Harold Ross Papers

Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
Copyright 2014
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175

Descriptive Summary

Languages: English
Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Harold Ross Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0733
Physical Description: 4.88 Linear feet (9.5 archives boxes, 1 flat box)
Date (inclusive): 1962-2010 (bulk 1966-1980)
Abstract: Papers of cultural anthropologist Harold Marion Ross, who was known for his ethnographic studies of the Baegu people of Malaita in the Solomon Islands. The collection includes correspondence, research files, manuscripts, notebooks, photographs, slides, and audio recordings.


Harold Marion Ross was born June 11, 1936 to Gerda and Marion Ross in Kansas City, Missouri. After earning a B.A. magna cum laude in anthropology from Harvard University in 1958, Ross served as a submarine officer in the US Navy and studied languages at the University of Indiana. He returned to Harvard in 1962, continuing to serve in the US Naval Reserve until he retired with the rank of Captain, and earned an M.A. in anthropology in 1964.
In 1966-1968 Ross conducted ethnographic field research for his doctoral dissertation in Malaita, in the Solomon Islands, accompanied by his wife Kathryn Penstone Ross and their two children. Ross and his family lived with the Baegu, a traditional agricultural community noted for unilineal descent, limited acculturation, and a shared market economy with a neighboring fishing population on the Lau Lagoon.
Ross received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard in 1970, and then earned an M.B.A at Eastern Illinois University in 1974. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1968 as assistant professor of anthropology, later becoming associate professor and associate department head. Ross was professor of anthropology at St. Norbert College in Green Bay, Wisconsin; dean and vice president for academic affairs at Daemen College in Buffalo, New York; and dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs at Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri starting in 1990.

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers of anthropologist and professor Harold Marion Ross document his research among the Baegu people of Malaita in the Solomon Islands and his teaching career in anthropology. The collection dates from 1962-2010 and is arranged in seven series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS, 3) SUBJECT FILES, 4) RESEARCH PROJECTS, 5) JOURNALS & NOTEBOOKS, 6) IMAGES, AND 7) AUDIO RECORDINGS.


Photographic negatives are restricted. Researchers must request permission to view negatives from the Director of Special Collections & Archives. Original audio tapes are restricted. Researchers must request user copies be produced. Personally identifiable medical records are restricted until 2089.

Publication Rights

Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

Preferred Citation

Harold Ross Papers, MSS 733. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

Acquisition Information

Acquired 2010.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Baegu (Melanesian people)
Ross, Harold M. -- Archives



Scope and Content of Series

CORRESPONDENCE (1965-1986) is arranged in two subseries: A) British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) Business and B) Incoming & Outgoing Correspondence.
A) BSIP Business: Incoming and outgoing correspondence, arranged by subject, between Ross and businesses and agencies in the Solomon Islands and the U.S. regarding his 1966-1968 research expedition in Malaita.
B) Incoming & Outgoing Correspondence: Letters in English and Baegu from 1966-1986 between Ross, government agencies, anthropologists, and Solomon Islanders, particularly regarding his travel and research in the Solomon Islands.

