The Macgregor papers document the man's career very unevenly. Most of the material concerns his work with the Public Health Service and most of that concerns a study carried out in Bristol, Vermont. There are also materials concerning a survey carried out in the Great Plains and a study involving junior high school students in Prince Georges County, Maryland.
The papers also include miscellaneous documents relating to Macgregor's position with the Technical Cooperation Administration. Notably, there are transcripts and other materials of anthropologists who lectured at the Foreign Service Institute to technicians being sent overseas as part of the Point IV program. There is also a copy of a training manual for Point IV that was prepared through a contract with the American Anthropological Association, a program with which Macgregor became involved as a TCA administrator who reviewed the drafts of the manual. In addition, there are reports from Eliot D. Chapple on materials prepared for film producers under a contract between the U. S. Department of State International Motion Pictures Division and the Society for Applied Anthropology Film Planning Project. A very few items in the collection relate to Macgregor's work with the Committee on International Exchange of Persons.
There is little or no material relating to Macgregor's interest in old world archeology and none concerning his interest in Oceania. The file of American Indian materials is largely a miscellany of reference items, the main exception being a few notes on the Navaho and material relating to American Indian Development, Inc. None of that material appears to concern Macgregor's BIA work, and none of it relates to his study of the Dakota Indians.
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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today.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.
Gordon Macgregor (1902-1984) was trained at Yale (BA, 1925) and Harvard (PhD, 1935). Although he worked in old world archeology and Oceanic ethnology, the major portion of his career was devoted to applied anthropology in government service. From 1936 to 1945, he was engaged as an anthropologist with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and he served from 1945 to 1947 as superintendent of the Northern Cheyenne agency. In 1947-1949, he was a social economist with the BIA Missouri River Basin Unit which was concerned with preparations for the removal of Indians from their lands because of the construction of dams by the federal government. In this work, Macgregor was involved with the tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation.
After two years as a Pacific specialist with the Department of Interior Office of Territories in 1949 to 1951, Macgregor became an anthropologist with the Technical Cooperation Administration of the Department of State. The TCA was involved in aspects of the Point IV program. In 1953-1956, Macgregor became a research associate of the Committee on International Exchange of Persons of the Conference Board of Associated Research Council. Under the Fulbright-Hays Act, the committee administered exchanges between the United States and other countries involving university lecturing and advanced research.
In 1957-1966, Macgregor served as senior anthropologist with the United States Public Health Service. In that position, he was involved in a study of local public health practice with the view toward improving the means of providing public health service.
Those interested in Macgregor's work for the BIA Missouri River Basin Unit may wish to consult NAA manuscript 4805, which consists of research and reference materials of the University of Chicago Fort Berthold Project. That material includes a few papers and reports, largely mimeographed, written by Macgregor in the course of his work with the unit. Those interested in additional material concerning the Point IV program and the American Anthropological Association are advised to examine AAA records in the National Anthropological Archives. It might be noted, however, that Macgregor was not the State Department's main contact with the AAA and relatively few documents in the AAA record relate to him.
Questionnaires in the Macgregor papers that resulted from Public Health Service surveys are restricted. Contact the repository for more information.
The Macgregor papers are open for research. Access to the Macgregor papers requires an appointment.
Gordon Macgregor papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution