This collection contains John and Ann Fischer's correspondence, field notes, manuscripts, microfilm, sound recordings, and photographs relating to their work in Micronesia, Japan, and New England. Most of the materials in this collection were produced or collected by John. Although some materials have been identified as Ann's work, not all folders containing her notes have been so identified. Since John and Ann often collaborated, some of their notes are also intermixed. Materials relating to Truk and Ponape make up the bulk of the series. They not only include John and Ann's field notes but also administrative materials relating to John's position as District Anthropologist and District Island Affairs Officer. Because they returned at various times to visit and update data, there are documents on Ponape from 1949 as well as from the 1970s and in between. The Fischers' work in Japan is also well-represented in the collection along with their research for John and Beatrice Whiting's Six Cultures Project. The collection also contains a number of psychological tests administered by John and Ann during their research in Ponape and Japan. The sound recordings are mostly related to Ponape, with additional recordings from Japan. Several of the photographs are from Micronesia, some of which were taken by Harry Clifford Fassett. There are also some photos from Japan as well as personal photographs. Additional items in the collection include John's correspondence and papers he wrote as a student.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains John and Ann Fischer's correspondence, field notes, manuscripts, microfilm, sound recordings, and photographs relating to their work in Micronesia, Japan, and New England. Most of the materials in this collection were produced or collected by John. Although some materials have been identified as Ann's work, not all folders containing her notes have been so identified. Since John and Ann often collaborated, some of their notes are also intermixed.
Materials relating to Truk and Ponape make up the bulk of the series. They not only include John and Ann's field notes but also administrative materials relating to John's position as District Anthropologist and District Island Affairs Officer. Because they returned at various times to visit and update data, there are documents on Ponape from 1949 as well as from the 1970s and in between. The Fischers' work in Japan is also well-represented in the collection along with their research for John and Beatrice Whiting's Six Cultures Project.
The sound recordings are also mostly related to Ponape, with additional recordings from Japan. Several of the photographs are from Micronesia, some of which were taken by Harry Clifford Fassett. There are also some photos from Japan as well as personal photographs. Additional items in the collection include John's correspondence and papers he wrote as a student. Psychological tests administered by John and Ann during their research in Ponape and Japan are also in the collection.
This collection is arranged in 9 series: (1) Records and correspondence, 1948-1985; (2) Truk, 1949-1984 [Bulk 1949-1953]; (3) Ponape, 1839-1984 [Bulk 1947-1984]; (4) New England, 1954-1968 [Bulk 1955-1968]; (5) Japan, 1940-1985 [Bulk 1961-1964]; (6) Academic Work, 1946-1974; (7) Photographs, 1899-1974 [Bulk 1942-1974]; (8) Microfilm, undated; (9) Sound Recordings, 1947-1976 [Bulk 1959-1976]
Ann Kindrick Fischer was born on May 22, 1919 in Kansas City. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Kansas with a B.A. in Sociology in 1941. During World War II she lived in Washington, D.C. working as registrar at the School of Advanced International Studies. At the time she was briefly married to her first husband, James Meredith.
In 1946 Ann entered Radcliffe College's graduate program in the Department of Anthropology. As a student at Radcliffe, she met John Fischer, who was a student at Harvard. In 1949 she traveled to the Caroline Islands to study Trukese mother and child training and to marry John, who had obtained a position as District Anthropologist of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. During their time in Micronesia, the two lived a year in Truk and three years in Ponape. While in Ponape, Ann taught English in a middle school as part of her anthropological research. She completed her dissertation, "The Role of the Trukese Mother and Its Effect on Child Training," and was awarded her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1957.
Her interest in childrearing continued when she returned to Massachusetts from Micronesia. From 1954 to 1957, she worked as a research assistant on the Ford Foundation Six Cultures Project under the direction of John and Beatrice Whiting. Ann and her husband collaborated in a study of children in a New England town, which resulted in their 1963 article "The New Englanders of Orchard Town, USA." In 1961 and 1962, Ann and John worked together again to study childrearing in Japan, focusing on psychology and family life. When they returned from Japan, they did a follow-up study of a Japanese community in San Mateo, California.
In 1959, Ann became the first anthropologist to hold a training fellowship in biostatistics and epidemiology at Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She joined their faculty and also taught at the Tulane School of Social Work (1960-1966) and the Anthropology Department of Newcomb College (1968-1971). In addition, Ann served as consultant to the Peace Corps on Micronesia.