British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) Business

Box 1, Folder 1

Accounting 1967-1968

Box 1, Folder 2

Auki Club & Rest House 1967

Box 1, Folder 3

Book Shop 1966-1967

Box 1, Folder 4

British Solomons Trading Company 1966-1967

Box 1, Folder 5

Commonwealth Bank of Australia 1966-1968

Box 1, Folder 6

Immigration 1966-1968

Box 1, Folder 7

Melan-Chine Shipping & Forwarding Agency 1966-1967

Box 1, Folder 8

Mendana Self-Service Store 1966-1967

Box 1, Folder 9

Official Permits 1966

Box 1, Folder 10

Preparation & Training 1966

Box 1, Folder 11

Quan Hong Pty. Ltd. 1967

Box 1, Folder 12

Research Grants 1965-1973

Box 1, Folder 13

Shipping 1966-1968

Box 1, Folder 14

Supplies 1966-1968

Box 1, Folder 15

Supplies - Usage Data undated

Box 1, Folder 16

Travel 1966-1968

Box 1, Folder 17

Miscellaneous correspondence 1967


Incoming & Outgoing Correspondence

Box 1, Folder 18-19

Incoming correspondence 1966-1986

Box 1, Folder 20

Outgoing correspondence 1967-1978



Scope and Content of Series

WRITINGS (1962-1989) contains published and unpublished writings by Harold and Kathryn Ross. Files may include correspondence, notes, data, illustrations, drafts, and reviews related to the manuscripts. Arranged in four subseries: A) Scientific Writings by Harold Ross, B) Reviews by Harold Ross, C) Collaborative Writings and D) Writing by Kathryn Ross.
A) Scientific Writings by Harold Ross: Articles, essays and reports on anthropology written between 1962 and 1980, particularly about the Baegu people of the Solomon Islands. Additional topics include archaeology, education, naval science, biogeography, and animal behavior.
B) Reviews by Harold Ross: Reviews of articles, books, and encyclopedia entries by other writers on Oceania written between 1974 and 1984.
C) Collaborative Writings: Articles co-authored by Harold Ross and other researchers from 1971-1989 on Solomon Islands culture.
D) Writing by Kathryn Ross: Personal narrative by Kathryn Ross, who accompanied her husband to the Solomon Islands, describing her experiences living among the Baegu from 1966-1968.

Scientific Writings by Harold Ross

Box 1, Folder 21

"Anthropology: Understanding Mankind." News-Gazette, February 24, 1974 1973-1974

Box 1, Folder 22

"The Anthropology and Economics of Naval Reserve Policies, Command Decisions and Unit Performance: A Case History" 1971-1977

Box 1, Folder 23-24

"Baegu Markets, Areal Integration and Economic Efficiency in Malaita, Solomon Islands." Ethnology XVII (2): April 1978

Box 1, Folder 25

Baegu: Social and Ecological Organization in Malaita, Solomon Islands (1973) 1968-1972

Box 1, Folder 26

Biogeography essays 1977-1978

Box 2, Folder 1-2

"Bush Fallow Farming, Diet and Nutrition: An Island Melanesian Example of Successful Adaptation" (Howell's Festschrift)

Box 2, Folder 3

"Comparative Ethnography in Malaita." Association for the Social Anthropology of Eastern Oceania Conference, Santa Cruz. Journal of the Polynesian Society 1969

Box 2, Folder 4-5

"Competition for Baegu Souls: Mission Rivalry on Malaita, Solomon Islands." Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) Missionary Symposium

Box 2, Folder 6

"Exploratory Study for Research on Culture Change in Melanesia." Center for International Comparative Studies (CICS), University of Illinois 1972-1973

Box 2, Folder 7

"Interaction Assumptions in Baegu (Malaita) Kin Terms." American Anthropological Association (AAA) Meeting, Seattle, 1968 1968-1970

Box 2, Folder 8

"Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Traditional Melanesian Society." Douglas L. Oliver Festschrift 1975-1977

Box 2, Folder 9

"Maintaining/Increasing Undergraduate Enrollment in University of Illinois Anthropology Courses" 1977

Box 2, Folder 10

Malaita Artificial Islands (Parsonson Rebuttal) 1967-1968

Box 2, Folder 11

Malaita Shell Beadwork undated

Box 2, Folder 12

"Observer Bias and American Values." Harvard College Honors Thesis

Box 3, Folder 1-2

"The Ocean is a Highway, Too" 1976

Box 3, Folder 3

"The Political Economy of Big-Men and Chiefs in Oceania." American Anthropological Association (AAA), Los Angeles, 1978 1977-1980

Box 3, Folder 4

"Preliminary Behavioral Observations and Gross Anatomical Measurements of the Slow Loris ( Nycticebus coucang coucang) of Malaysia" 1965-1970

Box 3, Folder 5

"Preserving the Cultural Heritage: Archaeology, Law and Business" 1972

Box 3, Folder 6

Rarotonga. Anthropology 217 Seminar Report, Harvard University 1962-1963

Box 3, Folder 7

"Salvage Archaeology at a Mississippian Burial Ground" 1963-1968

Box 3, Folder 8-9

"Siblinghood and Parent/Child Dependency in Baegu (Solomon Islands) Kinship." Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) Symposium, 1978 1977-1978

Box 3, Folder 10

"Sociocultural Background to Biomedical Studies on Malaita and Nearby Islands" 1980

Box 3, Folder 11

"Stone Adzes from Malaita, Solomon Islands: An Ethnographic Contribution to Melanesian Archaeology." The Journal of the Polynesian Society 79 (4): December 1970 1970-1971

Box 3, Folder 12-13

"The Sweet Potato in the South-Eastern Solomons." The Journal of the Polynesian Society 86 (4): December 1977 1976-1977


Reviews by Harold Ross

Box 3, Folder 14

"Comments on Peter Bellwood's 'The Prehistory of Oceania'" 1974

Box 3, Folder 15

The Eighth Land: The Polynesian Discovery of Easter Island (Thomas S. Barthel, 1979) reviewed for American Ethnologist 1979

