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Lanagan (Thomas D.) Collection - Africa: the Hausa of Nigeria
Acc.2879; Acc.2332; Acc.2339; DOC1965.1  
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From 1968 to 1972, three (3) accessions pertaining to Thomas “Tom” Dean Lanagan’s anthropological research were received by PAHMA. Lanagan primarily studied Hausa culture and language while attending the University of California, Berkeley and teaching at McGill University. The accessions contain an array of West African musical instruments, receptacles, household items, and decorations, in addition to a collection of field notes, pamphlets, and color slide transparencies. Furthermore, a Mexican chocolate stirrer, Indian tray, Ibibio doll, and Yoruban thorn sample were also part of the donated materials. The attached finding aid provides further information regarding various items’ dates and relevance to Lanagan.
Thomas “Tom” Dean Lanagan was born on July 23, 1930 in Guthrie, Oklahoma. He graduated from Castlemont High School in Oakland, California in June 1948 and continued his academic career at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts from September 1948 to June 1949 where he studied biology. In February 1950, Lanagan transferred to the University of California, Berkeley but left in November 1950 for unknown reasons. Following these events, Lanagan worked a number of jobs outside of academia including service in the US Army (December 1954–November 1957). He spent a semester at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California (June 1957–January 1958) before returning to the University of California, Berkeley to complete a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology (February 1959–June 1961). In September 1961, Lanagan continued on to graduate school at UC Berkeley where he primarily studied Hausa culture and language. In August 1963, Lanagan advanced to candidacy for a PhD in anthropology from UC Berkeley and began writing his dissertation on Hausa symbolism, myth, and social stratification. He took on field work in Northern Nigeria (October 1964–October 1965) and kept frequent correspondence with other researchers from both Nigeria and North America throughout his candidacy. Moreover, in spring of 1966, Lanagan accepted an associate professorship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, which funded a portion of his research. However, between March and July of 1967, Lanagan decided to halt all work on his dissertation and withhold publication for fear of potentially offending the Hausa people. Following these events, little is publicly known about Lanagan.
The Lanagan (Thomas D.) Research Archive (DOC1965.1) contains several Nigerian travel pamphlets, African maps, Hausa books, pages of notes on Hausa language and culture, and some personal documents belonging to Lanagan. Notably, an extensive collection of 35mm and 17mm color slide transparencies depicting Nigerian architecture, ceremony, landscapes, food items, and people is also present within Acc.2879 (25-29617-25-30019).The Lanagan (Thomas D.) Collection (Acc.2332, 2339, 2879) includes an Ibibio doll and Yoruban thorn sample (5-5951 and 5-5952), five (5) Nigerian drums (5-6261 to 5-6265), a Mexican chocolate stirrer (9-11967), an Indian tray (3-26042), and hundreds of objects most likely affiliated with the Hausa of Northern Nigeria and adjacent regions (5-11415 to 11614, 5-12963, and 5-12981).
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