic, anti-viral, cardiovascular, dermatologic, and reproductive/gynecologic drug therapies.
In 1957, Syntex incorporated in Panama, and in 1958 became a publicly owned company. In 1964, Syntex branded it's own contraceptive Norinyl and established a United States presence in Palo Alto, California. Several divisions were formed: Syva Company (diagnostics division); Syntex Opthalmics; Syntex Agribusiness, Inc.; Syntex Dental Products; and Syntex Beauty Care, Inc. The company's name is derived from the "Synt" in Synthesis and "ex" in Mexico. In 1994, the Roche Group, a Swiss global health-care company, acquired Syntex.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at email@example.com or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: email@example.com.
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, W. Atlee Burpee & Company Records
This subseries primarily contains letters concerning McCoy's career in architectural history and criticism. Her career in fiction writing is covered to a lesser degree. Among the correspondents are researchers, writers, professors, architects, art professionals, publishers, and professional associations. Topics covered include research and writing projects, Los Angeles area preservation and restoration projects, and grant projects.
Major correspondents in this series include the American Institute of Architects, the Graham Foundation, City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board, Domus Magazine, Los Angeles Times, editor Monica Pidgeon, architectural critics Reyner Banham, David Gebhard, William Jordy, Robin Middleton, Allan Temko, and Nathan Shapira, and architects J. R. Davidson, Craig Ellwood, Joseph Giovannini, Hans Hollein, A. Quincy Jones, and Bruno Zevi. Also found is extensive correspondence with the University of California, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. Correspondence for 1959 contains a letter from Albert Camus requesting McCoy's assistance with helping Spanish refugees, and correspondence for 1989 contains photographs of Esther McCoy and others at the Athenaeum at Caltech for the third annual gala of the Historical Society of Southern California.
See Appendix for a list of selected correspondents from Series 2.3.
Material is arranged chronologically. The bulk of McCoy's correspondence with architects is arranged in Series 6: Architect Files. Additional correspondence pertaining to specific projects can be found in Series 4: Architectural Writings and in Series 5: Project Files. Correspondence in this series complements the files found in these other series and they should be consulted together for a better understanding of McCoy's career.
Appendix: Selected Correspondents from Series 2.3:
Abbot, Mary Squire (McIntosh and Otis, Inc.), 1949, 1950, 1953, 1957
Adahura, Yuki, 1942
Adams, Christopher, 1962
Albinson, Don, 1989
Alexander, Christopher, 1965
Allen, Albert, 1968
Amantea, Kirjah, 1982
Ambre, Reuth, 1986
American Academy in Rome, 1970
American Federation of Arts, 1966
American Film Institute, 1975
American Institute of Architects, 1959, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989
American Institute of Interior Designers, 1974
Anderson, Sherwood, undated
Andrews, Wayne, 1983
Architecture -- , 1985
Architecture in Australia, 1974
Architectural Forum -- , 1965, 1966, 1968
Architectural History Foundation, Inc., 1982, 1983, 1984
Architectural Publishing Co., 1967
Architectural Record -- , 1959
Archive of Women in Architecture, 1975
Archives of American Art, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989
University of California, Santa Barbara, 1966, 1969, 1972, 1982, 1987
University of California, Santa Cruz, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1979
University of Cambridge, Department of Architecture, 1975
University of Oklahoma, 1949, 1985
University of Pennsylvania, 1984
University of Southern California, 1970
University Press of Kentucky, 1974
University Prints, 1957
University Women's Club, 1972, 1975, 1983
Vaccarino, Donna, 1989
Van Doren, Phyllis, 1984
Veret, Jean-Louis, 1960
Ventre, Francis T., 1985
Veronesi, Giulia, 1966, 1974
Via -- , 1976
Victor Gruen Foundation for Environmental Planning, 1972
Victor, Michael, 1983
Voelcker, John, 1968
Von Breton, Harriette, 1969
Von Eckardt, Wolf, 1981, 1983, 1984
Vreeland, Thomas, 1965, 1969, 1974, 1984
W. W. Norton and Co., 1966
Walker Art Center, 1975
Walker, Derek, 1982
Walker, Sam, 1985
Walton, Billy, 1986
Ward, Robert and Sandra Williams Photography of Architecture, 1977, 1978
Ward, Robertson, 1981
Wasserman, Steve, 1984, 1985, 1986
Waugh, Arthur B., 1959
Wayne, June, 1981, 1985
Weirick, James, 1970, 1974
Weiss, Peggy, 1982, 1984
Wemple, Emmet L., 1974, undated
Western Association of Art Museums, 1967
Wicks, Ebba L., 1949
Wight, Frederick S., 1966
Wilk, Christopher, 1987
William Morris Agency, 1957
William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1950
Williams, Alexander Kruse, 1985
Williams, Wayne R., 1952, 1953, 1972
Wills, David, 1969
Wilson, Forrest, 1972, 1975, 1983,1987
Wilson, Richard Guy, 1981
Winslow, Carleton Monroe, 1969, undated
Winter, Bob, 1964, 1975, 1976, undated
Woman's Building, 1987
Woman's Day -- , 1957
Women's Architectural League, 1981
Wood, Donna, 1981
Woodbridge, Sally, 1977, 1982
Woollen, Evans, 1983, 1984
Wright, Eric Lloyd, 1984
Writers Guild of America, West, 1967, 1969
Wurster, William, 1964
Zevi, Bruno, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1965, 1974
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of audiovisual recordings without access copies requires advance notice.
Esther McCoy papers, circa 1876-1990, bulk 1938-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.