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Register of the Harold Scheffler Papers MSS 0481
MSS 0481  
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  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Harold Scheffler Papers,
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0481
    Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 6.9 Linear feet 16 archives boxes, 1 card file box and 7 oversize folders 1,370 online items
    Date (inclusive): 1926 - 1981
    Abstract: The papers of Harold Scheffler, anthropologist, relate to Scheffler's field research on ambilineal descent groups on Choiseul Island in the Solomon Islands between 1958 and 1961 and to his comparative study of religious revitalization movements, especially the Christian Fellowship Church, conducted on Rendova Island between 1967 and 1968. Scheffler studied social structure, kinship and ethnographic semantics among Varisi language speakers on Choiseul Island (1958-1961), among Baniata language speakers on Rendova Island (1967-1968), and among Simbo islanders (1960). Materials include correspondence with colleagues and students; manuscripts of journal articles and published works; ethnographic data collected in diaries, field notes, genealogies, photographs, and audiorecordings. Also included are grammars, vocabularies and linguistic materials for the Varisi and Baniata languages of the Solomon Islands. Of particular interest are manuscript notes by Bernard Deacon, a British anthropologist, and typescript transcriptions of Deacon's notes by Camilla Wedgwood on Ambrym, an island in Vanuatu. The papers span the period from 1926 to 1981 with the bulk of the material generated between 1958 and 1971. The papers are arranged in eight series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS BY SCHEFFLER, 3) CHOISEUL ISLAND FIELDWORK, 4) RENDOVA ISLAND FIELDWORK, 5) MISCELLANEOUS FIELDWORK, 6) WRITINGS OF OTHERS, 7) PHOTOGRAPHS, and 8) AUDIORECORDINGS.
    General Physical Description note: (16 archives boxes, 1 card file box and 7 oversize folders)
    creator: Scheffler, Harold W.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Harold Scheffler Papers, MSS 0481. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Biography

    Harold Walter Scheffler was born on October 24, 1932, in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Southeast Missouri State College in 1952 and transferred to the University of Missouri the following year. His studies were interrupted by military service with the United States Army, 1954-1955, after which he returned to the University of Missouri and received a B.A. degree in anthropology and sociology in 1956.
    Scheffler then went on to the University of Chicago for graduate work in anthropology, receiving an M.A. in 1957. He continued in the doctoral program at Chicago and, with the assistance of a Carnegie Corporation Tri-Institutional Pacific Program grant (1958-1960) and a Fulbright grant (1960-1961), conducted eighteen months of fieldwork (1958-1961) on the island of Choiseul in what was then called the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1963, having submitted a dissertation entitled "Kindred and Kin Groups in Choiseul Island Social Structure" (later published in 1965 as Choiseul Island Social Structure).
    Scheffler studied social structure and kinship on Choiseul Island between November 1958 and April 1961. He spent most of his time in the village of Voza in the Tepazaka District, but also lived on the opposite side of the island in Ogo village in the Varisi District and made trips to Simbo Island. Scheffler learned and conducted this research in the Varisi language.
    After returning from Choiseul, Scheffler taught at the University of Connecticut (1961-1962) and Bryn Mawr College (1962-1963). He joined the Yale University faculty in 1963, and has remained there throughout his career.
    Post-doctoral fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation enabled him to return to the Solomon Islands. Between 1967 and 1968, Scheffler conducted research on the island of Rendova as the principal investigator in a study entitled "Revitalization Movements in the British Solomons," which compared religious movements in three locations. This project examined the separatist Christian Fellowship Church on New Georgia Island (fieldwork conducted by Frances Hine Harwood), the South Seas Evangelical Mission in the Langalanga Lagoon area of Malaita (fieldwork conducted by Matthew Cooper) and the participation of people on Rendova Island in revitalization movements (fieldwork conducted by Scheffler).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers of Harold Scheffler relate to Scheffler's ethnographic research in the Solomon Islands, specifically his dissertation fieldwork on Choiseul Island conducted between 1958 and 1961 and his comparative study of religious revitalization movements and separatist churches on Rendova Island between 1967 and 1968. Scheffler studied social structure and kinship, particularly ambilineal descent groups, among Varisi language speakers on Choiseul Island (1958-1961), among Baniata language speakers on Rendova Island (1967-1968) and among Simbo islanders (1960). Materials include correspondence with colleagues and students; manuscripts of journal articles and published works; ethnographic data collected in diaries, field notes, genealogies, photographs, and audiorecordings; and, writings of others related to his areas of research. Also included are grammars, vocabularies and linguistic materials for the Varisi and Baniata languages. The papers occupy five linear feet and are arranged in eight series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS BY SCHEFFLER, 3) CHOISEUL ISLAND FIELDWORK, 4) RENDOVA ISLAND FIELDWORK, 5) MISCELLANEOUS FIELDWORK, 6) WRITINGS OF OTHERS, 7) PHOTOGRAPHS, and 8) AUDIORECORDINGS.
    SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE
    The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged alphabetically and includes letters from anthropologists John Barnes, William Davenport and Murray Groves; the ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, and two of Scheffler's graduate students, Matthew Cooper and Frances Harwood. There are also letters from government offices in the Solomon Islands, the National Science Foundation and Yale University related to Scheffler's research and travel.
