The Center for the Study of Man (CSM) was a bureau level division of the Smithsonian Institution. These records were maintained by the Program Coordinator, Samuel L. Stanley, and include correspondence, scholarly papers, transcripts, administrative materials, photgraphs, and audio recordings. The materials relate to conferences and programs in which CSM took part.
Scope and Contents:
The records are mainly those of Program Coordinator Samuel L. Stanley, the CSM administrative officer, and the Institute for Immigration and Ethnic Studies. Especially well documented are several international CSM-sponsored conferences, including a planning meeting in Cairo in 1972, several pre-session conferences (on cannabis, alcohol, population, and the transmission of culture) at the Ninth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences at Chicago in 1973, and a 1974 meeting at Bucharest on the cultural implications of population change. Other records relating to cross-cultural studies include those concerning an abortive attempt to issue a series of monographs and the organization of special task forces concerned with questions of human fertility and the environment. The records also include material about the action anthropology projects with Native Americans with which Stanley was directly concerned. These focused on economic development and include material relating to the coordination of studies of specific tribes carried out with funds from the Economic Development Administration and on Stanley's economic development consulting for the American Indian Policy Review Commission. In addition, there are a few files that Stanley created for general information and material relating to his earlier teaching career.
Although some materials concerning these programs are housekeeping records, many letters, notes, and statements concern policy and procedure. For some conferences, there are scholarly papers and transcripts. Many files, especially those of an informational nature, include considerable amounts of printed and processed material. The collection also contains the papers of Wesley White.
With some CSM programs, Stanley's relationship was apparently formal instead of directly active. There is, for example, little documentation among his records that relates to the CSM's film center and less about the immigration and ethnic studies among his materials. Most material pertinent to these units are among the administrative officer's records.
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.
This collection is arranged in 39 series: (1) Ninth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences; (2) Cannabis Project, 1973; (3) Cannabis Conference; (4) International Congress on Cultural Transmission; (5) Alcohol Conference, 1973; (6) Population Project; (7) Cross Cultural Monograph Project; (8) American Indians General; (9) Cairo Conference; (10) Folklife; (11) General Correspondence; (12) American Indian Policy Review Commission; (13) Meetings; (14) Census Materials; (15) EDA Grant; (16) Panajachel Conference; (17) Wes White Papers; (18) National Study of American Indian Education; (19) CA Teaching Cooperative; (20) Washington Conference, April 10-12, 1966 (urgent anthropology); (21) Electronic Data Processing Files; (22) Indian Voices; (23) Current Anthropology; (24) General Anthropology; (25) Action Anthropology / Film Archives; (26) Foxfire; (27) Monographs; (28) Cairo Conference - Anthropology Public Policy/Indians Tourism; (29) Smithsonian Office of Anthropology; (30) Correspondence/Job Applications/Resumes; (31) Indian Draft Reports; (32) Population Conference; (33) 1970 Census 20% Sample of Indian Population by County; (34) Index Cards; (35) Sam Stanley Papers; (36) Research Institute for Immigration and Ethnic Studies; (37) Administrative Officer Records; (38) Miscellaneous Correspondence, Reports, Publications; (39) Sound Recordings
The Center for the Study of Man (CSM) was established on July 1, 1968, as a bureau-level organization of the Smithsonian Institution. Its beginning was preluded by the appointment in 1965 of the Chicago-based anthropologist Sol Tax as special advisor in anthropology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian. Tax was to assist with the reorientation of anthropology at the Smithsonian and cooperation between him and the staff of the Smithsonian Office of Anthropology (now the Department of Anthropology) created several special programs, some of which were transferred to the center upon its inception.
Tax was CSM's first director. Samuel Leonard Stanley, formerly project coordinator for the Office of Anthropology, became the program coordinator for the center and was in charge of day-to-day operations. Priscilla Reining was appointed coordinator for urgent anthropology. In addition to such staff, CSM consisted of an advisory board (sometimes referred to as "members") drawn from the international community of anthropologists.
