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Center for the Study of Man Records

Handbook of North American Indians
Center for the Study of Man (Smithsonian Institution)  Search this
Stanley, Samuel Leonard  Search this
White, Wes  Search this
Smithsonian Institution. Human Studies Film Archives  Search this
Smithsonian Institution. Institute for Ethnic and Immigration Studies  Search this
Smithsonian Institution. National Anthropological Film Center  Search this
Smithsonian Institution. National Research Film Center  Search this
Tax, Sol, 1907-1995  Search this
80.72 Linear feet (191 boxes and 32 audio reels)
American Indians -- Economic development  Search this
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
1966-1982 (a few earlier)
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 by 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
Administrative History:
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.

Sources Consulted

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.
Contact repository for terms of use.
Population change -- and culture  Search this
Fertility, Human  Search this
Ecology  Search this
Transmission of culture  Search this
population  Search this
Action anthropology  Search this
Alcoholism  Search this
Cannabis  Search this
Center for the Study of Man records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Center for the Study of Man Records
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives

Gordon Davis Gibson Papers, 1936-2007

Gibson, Gordon D (Gordon Davis) 1915-2007  Search this
Lomax, Alan 1915-2002  Search this
Estermann, Carlos  Search this
Marshall, Lawrence Kennedy 1898-1980  Search this
Reining, Priscilla  Search this
Wentzel, Volkmar Kurt 1915-2006  Search this
Friedmann, Herbert 1900-1987  Search this
Lewis, Ralph Kepler  Search this
Duggan-Cronin, A. M (Alfred Martin) 1874-  Search this
Adams, Robert McCormick Americanist  Search this
Bohannan, Paul James  Search this
Cavendish, Marian W  Search this
Dibble, Charles  Search this
Doyle, David W  Search this
Fenkykovi, J.J  Search this
Gill, Lunda Hoyle  Search this
Hartley, G.W  Search this
Mead, Margaret 1901-1978  Search this
O'Bryan, Deric  Search this
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Stanley, Jo Ann T  Search this
Stone, Janet  Search this
Summers, Roger  Search this
Tax, Sol 1907-  Search this
Thieme, Darius and Mimi  Search this
Trousdale, William B  Search this
Turnbull, Colin  Search this
Wagley, Charles 1913-  Search this
Wentzel, Volkmar Kurt 1915-2006  Search this
Ward, Herbert 1863-1919  Search this
Verner, Samuel Phillips 1873-1943  Search this
Mohun, Richard Dorsey  Search this
Tisdel, Willard P  Search this
Taunt, Emory H  Search this
Perry, Matthew Calbraith 1794-1858  Search this
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History Senate of Scientists  Search this
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History Photographic Facilities Committee  Search this
Smithsonian Institution Center for the Study of Man  Search this
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History Department of Anthropology Collections Committee  Search this
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History Department of Anthropology Photographic Records Committee  Search this
Smithsonian Institution Museum of Man  Search this
Lewis, Kepler-Morden African Expedition  Search this
Smithsonian Institution United States National Museum Expedition to Madagascar  Search this
Smithsonian Institution National Anthropological Film Center  Search this
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Exhibitions  Search this
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Department of Anthropology  Search this
Physical description:
95 linear feet (154 document boxes, 1 manuscript folder, 63 card file boxes, 1 oversize box) plus 64 microfilm reels, 137 sound recordings, 3 map folders, and 3 sets of rolled maps
Keyu  Search this
Bushmen  Search this
Suk (African people)  Search this
Kuba  Search this
Turkana  Search this
Suk  Search this
Himba (African people)  Search this
Herero (African people)  Search this
Ovambo (African people)  Search this
Diriku (African people)  Search this
Tchavikwa  Search this
Mbandieru (African people)  Search this
Hakawona  Search this
Kuvale (African people)  Search this
Nzima (African people)  Search this
Bayei (African people)  Search this
Nyaneka (African people)  Search this
Ndongona (African people)  Search this
Kongo (African people)  Search this
Mbundu (African people)  Search this
Sound recordings
Collection descriptions
Field notes
Africa, Central
Africa--ethnology  Search this
American Anthropologist--film editor  Search this
Headwear  Search this
Language and languages--Documentation  Search this
Restrictions & Rights:
Access to the computer disks in the collection are restricted due to preservation concerns. The personnel files of Smithsonian staff have also been restricted
See more items in:
Gordon Davis Gibson Papers 1936-2007
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives

Pashtoon Nomad Research Film Project 1975-1976

Asch, Timothy 1932-1994  Search this
Cusiel, Ingrid  Search this
Shapiro, Nesya  Search this
Boyko, Eugene  Search this
National Anthropological Film Center  Search this
Project Director:
Balikci, Asen  Search this
Asch, Timothy 1932-1994  Search this
Asch, Patricia  Search this
Physical description:
archival original 80,000 feet sound color film
Pushtuns  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)
Collection descriptions
language and culture  Search this
Animal husbandry  Search this
Cookery  Search this
Food consumption  Search this
Nomadism  Search this
Seasonal migrations  Search this
Marketplaces  Search this
Games  Search this
Dance  Search this
Music  Search this
Instruments--musical instruments  Search this
Local number:
HSFA 1975.6.1
Data Source:
Human Studies Film Archives

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