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Inventory of the Joel Martin Halpern papers
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Index of Major Groups

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Joel Martin Halpern papers
    Date (inclusive): 1922-2007
    Creator: Halpern, Joel Martin.
    Collection Number: 76035
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Collection Size: 110 manuscript boxes, 4 cubic foot boxes (49.9 linear feet)
    Language of the Materials: The collection is in English, with some documents in Serbian and Croatian.
    Abstract: The collection contains grant proposals, conference papers, minutes, reports, studies, writings, notes, correspondence, electronic bulletins, and printed matter related to economic and social development of the Southeast Asia region, and American social science studies of the area; ethnology and social and economic conditions in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe (especially Yugoslavia), and developing countries elsewhere; and the Yugoslav civil war.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives

    Administrative Information


    Boxes 1-5 and 92-95 closed until 2023 December 20. The rest of the collection is open for research.

    Collection stored off site; a minimum of two days notice is required for use. Boxes may be requested through Stanford's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ 

    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Joel Martin Halpern papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1976, with additional increments between 1976 and 2008.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Related Materials

    Joel Martin Halpern Papers, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Joel Martin Halpern Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
    Joel M. Halpern Papers, John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
    Joel M. Halpern Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
    Joel Halpern Photograph Collection, Jones Library
    Joel M. Halpern Balkan Archive, University of Bradford
    Joel Halpern Collection, University of Graz
    Joel M. Halpern Collection, University of Alberta Libraries
    Joel M. Halpern Laotian Slide Collection, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Biographical Note

    1929 April 8 Born, New York City, New York
    1950 B.A., history, University of Michigan
      Studied Eskimo settlements on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska
    1951-1952 Studied at the Russian Institute, Columbia University
    1953-1954 Conducted research in former Yugoslavia
    1955 Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University
    1956 Ph.D., anthropology, Columbia University
      Author, dissertation, Social and Cultural Change in a Serbian Village
      Research associate, Human Relations Area Files, American University, Washington, D. C.
    1956-1958 Field Service Officer, Community Development Division, International Cooperation Administration, Luang Prabang, Laos, Foreign Service Reserve
    1958 Author, A Serbian Village
      Author, Aspects of Village Life and Culture Change in Laos
    1958-1963 Assistant professor of anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
    1959 With support of the Rand Corporation, conducted research in Laos, resulting in the study The Lao Elite: A Study of Tradition and Innovation
    1959-1961 Consultant, Rand Corporation
    1963-1967 Associate professor of anthropology, Brandeis University
    1964 Director, Brandeis Summer Field Training Program, Bosnia, Yugoslavia
    1965-1967 Fellow, Russian Research Center, Harvard
    1966-1970 Member, Mekong Seminar of the Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group (SEADAG), Asia Society
    1967 Author, The Changing Village Community
    1967-1992 Professor of anthropology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    1969-1970 Resident fellow, MIT-Harvard Joint Center for Urban Studies
    1970-1971 Visiting professorship, Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat and Arnold Bergstrasser Institute, Freiburg, Germany
    1972 Author, with Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern, A Serbian Village in Historical Perspective
    1974 Senior research fellow, Center for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto
    1975 Served on a grant review panel for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health
    1975, 1978 Senior exchange scientist, National Academy of Sciences
    1976 Author, The Changing Peasantry of Eastern Europe
    1983- Joint appointment with Judaic Studies Program, University of Massachusetts
    1989 Author, with Lucy Hong Nhiem Nguyen, The Far East Comes Near
    1992- Professor emeritus

