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Ward (Barbara E.) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Barbara E. Ward papers
    Date (inclusive): 1949-1982
    Collection Number: 88001
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In English and Chinese
    Physical Description: 46 manuscript boxes, 1 cassette box, 2 card file boxes, 1 oversize box, 4 oversize folders (20.3 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Notes, anthropological field study data, writings, correspondence, photographs, and sound recordings relating to the Tanka boat people of Hong Kong, ethnology of other Southeast Asian peoples, and the Chinese opera.
    Creator: Ward, Barbara E., -1983
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    Box 12 may not be used without permission of the Archivist. The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1988.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Barbara E. Ward papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    Barbara E. Ward was born January 2, 1919 in Nottingham, England. She earned her BA in History at Newnham College, Cambridge in 1940, then proceeded to study Education at the University of London, earning her MA in Education in 1942. From 1946-1949, Ward returned to the University of London and earned a second MA in Social Anthropology.
    While studying, Ward worked with Professors Meyer Fortes and Robert Steel on the Ashanti Social Survey on rural-urban migration in Togoland, and with Professor Raymond Firth on East End housing and kinship. Ward began directing her own research with an extended research trip to Hong Kong from 1950-1953, where she focused on the Tanka boat people. In the fishing villages of Hong Kong, she began an extended research program on socio-economic change.
    Ward married H.S. Morris in 1953, but continued to work under her maiden name. Morris was also a social anthropologist, and Ward assisted him from 1953-55 in his research on urban Indian populations in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. UNESCO appointed Ward as Director on a project to study the changing roles of women in Asia. Traveling extensively for the project throughout South and Southeast Asia in 1959-1960, Ward published the results of her research in 1963 under the title Women in the New Asia.
    Ward returned to Hong Kong in 1959-1960, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1978, 1979, and 1981. Over the course of decades, she returned to several fishing communities to conduct a longitudinal study. She also completed a smaller study of a small glass factory in Tsun Wan in 1967. In 1975, Ward began sociological research on Cantonese opera, festivals, and theater, which she continued to study on subsequent trips to Hong Kong.
    In addition to her research, Ward held teaching appointments at several universities. She lectured in Anthropology at the University of London, was a Fellow of Newnham College and Clare Hall in Cambridge, and served as a Visiting Professor at Cornell University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The bulk of the collection consists of research files related to Ward's anthropological field work as she collected data from the 1950s through 1980s. The research files series contains notes, background information, fishery records, Ward's writings, correspondence, and sound recordings relating to the Tanka boat people of Hong Kong and the Cantonese opera. The research files also contain notes from a smaller survey of a Hong Kong glass factory studied by Ward in 1967.
    The collection also contains files related to Ward's work as a lecturer and professor at Newnham College, Cambridge; Cornell University; the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and the University of London. The academic files series consists of correspondence, exam papers, lectures, notes, research proposals, meeting agendas and notes reflecting Ward's role as lecturer and mentor.
    The photographic series contains photographic prints and negatives relating to Ward's work. The photographs document Hong Kong fishing village life, weddings, festivals. The bulk of the photographs series dates from Ward's later research trips in 1980-1981 regarding Cantonese opera in Hong Kong, though the series also depicts her research in the 1950s on fisheries.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Tanka (Chinese people)
    Ethnology -- China
    Ethnology -- Southeast Asia
    Operas, Chinese
    Hong Kong (China) -- Social conditions