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Bascom (William R.) Collection
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection encapsulates Bascom’s research during his lifetime, where he predominantly focused on the Yoruba culture and religion within Nigeria. In addition to objects, there are photographs and motion pictures by Bascom. The collection is predominantly in English, though notes are in French and German as well. PAHMA continued to receive Bascom’s collection and work after his death, resulting in accession dates that surpassed him. As a result, collection dates are when PAHMA received the objects, not when originally collected. The accession files will state when the objects were collected and from where. Accompanying letters and materials can be found at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. For more information on specific accessions and information on the Bancroft collection, see attached finding aid pdf. For information about individual objects within the collection, follow the "Online Items URL".
Background
William Russell Bascom was born on May 23, 1912 in Princeton, Illinois, and died on September 11, 1981 in San Francisco, California. Bascom received his B.A.in 1933 from the University of Wisconsin (Physics), his M.A. in 1936 from the University of Wisconsin (Anthropology), and his Ph.D. in 1939 from Northwestern University (Anthropology). Bascom specialized in the art and culture of West Africa and the African Diaspora, and is especially known for his studies of Nigerian Yoruba culture and religion. In 1954, Bascom crafted the “four functions of folklore.” He was the Director of the Robert H. Lowie Museum (present-day Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology) at the University of California, Berkeley from 1957 to 1979.
Extent
Call Numbers: Acc.1271, Acc.1301, Acc.1370, Acc.1477, Acc.1484, Acc.1656, Acc.1683, Acc.1770, Acc.1807, Acc.1890, Acc.1950, Acc.2058, Acc.2059, Acc.2063, Acc.2067, Acc.2115, Acc.2148, Acc.2205, Acc.2256, Acc.2277, Acc.2281, Acc.2285, Acc.2303, Acc.2308, Acc.2354, Acc.2460, Acc.2580, Acc.2731, Acc.2818, Acc.2819, Acc.2916, Acc.2924, Acc.2933, Acc.2988, Acc.3023, Acc.3072, Acc.3100, Acc.3170, Acc.3193, Acc.3274, Acc.3365, Acc.3367, Acc.3446, Acc.3515, Acc.3589, Acc.4614, Acc.4659, Acc.4661, Acc.4677, Acc.4685, Acc.4692, Acc.4696. Note: languages in accessions include English, French, and German, though most are written in English. Objects are from Africa, predominantly from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya; from the Yoruba culture/religion and Ashanti religion; wire recordings from Cuba and pots bought in Teotihuacan, Mexico.
Restrictions
Images and information are © 2020 The Regents of the University of California, all rights reserved. Images and information may be reproduced or transmitted, but not for commercial use. For commercial use, contact PAHMA-MediaPermissions@berkeley.edu. With the exception of objects and media for which the Museum does not hold copyright, this work is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. By downloading any information or images from this site, you agree to the terms of that license. Users are expected to abide by all copyright laws. Distribution, reproduction, or other use requires the written permission of any copyright and other rights holders unless the materials are in the public domain or authorized by fair use or other statutory exemption. It is the user’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in this collection.
Availability
https://hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu/request-a-research-visit/