Box 3, Folder 16

'Elota's Story: The Life and Times of a Solomon Islands Big Man (Roger M. Keesing, 1978) and Ongka: A Self-Account by a New Guinea Big-Man (Andrew Strathern, 1979) reviewed for Ethnohistory 1978-1979

Box 3, Folder 17

Grass Huts and Warehouses: Pacific Beach Communities of the Nineteenth Century (Caroline Ralston, 1978) reviewed for Pacific Studies 1978-1979

Box 3, Folder 18

Lightning Meets the West Wind: The Malaita Massacre (Roger M. Keesing and Peter Corris, 1980) reviewed for Pacific Studies 1981-1983


The New Book of Knowledge reviews

Box 3, Folder 19

"Kiribati" 1980

Box 3, Folder 20

"Solomon Islands" 1978

Box 3, Folder 21

"Tuvalu" 1978-1979

Box 3, Folder 22

"Vanuatu" 1981

Box 3, Folder 23

A New Guinea Landscape: Community, Space, and Time in the Eastern Highlands (K.J. Pataki-Schweizer, 1980) reviewed for American Ethnologist 1980-1981

Box 3, Folder 24

Slavers in Paradise: The Peruvian Slave Trade in Polynesia, 1862-1864 (H.E. Maude, 1981) reviewed for American Ethnologist 1984


Collaborative Writing

Box 4, Folder 1

"Baegu Ethnomusicology: The Musical Life of a Melanesian People from Northern Malaita, Solomon Islands." Harold Ross & Martha Ellen Davis 1971-1974

Box 4, Folder 2

"Ethnographic Description of Survey Groups." Jill Nash, Donald Mitchell, Harold Ross, Eugene Ogan & Jonathan Friedlander 1989

Box 4, Folder 3

"Limited Good, Synergy and Voluntary Associations: Introduction and Abstracts." Harold Ross & James N. Kerri. American Anthropological Association (AAA), Los Angeles, 1978 1976-1980

Box 4, Folder 4

"Space and Eschatology in the Solomon Islands." Harold Ross & John B. Gatewood 1978


Writing by Kathryn Ross

Box 4, Folder 5

Personal narrative ca.1966-1968



Scope and Content of Series

Notes and correspondence collected by Ross on Solomon Islands history, culture, and languages; anthropology programs, conferences, and symposia; and a list of artifacts given by Ross to the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology.
Box 4, Folder 6

Anthropology Curriculum Study Project 1966

Box 4, Folder 7

Artifacts Given to University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology 1966-2010

Box 4, Folder 8

Central States Anthropology Society (CSAS) Ecology Seminar, Brown County State Park, Indiana, 1970 1970-1973

Box 4, Folder 9

East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii (Sabbatical) 1974-1975

Box 4, Folder 10

Economic Dependency in Oceania, Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) Symposium, 1979 1978-1979

Box 4, Folder 11

Ethnicity in Oceania (Ogan Symposium) 1976

Box 4, Folder 12

Lau Vocabulary, Solomon Islands

Box 4, Folder 13

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Personality Tests 1966

Box 4, Folder 14

Neo-Melanesian Pidgin 1975

Box 4, Folder 15

Oceanic Data - Melanesia (Solomon Islands) 1972-1977



Scope and Content of Series

Arranged in three subseries: A) Baegu Project, B) Malaita Bio-Medical Expedition and C) Other Projects.
A) Baegu Project: Notes and data collected by Ross while doing field research among the Baegu people of Malaita in the Solomon Islands from 1966-1968. The files include information on Baegu social organization, languages, religion, economics, acculturation, and genealogies. Ross later used this research for his 1970 Ph.D. dissertation in anthropology at Harvard University. The subseries includes a collection of pressed leaves from the Solomon Islands annotated with the plants' names and uses.
B) Malaita Bio-Medical Expedition: Notes, data, correspondence and proposals regarding a 1968 research project comparing physical and cultural characteristics of several populations in the Solomon Islands, including the Baegu and Lau.
C) Other Projects: Notes, data, correspondence and proposals. Topics include the Baegu, ethnobotany, biomedical studies, macaques, tree shrews and education.