Although she continued to write extensively on families and children throughout her career, her interests also included medicine, the role of women, and minority rights. She particularly became interested in the Houma Indians, publishing her article "History and Current Status of the Houma Indians" in 1965. An active supporter of the Houma Indians, she played an integral role in eliminating segregation in the school system in their area.
On April 22, 1971 Ann died of cancer at the age of 51.
Edmonson, Munro S. "Ann Kindrick Fischer." -- Women Anthropologists: Selected Biographies -- . Ed. Ute Gacs, -- et al. -- Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1989.
Halpern, Katherine Spencer. "Ann Fischer 1919-1971." -- American Anthropologist -- , New Series, Vol. 75, No. 1. (Feb., 1973), pp. 292-294.
Marshall, M. and M. Ward. "John (Jack) Fischer (1923-1985)." -- American Anthropologist -- , New Series, Vol.89, No.1 (Mar., 1987) 134-136.
John Lyle Fischer was born in Kewanee, Illinois on July 9, 1923. His undergraduate work began at Harvard in 1940 but was interrupted by his military service during World War II. During the war he studied Japanese and served as both an interpreter and translator in the Marines. Following the war he returned to Harvard to complete his B.A. in 1946. His undergraduate honors thesis was entitled "Japanese Linguistic Morphology in Relation to Basic Cultural Traits."
John continued on at Harvard for his graduate studies in the Department of Social Relations, earning his Masters degree in Anthropology in 1949. That same year he married Ann Kindrick Meredith on his birthday. The two were stationed in Micronesia where John served as District Anthropologist (1949-1951) for the Naval Administration and later as the District Island Affairs Officer (1951-1953) under the Interior Department Administration.
When he and his family moved back to Massachusetts, he returned to his academic studies at Harvard. Drawing upon his fieldwork in Micronesia, he completed his dissertation, "Language and Folktale in Truk and Ponape: A Study in Cultural Integration," in 1954 and received his PhD from Harvard the following year. Work on the dissertation led to a lifelong interest in folklore and lingistics as well as Truk and Ponape. He revisited Ponape several times in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
From 1954 to 1955 John collaborated with his wife to study comparative child-rearing in New England. In the early 1960s, they once again conducted fieldwork together, this time in Japan, studying the psychological dynamics of family life. They later did a follow-up study of a Japanese community in San Mateo, California. Just before his death, John was planning another research trip to Japan.
In 1958, John obtained a faculty position at Tulane University teaching social anthropology. He served as chair of the Department of Anthropology from 1969 to 1971 and taught at the university until his death. By 1979 Fischer had learned Russian and taught for a year at the University of Leningrad. Fischer was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh in 1975 to 1976. In addition, he was active in various professional societies and consulted with several national organizations. He was co-author of 8 books as well as author of many articles and book chapters.
Following Ann's death from cancer, Fischer married Simonne Cholin Sanzenbach, who was also a professor at Tulane, in 1973. They shared many interests and published an article together in Japanese, "The Nature of Speech According to French Proverbs," in 1983.
At the age of 61, John passed away on May 16, 1985.
More materials relating to John and Ann Fischer can be found in other collections at the National Anthropological Archives. MS 7516 "Documents relating to scientific investigations in Micronesia" contains the Fischers' 1954 East Caroline Handbook. More of John's correspondence can be found in the Southern Anthropological Society Records and in Saul Herbert Riesenberg's Correspondence series under the Records of the Department of Anthropology. The American Indian Chicago Conference Records contains Ann's correspondence.
Harvard University's Tozzer Library and the Bishop Museum also hold some of John's original Ponapean field notes.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Richard A. Marksbury in 2013.
Access to psychological tests administered by John and Ann Fischer during their research in Ponape and Japan is restricted. Access to the John L. Fischer and Ann K. Fischer Papers requires an appointment.
The collection is divided into four series. Series 1: Oral History Transcripts, 1982-1991 are transcribed versions of the oral interviews. Correspondence and/or notes pertaining to the interviewed individual collected or written by the interviewer are filed in this series following the transcription. The majority of the oral histories were done by Lu Ann Jones between1985-1991. There are a few interviews done by Pete Daniel in the early 1980s and some reference copies of oral histories done elsewhere.
This series is divided into eight sub-series: Sub-series 1.1: Arkansas, Sub-series 1.2: Georgia, Sub-series 1.3: Louisiana, Sub-series 1.4: Mississippi, Sub-series 1.5: North Carolina (including transcripts of the Mexican Workers Project in English and Spanish), Sub-series 1.6: South Carolina, Sub-series 1.7: Tennessee, and Sub-series 1.8: Virginia. Files are arranged alphabetically by state and there under by name; within the file materials are arranged chronologically. Interview files may contain transcribed copies of the oral history interviews and subsequent draft copies with corrections by the interviewer or subject. The file also may contain distillations or edited versions of the interview done by the researcher for possible publication. Correspondence and notes files may include Life History Forms, correspondence, newspaper articles, interviewer's notes, business cards, and paper copies of photographs. Signed releases are on file in the registrar's office, NMAH, with copies in the control file of the Archives Center.
Series 2: Project Files and Reference Materials, 1928-2004 contain notes and correspondence kept by Jones in support of the oral history project. This series is divided into four sub-series: Sub-series 2.1: State Files, Sub-series 2.2: Project and Reference Files, 1985-1991, Sub-series 2.3: Reference Publications, Pamphlets and Articles, 1928-2004 and Sub-series 2d: Computer Floppy Disks, 1985 and undated. This series include bills, receipts, photo orders, travel brochures, reference materials, articles, correspondence, fundraising proposals and materials, USDA Extension Service bulletins, product cookbooks, and ephemera. These materials are valuable in documenting the methodology of the oral history project. They are also valuable in detailing the funding and maintenance of the project over its five-year lifespan. There is also a great deal of information on black farmers. This series is arranged alphabetically by state and county or by article/publication title and within the file chronologically.
Series 3: Photographic Prints and Slides, 1987-1991 documenting the individuals interviewed, their homes and businesses, and geographic locations that were studied as part of the oral history project. The series is arranged numerically then chronologically by year. This series is followed by detailed photographic descriptions arranged alphabetically by state then subject. Photograph files contain photographs taken by a Smithsonian photographer or Jones and any copies of photographs supplied by the subject. Most of the photographs are black and white.
Series 4: Original Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CD), 1986-1991 are the original tapes of the individual interviews conducted by Jones. This series is divided into eight sub-series. Reference numbers for CDs matching the original tapes are noted after the tapes. CDs 495-497 are for the Smithsonian Photographer's Show: Sub-series 4.1: Arkansas, Sub-series 4.2: Georgia, Sub-series 4.3: Louisiana, Sub-series 4.4: Mississippi, Sub-series 4.5: North Carolina (within this sub-series are the transcripts of the Mexican Workers Project there may be an English language transcription as well as one in Spanish), Sub-series 4.6: South Carolina, Sub-series 4.7: Tennessee and Sub-series 4.8: Virginia and Sub-series 4.9: Miscellaneous and Duplicates, within the sub-series tapes are arranged alphabetically by subject.
The collection is divided into four series:
Series 1, Oral History Transcript
Series 2, Project Files
Series 3, Photographic Prints and Slides
Series 4, Original Oral History Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CDs) are the original interview tapes and the accompanying reference copy cds.
The history of the American South is intricately entwined with the history of agriculture in North America. Until very recently, post 1950, the South was predominately rural and agricultural in both its production and culture. By the 1980s American agriculture, and particularly agriculture in the south, was under attack on various fronts especially cultural, financial, and technological. This assault threatened the very existence of the small and family farm. Many small farming operations went bankrupt and the face of American agriculture was becoming more corporate. It was amidst these troubling times that the Agricultural Division of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History undertook a massive project to document southern agriculture through oral history.
Through the efforts of NMAH staff, Pete Daniel, curator and project director, LuAnn Jones, researcher, and with countless support from staff photographers and personnel, Jones conducted approximately 159 interviews of individual persons, couples and sometimes small groups, in eight southern states over a five year period, 1986-1991. The project was funded by a series of grants from various sources. Not only were oral histories taken but also substantial documentary photographs and slides of the many interviewees. The interviews ranged from individual farmers to individuals at companies and corporations involved with agriculture. The range of crops discussed included tobacco, cotton and rice. The project interviewed a wide range of subjects: male, female, black, white, and Mexican. The project has contributed to at least two books, Mama Learned Us to Work: Farm Women in the New South by LuAnn Jones and Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall and others of which Jones was a contributing author.
