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Conrad M. Arensberg papers

Creator:
Arensberg, Conrad M. (Conrad Maynadier), 1910-1997  Search this
Names:
Brooklyn College  Search this
Columbia University  Search this
Harvard University  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Correspondent:
Appell, George N.  Search this
Beatty, John  Search this
Chapple, Eliot D.  Search this
Comitas, Lambros  Search this
Coon, Carleton S. (Carleton Stevens), 1904-1981  Search this
Curry, Donald  Search this
Dillon, Wilton  Search this
Ehrich, Robert W.  Search this
Fried, Morton H. (Morton Herbert), 1923-1986  Search this
Gamburd, Geraldine DeNering  Search this
Garrison, Vivian, 1933-2013  Search this
Goodell, Grace E.  Search this
Halpern, Joel Martin  Search this
Haskell, Edward F.  Search this
Iberall, Arthur S.  Search this
Kimball, Solon T.  Search this
Landes, Ruth, 1908-1991  Search this
Lomax, Alan, 1915-2002  Search this
Mencher, Joan P., 1930-  Search this
Niehoff, Arthur H., 1921-  Search this
Richardson, Frederick L.W.  Search this
Steward, Julian Haynes, 1902-1972  Search this
Tax, Sol, 1907-1995  Search this
Tootell, Geoffrey M. B. (Geoffrey Matthew Bemis)  Search this
Warner, William Lloyd  Search this
Whyte, William Foote, 1914-2000  Search this
Winner, Irene  Search this
Zenner, Walter P.  Search this
Extent:
33.3 Linear feet (83 document boxes)
Culture:
Irish  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Periodicals
Lecture notes
Reports
Syllabi
Photographs
Field notes
Correspondence
Place:
India
Europe
Ireland
Date:
1931-1997
Summary:
This collection contains the professional papers of Conrad M. Arensberg, anthropologist, university professor, and anthropological consultant. Included are correspondence; published and unpublished writings; research materials, including notes, correspondence, diaries, charts, drafts, interviews, research plans, reports, project proposals, and bibliographic cards; speeches; pamphlets; articles from newspapers and periodicals; course materials, including bibliographies, lecture notes, reading lists, assignments, exams, project proposals, and syllabi; curriculum vitae; date books; scholarly papers and publications of other scholars; and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains the professional papers of Conrad M. Arensberg, anthropologist, university professor, and anthropological consultant. Included are correspondence; published and unpublished writings; research materials, including notes, correspondence, diaries, charts, drafts, interviews, research plans, reports, project proposals, and bibliographic cards; speeches; pamphlets; articles from newspapers and periodicals; course materials, including bibliographies, lecture notes, reading lists, assignments, exams, project proposals, and syllabi; curriculum vitae; date books; scholarly papers and publications of other scholars; and photographs.

The materials in this collection document Arensberg's career as a university professor, his relationships with colleagues across a spectrum of disciplines, and his contributions to the field of anthropology. As a respected member of the anthropological community, Arensberg received a voluminous amount of correspondence from his peers, who often included copies of their most recent papers. He kept many of these works, which, along with his annotations, can be found throughout the collection. It appears he used these papers in a variety of ways, including as resources for his classes or as reference materials. Arensberg's own work is reflected in his writings and research files. Arensberg's Ireland research, despite its importance to his career and to the field of anthropology as a whole, has a minimal presence in the collection. Located in Series 3. Research Files, the subseries containing Arensberg's Ireland material primarily consists of photocopies of his correspondence, field notes, and diaries during this time. His role as a professor, rather than as a researcher or writer, is the most well-represented in the collection. Arensberg formed lasting relationships with many of his students, as evidenced by his continued correspondence with many of them long after their years at Columbia.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into 8 series:

Series 1) Correspondence, 1933-1994

Series 2) Writings, 1936-1983

Series 3) Research files, 1931-1984

Series 4) Professional activities, 1933-1990

Series 5) Teaching files, 1938-1983

Series 6) Biographical files, 1946-1997

Series 7) Subject files, 1934-1979

Series 8) Photographs, undated
Biographical Note:
Conrad M. Arensberg was born on September 12, 1910 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Academically inclined from a young age, he graduated first in his class at Shadyside Academy in Pittsburgh. His early success earned him admittance to Harvard College. Arensberg studied anthropology and graduated summa cum laude in 1931.

As a graduate student at Harvard University, Arensberg was asked to join a project being conducted in Ireland by Harvard's Anthropology Department. Alongside W. Lloyd Warner and Solon T. Kimball, Arensberg spent three years studying rural Irish life in County Clare. This research resulted in his doctoral dissertation, "A Study in Rural Life in Ireland as Determined by the Functions and Morphology of the Family," which was later published as The Irish Countryman in 1937. His work was groundbreaking in the field of anthropology, and his study of County Clare "became a model for other community studies... requiring that researchers study a target culture from the inside, making meticulous notes on everything they saw, heard or experienced." Arensberg reshaped the way that anthropologists approached fieldwork and opened doors for the study of modern industrial societies.