Baegu Project



Box 4, Folder 16

Agents of Change 1967

Box 4, Folder 17

Generalizations on Change 1966-1967

Box 4, Folder 18

Adolescence, Sex 1967

Box 4, Folder 19

Adult Personality 1967

Box 4, Folder 20

Archaeology 1967

Box 4, Folder 21

Birth Customs 1967-1968

Box 4, Folder 22

Brachydactyly 1968

Box 4, Folder 23-24

Census Data 1967-1971 & undated

Box 4, Folder 25

Child Notes undated

Box 4, Folder 26

Child Studies - Cultural Antecedents 1967

Box 4, Folder 27

Children's Art undated

Box 4, Folder 28

Climate and Environment 1967

Box 4, Folder 29

Data Collection Plan, Miscellaneous Questions 1968

Box 4, Folder 30

Economic Generalizations 1967

Box 5, Folder 1

Ethnoscience 1966-1967

Box 5, Folder 2

Funeral Rites 1966-1967

Box 5, Folder 3

Genealogy 1967

Box 5, Folder 4

General Descriptions - Baegu and Lau Lagoon, Malaita undated

Box 5, Folder 5

Health 1967-1968

Box 5, Folder 6

Kin Groups 1966-1967

Box 5, Folder 7

Kindreds 1967

Box 5, Folder 8

Kinship Terms 1966-1968

Box 5, Folder 9

Land Tenure 1966-1967



Box 5, Folder 10

Corpus 1967

Box 5, Folder 11

Dictionary 1967-1968

Box 5, Folder 12

Grammar 1967

Box 5, Folder 13

Phonology undated

Box 5, Folder 14

Songs & Music 1967

Box 5, Folder 15

Law 1967

Box 5, Folder 16

Linguistics - Historical & Comparative 1967

Box 5, Folder 17

Maps 1966-1968

Box 5, Folder 18

Marriage Customs 1966-1967

Box 5, Folder 19

Nativistic Reactions 1966-1967

Box 5, Folder 20

Pagan Religion 1966-1968

Box 5, Folder 21

Politics & Leadership 1966-1968

Oversize FB-534

Pressed Leaves - Solomon Islands. Annotated ca.1966-1968

Box 5, Folder 22

Production 1967

Box 5, Folder 23

Residence Rules 1967

Box 5, Folder 24

Settlement Patterns 1966-1967

Box 5, Folder 25

Technology 1966-1967

Box 5, Folder 26

Trade 1966-1968

Box 5, Folder 27

War 1967

Box 5, Folder 28

Work 1967


Malaita Bio-Medical Expedition

Box 5, Folder 29

Accounting 1968

Box 5, Folder 30

Census - Demography 1968

Box 5, Folder 31

Correspondence 1967-1974

Box 6, Folder 1

Diet - Nutrition 1968

Box 6, Folder 2

Genealogies 1968


Other Projects

Box 6, Folder 3

Baegu Folklore 1980

Box 6, Folder 4

Baegu (Marching Rule Aftermath) 1974

Box 6, Folder 5

Baegu & Solomon Islands Unilineality 1978

Box 6, Folder 6

Betel Nut & Kava in Oceania 1974

Box 6, Folder 7

Bougainville-Kwaio Bio-Medical Study 1965-1966

Box 6, Folder 8

General Anthropology Ideas 1963-1984

Box 6, Folder 9

Macaque Ecology in India (Harvard) 1964-1965

Box 6, Folder 10

Malaita/Bougainville Volume (Damon Memorial) 1971-1980

Box 6, Folder 11

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Values Study 1966

Box 6, Folder 12

Oceanic - Pacific Ideas (Pending)

Box 6, Folder 13

Residence Rules & Settlement Patterns undated

Box 6, Folder 14

Solomons - Baegu Ideas (Pending) 1968-1974

Box 6, Folder 15

Tobacco Smoking Symposium 1969-1973

Box 6, Folder 16

Tree Shrew Breeding (New England Regional Primate Research Center/NERPRC) 1966



Scope and Content of Series

Arranged in two subseries: A) Journals and B) Notebooks.
A) Journals: Ross's bound journals with daily entries describing his travel and research during his 1966-1968 research trip to the Solomon Islands and a 1972 trip to the Marshall Islands, Guam, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Hebrides and Fiji.
B) Notebooks: Ross's notebooks from his 1966-1968 research trip to the Solomon Islands. The notebooks include map and bearing data for the Baegu village where he worked, weather readings, and medical logs for his family and the villagers. Personally identifiable medical information is restricted.