    SERIES 2: WRITINGS BY SCHEFFLER
    The WRITINGS BY SCHEFFLER series contains manuscripts of Scheffler's journal articles and published works related to the Solomon Islands, including a typescript of his dissertation entitled Kindred and Kin Groups in Choiseul Island Social Structure (1963) and drafts for articles on kinship, land tenure and separatist church movements. Also included are proposals for research grant applications to fund his fieldwork and analysis. The materials are arranged alphabetically by title.
    SERIES 3: CHOISEUL ISLAND FIELDWORK
    The CHOISEUL ISLAND FIELDWORK series documents Scheffler's dissertation field work, contains field notes and typescript summaries, and is arranged in five subseries: A) Diaries, B) Field Notes, C) Genealogies and Kinship Charts, D) Varisi Language Material, and E) Maps.
    A) The Diaries (1958-1961) contain Scheffler's day-to-day, handwritten entries describing places visited, contacts made, conversations with informants, new words or usages, and records of expenses during his fieldwork on Choiseul.
    B) The Field Notes subseries contains manuscript notebooks with dated entries of ethnographic information from informants, typescript notes that organize, synthesize and summarize the field data on land tenure in the notebooks, and typed notecards with field data classified according to the Human Relations Area Files coding system. The notecards also include a sociological census of Choiseul Island, notes on cases brought before the native courts, notes on readings, and a bibliography.
    C) The Genealogies and Kinship Charts subseries contains notebooks and charts with lineage names, relationships and explanations of terminology.
    D) The Varisi Language Material subseries contains comparative word lists, a dictionary, descriptions of grammatical forms, and several examples of text. Varisi is one of the six languages on Choiseul Island and spoken by many groups outside the Varisi District.
    E) The Maps subseries contains seven blueprint drainage maps with Scheffler's (?) annotations of topographical features, villages and trails.
    SERIES 4: RENDOVA ISLAND FIELDWORK
    The RENDOVA ISLAND FIELDWORK series document's Scheffler's fieldwork and study of revitalization movements and is arranged in five subseries: A) Diaries, B) Field Notes, C) Genealogies and Kinship Charts, D) Baniata Language Material, and E) Maps.
    A) Diaries (1967-1968). The Rendova diaries contain travel accounts, observations on the Christian Fellowship Church, its leader Silas Eto (Holy Mama) and Frances Harwood's field work.
    B) The Notebooks contain census data and genealogical information collected on the Baniata side and Rouro.
    C) The Genealogies and Kinship Charts subseries contains a single set of kinship charts.
    D) The Baniata Language Materials subseries contains typescript comparative word lists, descriptions of grammatical forms, exercises and a vocabulary compiled by Arthur Capell.
    E) This subseries contains two commercial maps of Rendova Island (ca. 1965) with annotations and one commercial map of the Solomon Islands group (1951).
    SERIES 5: MISCELLANEOUS FIELDWORK
    The MISCELLANEOUS FIELDWORK series contains notebooks with general observations and bibliographies on the Solomon Islands, the specific island of Simbo (1960) and Ambrym Island in Vanuatu.
    SERIES 6: WRITINGS OF OTHERS
    Most of the material in the WRITINGS OF OTHERS series relates to separatist church movements, including Frances Harwood's research on the Christian Fellowship Church, an instance of a schismatic church in Melanesia. Also included are handwritten notes, largely related to Ambrym Island, made by British anthropologist Bernard Deacon (1903-1927) and typescript copies of Deacon's notes made by Camilla Wedgwood.
    SERIES 7: PHOTOGRAPHS
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series is arranged according to periods of fieldwork in two subseries: A) 1958-1961 and B) 1967-1968.
    A) The first subseries contains slides and black-and-white photoprints taken between 1958 and 1961 on Choiseul Island, but also on side trips to Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island and Simbo Island. The images document village life in Voza, Scheffler's base on Choiseul; shell money (kesa) and its surrounding rituals; war making; music making; and, people. The Simbo Island images depict skull houses and shrines.
    B) The second subseries contains images documenting the religious revitalization movements and activities on Rendova, Choiseul, and New Georgia Islands, especially Paradise (Menakasapa) village and the Christian Fellowship Church and its leader, Silas Eto.
    SERIES 8: AUDIORECORDINGS
    The AUDIO RECORDINGS series is arranged in two subseries: A) Choiseul and B) Rendova. Within each subseries the recordings contain recitations of texts, pan flute music and songs.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Deacon, Bernard, 1903-1927 -- Notebooks, sketchbooks etc
    Scheffler, Harold W. -- Archives
    Choiseul (Solomon Islands)--Pictorial works
    Christianity--Solomon Islands
    Ethnology--Solomon Islands--Choiseul
    Kinship--Solomon Islands--Choiseul
    Land tenure--Solomon Islands--Choiseul
    Malekula (Vanuatu)
    Oceania
    Rendova (Solomon Islands)--Pictorical works
    Social change--Solomon Islands
    Solomon Islands--History--20th century--Sources
    Solomon Islands--Languages
    Solomon Islands--Pictorial works
    Solomon Islands--Religious life and customs
    Solomon Islands--Social Conditions
    Solomon Islands--Social Life and customs