Scope and Contents of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0436
0.25 Linear feet
(1 archives box)
Date (inclusive): 1959-1994
Abstract: Papers related to the New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project, led by James B. Watson. Also included are papers written for an
American Anthropological Association conference session looking back at the study and its impact on the discipline. Papers
range in date from 1959-1994, and include reports, meeting minutes, working papers, and conference papers.
The Committee on New Guinea Studies (CONGS), formed in the United States in 1956, consisted of anthropologists from six Pacific
Coast universities. Concerned with the rapid disappearance of native populations untouched by Western influence, the group
planned a long term study of populations in interior New Guinea. Beginning in early 1959, a cooperative study began in the
Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Led by James Watson and supported by the National Science Foundation, the project examined
the languages, cultures, psychological traits, racial characteristics, and ecological adaptations of the native populations
in Gadsup, Tairora, Auyana, and Awa. Along with Watson, researchers included Howard McKaughan, Brian du Toit, Madeleine Leininger,
Robert Littlewood, K.J. Pataki, and Robert Welsch.
New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project Papers, MSS 436. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Scope and Contents of Collection
Papers related to the Micro-Evolution Study in New Guinea, led my James B. Watson, as well as its impact on the discipline
of anthropology. The collection has been arranged in two series: 1) PROJECT PAPERS and 2) CONFERENCE MATERIAL.
SERIES 1: PROJECT PAPERS
The series PROJECT PAPERS includes copies of documents related to the Micro-Evolution Study. These papers include meeting
notes, a grant proposal to extend the study, memos documenting the project, and project reports written by James Watson.
SERIES 2: CONFERENCE MATERIAL
The second series, CONFERENCE MATERIAL, contains papers, notes, and planning documents for a session at the 1994 American
Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. The session - Sartor Resartus: The New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project, 1959-1983
and After - examined the Micro-Evolution Project's impact on research methods, interests, and anthropology in general. Speakers
included David Boyd, David Cole, Brian Du Toit, Paula Brown Glick, Terence Hays, Madeleine Leininger, Robert Littlewood, Howard
McKaughan, Donald Tuzin, Robert Welsch, and George Westermark. Many of the presenters were participants in the project. The
series contains planning documents and notes from the session, as well as many of the participant's papers - both early drafts
and finished works.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Gadsup (Papua New Guinea people)
Eastern Highlands Province (Papua New Guinea)
Auyana (Papua New Guinea people)
Tairora (Papua New Guinea people)
Ethnology -- Papua New Guinea -- Eastern Highlands Province -- Archives
Awa (Papua New Guinea people)
New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project
McKaughan, Howard, 1922-
Du Toit, Brian M., 1935-
Welsch, Robert Louis, 1950-
Pataki-Schweizer, K. J.
Littlewood, R. A. (Robert A.), 1930-
Leininger, Madeleine M.
Committee of New Guinea Studies