Box 6, Folder 17-18

Malaita June 1, 1966 - July 20, 1968

Box 6, Folder 19

South Pacific July 15, 1972 - August 21, 1972



Box 7, Folder 1

Map Data & Bearing Book, Baegu Ethnography Project December 12, 1966 - October 21, 1967

Box 7, Folder 2

Recipes, Vocabulary, Notes undated

Box 7, Folder 3

Weather Log & Medical Log, Ailali Village, Baegu, Malaita August 1966 - October 1967

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply


Scope and Content of Series

Black and white and color photographic prints, slides and negatives taken or collected by Ross between 1962 and 1976. Arranged in two subseries: A) Photographs and B) Slides.
A) Photographs: Primarily black and white and color prints taken during Ross's 1966-1968 field work in Malaita, Solomon Islands. The images include Baegu men, women and children and their daily activities; houses, villages and landscapes; and photographs of Ross and his family with the Baegu. Many of the photographs were arranged alphanumerically by Ross and include written descriptions.
This subseries also includes negatives, most of which are represented by prints in the collection. Original negatives have been separated from the collection for preservation. Researchers wishing to view the negatives must request permission from the director of Special Collections & Archives.
B) Slides: Color slides taken or collected by Ross in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea from 1966-1972, including images of the Baegu and of Ross's family. Most of the slides were arranged alphanumerically by Ross and include written descriptions. The subseries also contains teaching materials on Oceania and Austronesian languages.


Box 7, Folder 4

Aerial photographs, RAF July 26-27, 1962

Box 7, Folder 5

Baegu color photographs 1966-1968


Baegu black & white photographs

Box 7, Folder 6-18

Rolls B1 - B13 1966-1968

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply


Original negatives located in AN2/M733/1-13
Box 8, Folder 1-4

Rolls B14 - B17 1968 & undated

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply


Original negatives located in AN2/M733/14-17
Box 8, Folder 5

Baegu Ethnography Photo Data for Black and White Photos 1966-1968

Box 8, Folder 6

Baegu, Malaita undated

Box 8, Folder 7

Baegu Polaroids, BP1 - BP6 1966-1967

Box 8, Folder 8

Central States Anthropological Society (CSAS) Ecology Seminar group photograph with Harold Ross 1970

Box 8, Folder 9

Howell's Festschrift illustrations, figures 1-5 undated

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply


Original negatives located in AN2/M733/18
Box 8, Folder 10

Mississippian Artifacts, Jefferson County, Missouri 1963

Box 8, Folder 11

New Guinea color photographs, NG1 - NG37 1972

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply


Original negatives located in ANC2/M733/1
Box 8, Folder 12

Pacific color photographs, P1 - P21 1972

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply


Original negatives located in ANC2/M733/2
Box 8, Folder 13

Stone Adzes, Malaita, Solomon Islands 1970

Box 8, Folder 14

Unidentified photographs undated

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply


Original negatives located in AN2/M733/19-20


Box 8, Folder 15

Anthropology 360, Peoples of Oceania 1968-1976

Box 8, Folder 16

Austronesian Languages undated

Box 8, Folder 17-20

Baegu 1967-1972

Box 8, Folder 21

Baegu Ethnography Photo Data for Color Slides 1966-1968

Box 8, Folder 22

New Guinea 1972

Box 9, Folder 1

Solomon Islands 1966-1972



Scope and Content of Series

Undated reel-to-reel audio tapes of the Baegu performing traditional vocal and instrumental music, modern music, and reciting folklore. The tapes were numbered by Ross and include written descriptions. Original audio tapes are restricted; researchers may request user copies be produced.
Box 9, Folder 2

Baegu #1. Traditional Vocal Music

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply
Box 9, Folder 3

Baegu #2. Folklore

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply
Box 9, Folder 4

Baegu #3. Traditional Instrumental Music

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply
Box 9, Folder 5

Baegu #4. Modern Music (Acculturation)

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply
Box 9, Folder 6

Baegu #5. Ai Ni Mea (Basia's Wedding)

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply
Box 9, Folder 7

Baegu #6. Kii Kafo, Church Song, Leleae, Baresile, Ufisuku, Kwadile, Sisili, Slit Gong (Death Rhythm)

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply
Box 9, Folder 8

Baegu #7. O'o'afuto, Au Agae Fai Falake, Lauga Sings Ae Ni Mae, Bungu (Helmet Shell Trumpet), Ku-ku-ku (War Cry), Ririi Suli Ote, Christian School Songs

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply
Box 10, Folder 1

Baegu #8. Mao Dance & Agae Dance (Fanga Faakwaimani), Drum Calls (Sedea & Lebefiu)

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply
Box 10, Folder 2

Malaita (Solomon Islands). Music of the Fataleka and the Baegu. Tapes A & B

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply
Box 10, Folder 3

Practice Tape

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions Apply