Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: S. L. Washburn Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1932-1996
Collection Number: BANC MSS 98/132 c
Motion Picture 842
Washburn, S. L. (Sherwood Larned), 1911-2000
Number of containers: 9 cartons, 5 boxes, 8 oversize folders
Linear feet: 13.25
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: S. L. Washburn papers contain correspondence, writings, research notes, lectures, speeches, field notes, biographical information
and photographs relating to his career in physical anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Correspondence
is mainly professional with colleagues at Berkeley, in the United States, and abroad. Prominent correspondents include Irven
Devore, Phyllis C. Jay, L.S.B. Leakey, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Washburn's writings relate
to his expertise in and teaching of evolution, as well as documenting his role in education. Field notes relate to primate
anatomy and canine teeth. U.C. Berkeley courses are reflected in syllabi, reading lists and lecture notes. Subject files document
Washburn's participation in conferences, including speeches and programs, as well as professional activities with the National
Science Foundation. Also includes biographical information, research photographs and negatives, and other illustrations and
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft
Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which
must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], S. L. Washburn papers, BANC MSS 98/132 c, Phonotape 2950, Motion Picture 842, Phonodisc 738, The
Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Material Cataloged Separately
- Videotapes/sound recordings and motion pictures have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of The Bancroft Library.
The S. L. Washburn Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Sherwood L. Washburn in 1997.
||Born on November 26, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, second son of Henry Bradford Washburn and Edith Hall Washburn
||B.A. in anthropology from Harvard College, summa cum laude
||Field work in Ceylon, Siam, Borneo (Asiatic primate expedition organized by Harold Coolidge)
||Teaching Assistant for Professors Earnest A. Hooton and Alfred M. Tozzer, Anthropology Department, Harvard University
||Married Henrietta Faxon Pease on September 10
||Instructor and Assistant Professor, Anatomy, Columbia University Medical School
||Ph.D. from Harvard University
||Associate Professor and Professor (Chairman 1953-1955), Anthropology Department, University of Chicago
||Field work in East and South Africa
||President, American Association of Physical Anthropologists
||Field work in Southern Rhodesia and South Africa
||Professor (Chairman 1967-1968), Anthropology Department, University of California at Berkeley
||Field work in East Africa
||Awarded the Viking Fund Medal
||Membership in the National Academy of Sciences
||Awarded Ciba Foundation Medal
||Awarded Huxley Medal, Royal Anthropological Society, Great Britain
||Appointed to Stanford University Board of Trustees
||Awarded title of University Professor
||University Professor Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley
||Awarded Berkeley Citation, University of California, Berkeley
||Laboratories for undergraduate Physical Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley named the Sherwood L. Washburn
||Henrietta Washburn died March 5
||Teaching Center in Valley Life Sciences Building, University of California, named the Sherwood Washburn Teaching Center
Scope and Content
The S. L. Washburn Papers contain professional and personal correspondence, writings, research notes, lectures, speeches,
field notes, biographical information and photographs. Some of the collection dates back more than 50 years and illustrates
the breadth and evolution of not only physical anthropology as a discipline, but specifically Dr. Washburn's illustrious and
lengthy career in anthropology. Virtually all of the professional and academic material included is from Dr. Washburn's tenure
at the University of California, Berkeley.
Series 1, General Correspondence comprises a large part of the collection and is primarily professional in nature. Interdepartmental
memoranda and letters to and from colleagues within the domestic and international anthropology community, and correspondence
with publishers form the bulk of this series. Prominent correspondents include Irven Devore, Phyllis C. Jay, L. S. B. Leakey,
and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
The Writing Series illuminates Dr. Washburn's expertise on evolution and his passion for teaching it, as embodied in "The
Fun of Human Evolution!" Other pieces, such as "Why Schools?," demonstrate Dr. Washburn's role as an administrator and his
contributions to the educational system as a whole. Series 2 contains papers he prepared for lectures, talks and speeches,
such as "Behavior and the Origin of Man," the Huxley Lecture. Also included is a draft of an unpublished book entitled
The Human Past.
Series 3, Field Notes, contains material on primate anatomy, canine teeth and measurements. Included in this series are eight
oversize folders containing notes from Washburn's field work from 1939-1940. The series comprises a very small part of the
collection. It provides measurements of various species and a brief glimpse of hard physical anthropological data.
Series 4 is a straightforward compilation of U. C. Berkeley courses taught by Washburn, ranging from Anthropology 1 to 200,
and an interdisciplinary human sociobiology course. The material includes class syllabi, reading lists, and transcribed lecture
Series 5, Subject Files, is divided into two subseries, conferences and professional activities. The first subseries, Conferences,
contains speeches given by Dr. Washburn and literature and programs about many of the symposia. This is a particularly interesting
section because it highlights Washburn's international reach and reputation. It is highly detailed at some points within this
subseries, as illustrated by the verbatim transcriptions of the Wenner-Gren Conference on "Primate Social Behavior." The second
subseries, Professional Activities, pertains to Washburn's work with the National Science Foundation, specifically its teaching
project. In addition, there are detailed chronological listings of his public appearances and dates of publications.
Series 6, Biographical Information, chronicles Washburn's career through certificates, honors, interviews, newspaper clippings
and documentation of his trips to East and South Africirca
Finally, Series 7 consists primarily of research photographs, negatives, illustrations and instructional charts and tables.
The series contains research photographs of primates, in the wild, at a research center and dissected, as well as animals,
landscape, people and conferences.