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Edwin Cook Papers
MSS 0187  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Cook, Edwin A.
    Title: Edwin Cook Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1944 - 1984
    Extent: 20.20 linear feet (32 archives boxes, 15 card file boxes, 10 oversize folders.)
    Abstract: Papers of Edwin Aubrey Cook (1932-1984), American anthropologist, professor, and specialist in Manga culture in Papua New Guinea. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1959 and attended Yale University for his graduate education. Cook devoted his career to anthropological work, focusing on kinship and social structure of the Manga tribe in Papua New Guinea. He taught at the University of Hawaii; University of California, Davis; Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; and Florida State University. He served as the book review and articles editor in Social/Cultural Anthropology for AMERICAN ANTHROPLOGIST. Although the papers span 1944-1984, the bulk of the collection was created between 1964-1973. The bulk of the collection is comprised of manuscripts, reprints and audiorecordings relating largely to Cook's anthropological studies of native New Guinea society.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0187
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Edwin Cook Papers, MSS 0187. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.


    Edwin Aubrey Cook, American anthropologist, was born in 1932. He attended the University of Arizona, where his interest in anthropology was stimulated by the guidance of Professor Edward H. Spicer. After graduating with high distinction and honors in 1959, Cook went on to graduate study at Yale University and was further influenced by Professors Floyd G. Lounsbury, Harold W. Scheffler, and Leopold J. Pospisil. While working with Pospisil, Cook developed an interest in New Guinea. Cook conducted field work in the Jimi River District of the Western Highlands District (now Province) of Papua New Guinea from 1961 through 1963, with support from the National Institutes of Mental Health and the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Cook's dissertation, MANGA SOCIAL ORGANIZATION, was presented in 1967.
    Cook made a total of four visits to the Manga tribe, with his final visit being completed in the summer of 1981. His research interests encompassed many aspects of the Manga tribe's transition into the modern world, from first contact in 1956 to the problems of post-independence. He was particularly interested in problems of social structure and kinship. His interest in this area is reflected in the book, BLOOD AND SEMEN: KINSHIP SYSTEMS OF HIGHLAND NEW GUINEA (University of Michigan, 1980), which he coedited with Denise O'Brien.
    Cook taught anthropology at the University of Hawaii (1966-68), the University of California at Davis (1968-70), Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (1971-78), and at Florida State University (1978-1984). He was an active member of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania, as well as serving as the book review and articles editor in Social/Cultural Anthropology for AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST from 1974 through 1978.
    Cook died in Tallahassee, Florida, on April 24, 1984. He was married to the anthropologist Susan Pflanz Cook.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Accession Processed in 1995
    The Edwin Cook Papers contain anthropological investigations in Papua New Guinea and include manuscripts, reprints, publications, photographs, genealogy charts, notecards, data punchcards, maps, and audiorecordings created between 1944-1984. The collection is arranged in five series: 1) SUBJECT FILES, 2) WRITINGS, 3) AUDIORECORDINGS, 4) PHOTOGRAPHS, and 5) WRITINGS OF OTHERS.
    The SUBJECT FILES series is the largest and most extensive series, containing genealogy charts, the Holtzman Inkblot Technique books and forms, Mount Hagen Primary "T" School curriculum publications, New Guinea kinship books, T.A.T. (Thematic Apperception Test) papers, and maps. This series is organized alphabetically.
    The WRITINGS series is arranged in four subseries: A) Books, Papers and Journal Articles, B) Fieldnotes, C) Computer Punch Cards, and D) Language Dictionary Card File. The Books, Papers and Journal Articles subseries contains manuscripts for his book BLOOD AND SEMEN: KINSHIP SYSTEMS OF HIGHLAND NEW GUINEA, Manga pacification manuscripts and a preliminary draft of ZEUS, PIGS AND INITIATION. The Fieldnotes subseries contains comments on patrol reports, interviews and diaries that date from 1959-1968. The Computer Punch Cards subseries are T.A.T. interviews on kinship, linguistics, psychology and stories, punched out and computer-typed at the top of each card. The Language Dictionary Card File subseries is a collection of notecards on the Narak language translated to English.