Arensberg had a long teaching career. He first became a university professor in 1938 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and remained a professor for the rest of his life, teaching at MIT, Brooklyn College, Barnard College, Columbia University, the University of Florida, and the University of Virginia. At Columbia, Arensberg worked alongside such notable anthropologists as Margaret Mead, Charles Wagley, and Marvin Harris.

Arensberg officially retired in 1979, but he continued to collaborate with his colleagues, counsel past students, and participate in professional associations until his death. He passed away on February 10, 1997 in Hazlet, New Jersey.

Sources Consulted

Comitas, Lambros. 2000. "Conrad Maynadier Arensberg (1910-1997)." American Anthropologist 101(4): 810-813.

Curriculum Vitae—Amended Posthumously. Series 6. Biographical Files. Conrad M. Arensberg papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Thomas, Robert McG. Jr. 1997. "Conrad Arensberg, 86, Dies; Hands-On Anthropologist." New York Times, February 16: 51.

Chronology

1910 September 12 -- Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1931 -- B.A. from Harvard College

1932-1934 -- Traveled to Ireland to study rural life in County Clare as part of the Harvard Irish Mission

1933-1936 -- Junior Fellow, The Society of Fellows, Harvard University

1933-1994 -- Member and Fellow, American Anthropological Association

1934 -- Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University

1937 -- Published The Irish Countryman, the result of his work in Ireland

1938-1940 -- Occasional consultant, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of American Ethnology

1938-1941 -- Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1940 -- Founded (with others) the Society for Applied Anthropology

1941-1946 -- Associate Professor and Chairman, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Brooklyn College

1943-1946 -- Captain, Major, AUS, Military Intelligence Service

1946-1952 -- Associate Professor of Sociology, Chairman (until 1949) Department of Sociology, Barnard College, Columbia University

1951-1952 -- Research Director, UNESCO, Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany

1951-1952 -- Editor, Point Four Manual, American Anthropological Association

1952-1953 -- Associate Professor of Anthropology, The Graduate Faculty of Political Science, Columbia University

1953-1970 -- Professor of Anthropology, Chairman (1956-1959), Department of Anthropology, Columbia University

1962-1978 -- Co-Director (with Alan Lomax) of Columbia University's Cross-Cultural Surveys of Social Structure and Expressive Behavior

1970-1979 -- Buttenwieser Professor of Human Relations, Columbia University

1979-1997 -- Buttenwieser Professor Emeritus of Human Relations, Columbia University

1980 -- President, American Anthropological Association

1991 -- First recipient, "Conrad M. Arensberg Award" of the Society for the Anthropology of Work

1997 February 10 -- Died in Hazlet, New Jersey
Related Materials:
Arensberg is listed as a correspondent in the following collections at the Smithsonian Institution's National Anthropological Archives: John Lawrence Angel papers; Papers of Carleton Stevens Coon; Ethel Cutler Freeman papers; Frederica de Laguna papers; Ruth Landes papers; William Duncan Strong papers.

For oral history interviews with Arensberg, see the following collections:

-The Smithsonian Institution's Human Studies Film Archives "Video Dialogues in Anthropology: Conrad Arensberg and Lambros Comitas, 1989." In this video oral history conducted by anthropologist Lambros Comitas, Arensberg comments on his training in anthropology, the individuals who were influential in his career, and the geographical areas where he conducted his fieldwork.

-The National Anthropological Archives Manuscript (MS) 2009-15. May Mayko Ebihara conducted this oral history interview with Arensberg on March 7, 1984 as part of a larger oral history project with anthropologists.

For more concerning Arensberg's work with interaction theory, see the Frederick L.W. Richardson papers at the National Anthropological Archives. Richardson worked closely with Eliot Chapple and Conrad Arensberg on theories concerning human interaction.

For correspondence and other information related to Arensberg's Ireland research, see: Solon Toothaker Kimball Papers, Special Collections, Teachers College, Columbia University; and Solon Toothaker Kimball Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Additional materials concerning Arensberg's research and personal life can be found among the papers of his wife, anthropologist Vivian "Kelly" Garrison. See the Vivian E. Garrison papers at the National Anthropological Archives.
Provenance:
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Vivian E. Garrison Arensberg in 2011.
Restrictions:
The Conrad M. Arensberg papers are open for research.

Files containing Arensberg's students' grades have been restricted, as have his students' and colleagues' grant and fellowships applications. For preservation reasons, the computer disk containing digital correspondence files from Joel Halpern is restricted.

Access to the Conrad M. Arensberg papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Peasants  Search this
Management  Search this
Ethnology  Search this
Ethnic groups  Search this
Family  Search this
Urban policy  Search this
Social interaction  Search this
Industrial relations  Search this
Political anthropology  Search this
Linguistics  Search this
Applied anthropology  Search this
Economic anthropology  Search this
Genre/Form:
Periodicals
Lecture notes
Reports
Syllabi
Photographs
Field notes
Correspondence
Citation:
Conrad M. Arensberg papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2011-17
See more items in:
Conrad M. Arensberg papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2011-17

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