Papers of Australian anthropologist Derek Freeman. The collection documents the research and publication career of a prominent
Australian anthropologist; his correspondence with Australian, British and American colleagues; and, the scholarly debates
that he sparked with his critical analysis of Margaret Mead's research in Samoa. Freeman was trained in the tradition of
British social anthropology, but sought a synthesis of human biology and cultural anthropology throughout most of his career.
The collection at present represents better this later turn in Freeman's thinking. Freeman performed three major field studies,
two (1940-1943 and 1966-1968) in Western Samoa and one in an Iban village in Borneo (1949-1951). The collection contains
only scant documentation of the Iban study, but contains all of Freeman's research materials and notes from his Samoan studies.
In addition to manuscript drafts of Freeman's articles and books, the collection includes his comprehensive files of popular
press and academic discussion of his books MARGARET MEAD AND SAMOA (1983) and THE FATEFUL HOAXING OF MARGARET MEAD (1999),
and the documentary film, play, and papers this controversy sparked. The papers also contain abundant general topical notes,
files from Freeman's documentation of the Daniel Nicholl's murder case, and photographs of people and places in Samoa.
John Derek Freeman was born in Wellington, New Zealand, on August 16, 1916. He earned a B.A. (1939) from Victoria University,
a M.Phil. (1948) from University of London, and a Ph.D. (1953) from Cambridge University. He was a professor at Australian
National University, then emeritus professor and research fellow at the University's Research School of Pacific and Asian
70.10 linear feet
(171 archives boxes, 17 card file boxes, and 5 oversize folders)
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Collection is open for research.