    The AUDIORECORDINGS series, spanning 1958-1972, contains taperecordings of interviews, song learning, church functions, festivals, meetings, stories and T.A.T. responses. The Narak language tapes were recorded by Stephen Wurm in 1958, prior to Cook's arrival. This series is organized in the original order numbered by Cook.
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series comprises two folders: one of aerial prints of mountainous terrain, the other of contact sheets of village activities.
    The WRITINGS OF OTHERS series contains reprints of other anthropologist's articles that are substantially annotated by Cook. Reprints from Leopold J. Pospisil, George Peter Murdock, William A. Lessa, Robert M. Glasse, Harold Scheffler and A.C. Van der Leeden are included within this series, which spans from 1955-1979 and is organized alphabetically.
    Accession Processed in 2006
    The accession processed in 2006 contains Edwin Cook's research of Papua New Guinea during the trips he made in 1961-1963 and 1971-1972; some materials from his 1950s graduate work; and his last trip to Papua New Guinea in 1981. The materials include daily notebooks, typed notecards, slides and prints, and manuscripts. The accession is arranged in eight series: 6) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, 7) CORRESPONDENCE, 8) FIELD NOTES, 9) WRITINGS, 10) WRITINGS OF OTHERS, 11) SUBJECT FILES, 12) PHOTOGRAPHS, and 13) SUSAN PLANZ-COOK MATERIALS.
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series includes biographical, employment and grant materials dating from 1958-1983.
    The CORRESPONDENCE series contains letters dating 1960-1983. The correspondence reflects his various trips to Papua New Guinea, his time as the book review and articles editor for the AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST, and interactions with other anthropologists and faculty members.
    The FIELD NOTES series is arranged in two subseries: A) Handwritten Notes and B) Typewritten Notes. The Handwritten Notes subseries are daily note entries from 1961-63, 1971-72 and 1981 trips to Papua New Guinea. The Typewritten Notes are arranged by subject on filing cards.
    The WRITINGS series contains notes, drafts and manuscripts for articles and other works including drafts of ZEUS, PIGS AND INITIATION and handwritten notes and typed drafts of CHILDREN MAKE ME HAPPY: FERTILITY DECISION MAKING AMONG THE MANGA co-authored with his wife, Dr. Susan Planz-Cook.
    The WRITINGS OF OTHERS series is mainly articles by other anthropologists sent to Edwin Cook for review before publication or presentation.
    The SUBJECT FILES series contains research files from Papua New Guinea, including interview notes, census records, local government rules, and tribal genealogy notes. It also includes many files on the Family Fertility Project done during 1981. One notable file is that on the Adultery Case of Men; these notes were heavily used in papers by Edwin Cook and in a joint paper with Susan Planz-Cook, published after Edwin Cook's death.
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series depicts village life shots, ritual practices such as bride price bargaining, an adultery trial, and natives posed in ceremonial dress. It is arranged in two subseries: A) Photoprints and B) Slides. The photoprints include black-and-white photos with descriptions, negatives, and contact sheets from the 1961-63 and 1971-72 trips to New Guinea. The Slides subseries is mostly from the 1971-72 trip, with a couple folders from the 1961-63 trip.
    The SUSAN PLANZ-COOK MATERIALS series is arranged in three subseries: A) Miscellaneous, B) Writings and C) Field Notes. Susan Planz-Cook, Edwin Cook's second wife, was an anthropologist studying the tribes in Papua New Guinea and accompanied her husband on his 1971-72 and 1981 trips, working on her own and their joint research. The Miscellaneous subseries contains biographical information and interview notes. The Writings subseries contains her 1977 dissertation and her paper LACTATION AND THE REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE AMONG THE MANGA. The Field Notes subseries contains notes from her 1971-72 and 1981 trips to New Guinea.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Cook, Edwin A. -- Archives
    Pflanz, Susan Marie
    Manga (Papua New Guinean people)
    Ethnology -- Papua New Guinea -- Western Highlands Province
    Social structure -- Papua New Guinea -- Western Highlands Province
    Kinship -- New Guinea
    Adultery -- New Guinea
    Thematic Apperception Test
    New Guinea -- Social life and customs
    Papua New Guinea -- Western Highlands Province


    Cook, Edwin A. -- Blood and semen