#60 Warshaw Collection
#149 Kulp Collection of Account Books, 1755-1904
#475 Robinson and Via Family Papers
#481 William C. Kost Farm Records
#767 Timothy B. Bladen, Southern Maryland Photoprints
A transfer from the Division of History of Technology (Agriculture), NMAH, July 2001
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
A family history, an interview with Ciel Frampton, Thalinger's Senior Thesis for Antioch College, letters between Thalinger and his wife Ciel Frampton during World War II, sketches and drawings, photographs and other materials document the lives and careers of sculptor Frederic Jean Thalinger and his painter father, E. Oscar Thalinger. Biographical material includes a family history written by Thalinger's son Ernest, resumes, certificates, address books, notes and clippings on both Frederic and Oscar, an inventory of Oscar's paintings and Ernest's March 1987 audio tape of his mother's reminiscences about meeting Frederic.
Correspondence between Thalinger and his wife forms the bulk of the correspondence. Letters between family members refer predominately to conditions during World War II, Thalinger's tour of duty in the U.S. Merchant Marines, the effects of Thalinger's lengthy separations from his wife and son, the state of their mental and physical health, and their lack of financial security. Writings include Thalinger's thesis on the relevance of his college experience to his future career, notes, poems and essays. Printed material includes clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs pertaining to both Frederic and Oscar. Photographs show Thalinger, family, friends and sculpture.
Numerous photographs of sculpture, many taken by Thalinger, are included in project files, along with notes, clippings, correspondence, price lists, and a set of blueprints for play sculpture intended to replace conventional playground structures.
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor, born in St. Louis, Missouri. Father, E. Oscar Thalinger, was a painter and served as registrar at the City Art Museum, St. Louis.
Ernest Thalinger assembled, collected and annotated his father's papers. He compiled the family history and updated resume. The placement of photographs of sculpture into subject files is based on Ernest Thalinger's prior arrangement and annotations of the papers.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Smithsonian Institution. Assistant Secretary in charge of the United States National Museum Search this
76.58 cu. ft. (151 document boxes) (3 5x8 boxes)
Most of the correspondence is directed to Goode, with lesser amounts to True, Walcott, and Rathbun. Also, a small amount of correspondence is addressed to the Secretary
of the Smithsonian Institution, (Baird, 1878-1887; and Samuel P. Langley, 1887-1906) but is generally referred to the Assistant Secretary for response.
Much of the material is routine correspondence from the general public, and deals with offers to sell and collect specimens, the identification of artifacts and specimens,
museum administration, and requests for publications. Also evident is correspondence from contractors, publishing houses, and other firms conducting business transactions
with the United States National Museum. A large part of the international scientific community corresponded with the United States National Museum, and many letters concerning
19th century science and scientific affairs are contained in this collection. A large quantity of correspondence exists from museums, scientists, various scientific institutions,
and colleges and universities. Once again, much of the correspondence is routine, concerning exhibits, museum administration, requests for publications, and the exchange of
specimens. A voluminous amount of material regards United States National Museum publications. However, most of the correspondence concerns the technical production of the
manuscripts, rather than the content. Materials of special interest include correspondence from collectors and naturalists in the field, plans and accounts of scientific expeditions,
and data on significant accessions. A small amount of outgoing correspondence appears in the collection.
See Record Unit 112 for outgoing correspondence.
These records comprise the primary incoming correspondence of the officer in immediate charge of the United States National Museum. Beginning in 1850 with the appointment
of Spencer F. Baird, the primary responsibility of the Assistant Secretary was the direction of the United States National Museum. The Assistant Secretary also performed other
functions at the direction of the Secretary, and for various periods of time was in charge of publications, exchanges, and other areas. Incumbents included: (1) Spencer F.
Baird, 1850-1878; (2) George Brown Goode, 1880-1896, including the years 1880-1887 when he served as assistant director of the museum without the title of Assistant Secretary;
(3) Charles D. Walcott, Acting Assistant Secretary, 1897-1898; (4) Richard Rathbun, 1897-1918. After Goode's death in 1896, the business of the office was administered for
a time by the executive curator, Frederick William True.
Inquiries related to specimens should be directed to the appropriate museum registrar.