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FIRST EXPEDITION: EUA, TONGA, 1926

Scope and Content of Series

Series 1) FIRST EXPEDITION, EUA, TONGA, 1926
This series consists of correspondence and field notebooks. Nearly all of the general correspondence is from Professor W. A. Setchell, of the University of California, Berkeley, who hoped to include Hoffmeister in a research trip to Tonga. The letters, which address funding issues and travel arrangements, predate the expedition. Correspondence with Ruth Hoffmeister begins shipboard, with Hoffmeister en route to the Fijian port town of Suva, the Setchell group's first stop after leaving Hawaii. Hoffmeister's handwritten letters to his wife provide detailed descriptions of people, both Westerners and natives, and of places, including Suva and the islands of Tongatabu and Eua. Activities such as attending a local church service, collecting fossils, and pitching camp are fully--and sometimes wryly--recounted. The field notebooks contain handwritten, detailed technical descriptions of the locations and physical conditions of the coral specimens that Hoffmeister collected. Some entries also include more discursive comments on current or planned field activities. Most are not individually dated, but each notebook's cover page contains a date.
Box 1, Folder 1

Correspondence - General 1925 - 1926

Box 1, Folder 2

Correspondence - Hoffmeister, Ruth 1926

Box 1, Folder 3

Field notebooks - No. 1 1926 May-July

Box 1, Folder 4

Field notebooks - No. 2 1926 July 8-July 31

Box 1, Folder 5

Field notebooks - No. 3 1926 August 9-16

 

SECOND EXPEDITION: TONGA, 1928

Scope and Content of Series

Series 2) SECOND EXPEDITION, TONGA and FIJI, 1928
This series contains Correspondence, Drawing Books, Field Notebooks, Photographs, and Publications. As with the first expedition, the letters in this series are mainly from W. A. Setchell and to Ruth Hoffmeister. This time, however, Setchell discusses substantive empirical issues regarding actual and theoretical reef formation, and Hoffmeister's letters to his wife contain relatively more intimacies and references to home and relatively fewer detailed descriptions of people, places, and field work. Neither of the two Drawing Books are dated or labeled, but the sketches of individual features of island topography correspond with some of the field notes, suggesting that the drawings were done on the second expedition. The Field Notebooks are similar in style and content to those done during the first expedition, except that they have fewer specimen lists and more reflections on the possible meanings of observed geological features. For example, in Notebook No. 5, Hoffmeister describes the course of water down a volcanic slope on Eua, and then notes a "very interesting physiographic feature" resulting from the action of the water on the underlying limestone. He speculates that what he is observing on Eua may also explain similar land features found on other islands. The five Photographs of Falcon Island document a trip Hoffmeister and his colleague Harry Ladd organized to a newly emerged volcanic island in the Tonga group. The publication include two works that arose directly out of the second expedition, a co-authored article on Falcon Island and a monograph on the geology of Eua. The interest the latter stimulated among Hoffmeister's colleagues is attested to by their letters.
Box 1, Folder 6

Correspondence - General 1928 June-December

Box 1, Folder 7

Correspondence - Hoffmeister, Ruth 1928 April-August

Box 1, Folder 8-9

Drawing books, Vol. 1-2, Field maps undated

Box 2, Folder 1

Field notebooks - No. 4 1928 April 21-May 9

Box 2, Folder 2

Field notebooks - No. 5 1928 May 10-16 (?)

Box 2, Folder 3

Field notebooks - Tongatabu 1928 May 17-24 (?)

Box 2, Folder 4

Field notebooks - Vitilevu, Fiji 1928 July 3-August (?)

Box 2, Folder 5

Photographs - Trip to Falcon Island 1928

Box 2, Folder 6

Publications - "Falcon, the Pacific's Newest Island"

Box 2, Folder 7

Publications - "Falcon Island," Hoffmeister, American Journal of Science 1929

Box 2, Folder 8, Oversize MC-050-02

Publications - "The Disappearing Island: 'Jack in the Box' Falcon and its Crater" 1929

Box 2, Folder 9

Publications - Geology of Eua, Tonga, Hoffmeister 1932

Box 2, Folder 10

Correspondence regarding Geology of Eua, Tonga 1932 - 1933

 