Essentially, CSM's concern was the application of anthropological knowledge to phenomena conceived as problems that confront mankind as a whole. It aimed to promote and coordinate study of these, mainly through the organization of special programs for meetings of established anthropological groups and by bringing together into special task forces researchers interested in the problems.
CSM also included several special programs. Although each of these had considerable independence, all can be seen as subsumed under its broad and ultimate purposes. Thus, the compilation of a computer-based directory of anthropologists and the compilation of bibliographies of anthropological literature were facilitative efforts.
An Urgent Anthropology Program, originally initiated in the Office of Anthropology following an international conference in Washington, D. C., in 1966, served to gather data essential to the more practical main purposes of the program as well as to produce studies of general anthropological interest. The support given such studies was in the form of small grants to allow field work in cultures that were rapidly changing under the pressure of modernization. Similarly, data were gathered and special studies carried out by the Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies (RIIES), added to the center in 1974 under the direction of Roy S. Bryce LaPorte, and the National Anthropological Film Center (NAFC), which was opened in 1975 and was incorporated in the center in 1977. An American Indian Program consisted of two parts: first, the compilation of a new multivolume Handbook of North American Indians under the general editorship of William C. Sturtevant was taken over from the Office of Anthropology and second, action anthropology projects were undertaken with various Native American groups.
Another goal of CSM was the establishment of a Museum of Man, which would host exhibits devoted to anthropology and ecology. However, due to internal disagreements over the aims of this museum, the project was never approved and fizzled out entirely in 1980.
CSM was one of several efforts of the Smithsonian to create research units to deal with broad problems of contemporary interest. Their success depended on two contingencies: first, funding would become available once the units were launched and, second, the traditional individualistic research of the Smithsonian staff could be continued or redirected--but somehow incorporated under the broad goals of the new units. When both assumptions proved difficult to realize, the new programs were terminated or limited. Thus, beginning in 1976, the center was slowly phased out.
In that year, Stanley was transferred from the center to the staff of the director of the National Museum of Natural History. In 1978, the Handbook of North American Indians was published, and the Handbook and Urgent Anthropology Programs were transferred to the museum's Department of Anthropology. CSM thus became composed only of RIIES and NAFC. In 1981, NAFC was divided: research, designated the Third World Film Center (or Research Film Center) was placed under one director and remained within CSM, and the archives, designated the Human Studies Film Archives (HSFA), was placed under another and was transferred to the Department of Anthropology. In 1982, HSFA was incorporated as a sibling of the National Anthropological Archives. The Third World Film Center was phased out in 1983.
Link, Adrianna Halina. "Salvaging a Record for Humankind: Urgent Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution, 1964-1984." PhD diss., Johns Hopkins University, 2016.
1965 -- Sol Tax is appointed special advisor in anthropology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian
1966 -- The Urgent Anthropology Program is initiated by the Office of Anthropology
1968 -- The Center for the Study of Man (CSM) is established on July 1 The Urgent Anthropology Program is transferred to CSM The Handbook of North American Indians project is transferred to CSM CSM begins plans to build a Museum of Man
1973 -- The Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies (RIIES) is established within CSM
1975 -- The Smithsonian Institution receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create a film center for human behavior The National Anthropological Film Center (NAFC) opens on May 1 under the CSM umbrella
1976 -- The position of program coordinator of CSM is removed in January and Samuel Stanley is transferred to the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) CSM is placed under the authority of NMNH CSM devotes the bulk of its resources to completing the Handbook of North American Indians
1977 -- NAFC is incorporated in CSM
1978 -- The Handbook of North American Indians is published and the program is transferred back to the Department of Anthropology at NMNH Urgent Anthropology Program is transferred to the Department of Anthropology at NMNH
1980 -- The final attempt to create a Museum of Man fails
1981 -- NAFC is divided into the Human Studies Film Archive (HSFA) and the Third World Film Center (or Research Film Center) on October 1 The HSFA is joined with the National Anthropological Archives (NAA) The Third World Film Center remains within CSM
1982 -- RIIES is transferred to the Department of Anthropology at NMNH
1983 -- The Third World Film Center is phased out
The Center for the Study of Man records are open for research.
Access to the Center for the Study of Man records requires an appointment.