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Joel Martin Halpern papers document Halpern's career as an anthropologist. The collection includes grant proposals, conference papers, minutes, reports, studies, writings, notes, correspondence, printouts of electronic bulletins, and printed matter related to economic and social development of the Southeast Asia region, and American social science studies of the area; ethnology and social and economic conditions in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe (especially Yugoslavia), and developing countries elsewhere; and the Yugoslav civil war. Although the collection has not been arranged, the index to major groups can serve as a guide to the collection.
    During his career as an anthropologist, Halpern traveled extensively for his scholarly work. He conducted fieldwork in a number of countries, including former Yugoslavia (in the areas of Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Bosnia) and Laos. Halpern began his fieldwork endeavors as a student, spending his summers in northern Ontario, the Swedish Lapland, and Eskimo settlements in Alaska. His doctoral research took him to former Yugoslavia, where he and his wife, Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern, spent a year in the Serbian village of Orašac. Yugoslavia would become a primary area of focus for Halpern, along with Laos. Later in his career, Halpern studied Jewish communities in Massachusetts. Halpern's curriculum vitae, which can be found in the Biographical file, details his fieldwork, as well as his professional positions and numerous writings.
    Throughout his career, Halpern frequently traveled to former Yugoslavia for research and fieldwork opportunities. The Yugoslavia file contains Halpern's fieldwork notes, including kinship charts of Orašac residents, and Halpern's research and notes, including photocopies of archival documents from the 1600s to 1900s. Box 36, folder 7 contains information on various projects related to Yugoslavia.
    In addition to his work in Yugoslavia, Halpern also conducted research in Laos. The Laos file contains fieldwork notes, conversation transcripts, and detailed letters written by Joel and Barbara Halpern describing Laos and their work.
    Based on his fieldwork and research, Halpern produced a wealth of articles and books, many of which were coauthored by Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern. The Writings contain materials written and edited by Halpern, as well as pamphlets for other projects he was involved with, such as photograph exhibits. The collection includes many Laos Project papers based on research done in 1956 and 1957. Also included are writings published for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst International Area Studies Programs Occasional Paper Series.
    In addition to his fieldwork, Halpern taught courses at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and Brandeis University. The collection includes Course material for classes Halpern taught on Eastern Europe, the USSR, and rural peasant societies.
    While Halpern was a professor at UCLA in the 1960s, he was given funds to select and purchase materials on Yugoslavia for the library. In the early 1970s, Halpern worked on a project to create a handbook of research resources on Eastern, Central, and Southeastern Europe. Material documenting these projects can be found in the UCLA file.
    Halpern was involved in the Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group (SEADAG) of the Asia Society as a member of the Mekong Seminar from 1966 to 1970. The mission of SEADAG included promoting scholarly collaboration between Asians and Americans, encouraging indigenous research capabilities in Southeast Asia, stimulating an interdisciplinary approach to development research and encouraging research on development problems, and supporting the research of graduate students. Material on SEADAG includes grant proposals and evaluations (including for a research program funded by the Agency for International Development), scholarly papers, executive committee correspondence, and seminar reports, which detail the general content and major conclusions of SEADAG meetings.
    Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern, the wife of Joel Halpern, was a medical anthropologist and professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She often conducted research with Joel and coauthored papers with him. In 1990, Barbara gave an interview for Bulgarian TV to promote interest in creating a Bulgarian multiple sclerosis organization. For years after the interview, Barbara received letters from members of the Bulgarian public regarding multiple sclerosis. In addition to these letters, the Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern file contains a curriculum vitae and flyer for one of her projects. See also the writings series for articles cowritten with Joel Halpern.
    The collection includes several typescripts of Serbian poet and essayist, Milovan Danojlić, which were given to Halpern by the author for safekeeping.
    The Subject file mainly contains articles and speeches (including drafts and conference papers) by other academics on topics such as development and agricultural economics. There are also several files on United States culture.
    The collection includes Printed matter, such as academic papers, development reports, newspapers, magazines, textbooks, and clippings related to countries where Halpern conducted research, especially countries of former Yugoslavia and Laos. The collection includes textbooks and other published educational aids from Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Russia, and the United States. Conference papers and programs for various conferences on Eastern Europe and Russia can be found in the Conference file.
    The Photographs series contains black and white slides of life in Eastern Europe and photocopies of photographs of Bosnia. The Audiovisual material series contains three VHS video tapes, including video produced for Serbian television.

    Index of Major Groups

    Box Nos. Groups
    7, 13, 24, 31, 42, 43, 55 Biographical file, 1960-1990. Includes curriculum vitae of Halpern and documents related to accusations of Halpern's involvement with United States intelligence services.
    21-22, 30-32, 36-37, 67 Yugoslavia file, 1948-1975. Includes fieldwork notes, research, photocopies of archival documents, and information on various projects involving Yugoslavia.
    24, 27-30, 91 Laos file, 1956-1988. Includes articles, bibliographies, edited volumes, and exhibit catalogs on Yugoslavia, Laos, and other countries of research. Includes articles coauthored by Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern.
    8-10, 14-15, 19-21, 23-27, 29-30, 34, 36-37, 41, 43, 48-49, 53, 55, 65, 67-68, 91, 98-99, 101, 104 Writings, 1950-1998. Includes articles, bibliographies, edited volumes, and exhibit catalogs on Yugoslavia, Laos, and other countries of research. Includes articles coauthored by Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern.
    40, 47, 99 Course material, 1964, 1980-1990. Includes course descriptions, syllabi, and reading assignments.
    32-33 UCLA file, 1962-1973. Includes correspondence and invoices related to projects to collect library materials and create a bibliography.
    6, 10, 13-14, 44-48 Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group (SEADAG) file, 1961-1976. Includes grant proposals and evaluations, reports, correspondence, and meeting minutes. Includes material related to the Mekong Seminar.
    10, 14-15, 37, 51, 91 Russian Research Center, Harvard University, 1951-1979. Includes seminar notes, papers, correspondence, and calendars.
    42, 51, 70-78, 101, 104 Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern file, 1990-1995, undated. Contains correspondence from members of the Bulgarian public regarding multiple sclerosis and curriculum vitae. See also Writings for articles coauthored with Joel Halpern.
    49 Milovan Danojlić file, 1974-1981. Includes typescripts of essays and poetry.
    20-21, 31-32, 38, 52, 56-61, 66, 68, 96-97, 100-104, 106-108 Subject file, 1946-2004. Includes writings by others, printed matter, and correspondence.
    6, 7-9, 12-13, 15-20, 27, 29-31, 33-35, 37-40, 42-44, 51-54, 56, 61-63, 65, 68-69, 79-89-91, 98-103, 105-106, 108-113 Printed matter, 1927-2007, undated. Includes academic papers, reports, textbooks, and clippings on Yugoslavia, Laos, and other countries.
    6, 7, 11-13, 17, 30, 33-34, 40-41, 43-44, 59, 62-63, 67, 89-91, 101, 105, 108 Conference file, 1959-1999. Includes conference papers and programs.
    14, 30, 32, 38, 96 Photographs, 1922-2007. Includes black and white slides of life in Eastern Europe and photocopies of images in Bosnia.
    114 Audiovisual material, 1986-1993. Contains three VHS video tapes. Titles are inscribed from labels and may not match tape content.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Asia Society.
    Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group.
    Asia, Southeastern--Social conditions.
    Developing countries.
    Europe, Eastern--Social conditions.
    Social sciences--United States.
    Yugoslav War, 1991-1995.
    Yugoslavia--Social conditions.