THIRD EXPEDITION: FIJI ISLANDS, 1934

Scope and Content of Series

Series 3) THIRD EXPEDITION, FIJI ISLANDS, 1934
This series includes Correspondence, Diaries, and Publications. The general correspondence includes a larger variety of correspondents than occurred with the previous two expeditions. Possible sources of funding for the research, selection of staff, and related issues predominate. The letters to Ruth Hoffmeister are more similar in tone to those written during the first expedition. There are colorful reports of island life and daily social and work-related activities. The contrast between Hoffmeister's routines in the relatively urban port of Suva and his daily existence in the more remote parts of the Lau island group is clear. The Diaries provide a vivid sense of the trials and triumphs of field research in a remote setting. Hoffmeister records his irritations--with the miserable weather, the voracious mosquitoes, the capricious mail delivery; but he notes his pleasures--telling nursery tales to the natives to ease the boredom of long evenings, talking over the implications of a day's fossil finds with Harry Ladd, tasting turtle eggs--as well. The diaries also record details of the physical attributes of the islands Hoffmeister visited and note some of the social and physical characteristics of the islanders. The most significant publication to emerge from this expedition was the book Geology of Lau, Fiji, co-authored with Harry Ladd.
Box 2, Folder 11

Correspondence - General 1933 - 1934

Box 2, Folder 12

Correspondence - Hoffmeister, Ruth 1934 February-June

Box 2, Folder 13

Diaries - Vol. 1 1934 February 10-June 13

Box 2, Folder 14

Diaries - Vol. 2 1934 June 14 (?)-29

 

FILMS AND SLIDES

Scope and Content of Series

Series 4) FILMS AND SLIDES
Hoffmeister recorded on 16mm film scenes of daily village life and panoramic views of the islands he visited. Although few reels are dated, it is likely that some footage was taken on each of the three expeditions. The films are arranged in subseries by type of film and reel size: Black & White Film, 16mm, 7" Reels, and Black & White and Color Film, 16mm, 3.5" Reels. The series also includes several hundred Lantern Slides and two Mounted Slides. Some of the film footage is under- or overexposed and therefore difficult to interpret; one reel is broken in three places; and one reel is severely damaged by mold. Most of the film, however, is in good enough condition to view easily. The reel labeled "Prince of Tonga" is captioned and provides an excellent overview of the kinds of footage included in many of the other films. It was made in 1970, using segments from several different reels, to be presented as a gift to the Prince of Tonga. Overall, Hoffmeister seems to have recorded scenes and events he thought might be of interest to the general public. Examples include native dancing, some forms of which involve highly stylized movements conducted completely from a seated position; a feast; the preparation of tapa cloth; different types of housing; a village rugby game; and mail delivery. The Lantern Slides, in contrast, contain proportionately more images of interest to specialists. There are about 200 slides of corals and limestone formations and nearly a hundred of graphs, charts, and tables broadly related to the geology of reef formation in various parts of the world. The Mounted Slides are dated 1972 by the developer; the subjects are not identified.
 

Black & white 16mm film, 7" reels

Restrictions

Original films are restricted; please consult digitized versions.
Box 3, Folder 1

Fiji and Tonga circa 1926-1928

Fiji and Tonga: circa 1926-1928

General note

Footage includes dance, the making of tapa cloth, and scenes around Apia and Tin Can Island.
Box 3, Folder 2

Fiji and Tonga

General note

Duplicate.
Box 3, Folder 3

Fiji, Terraces of Eua circa 1934

Fiji, Terraces of Eua: circa 1934

General note

Footage includes scenes of Viti Levu, the Navua River, and the preparation of Yaqona.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Kava (Beverage)
Fiji -- Description and travel
Box 3, Folder 4

Fiji scenes circa 1934

Fiji scenes: circa 1934

General note

Footage includes what may be Suva with footage from Tonga, Army, natural bridge.
Box 3, Folder 5

People in Eua,Tonga circa 1926-1928

People in Eua,Tonga: circa 1926-1928

General note

Footage includes scenes of Apia and Tin Can Island with footage from Fiji and Tonga.
Box 4, Folder 1

Tonga, Army, natural bridge circa 1926-1928

Tonga, Army, natural bridge: circa 1926-1928

General note

Footage includes Tongan military and horse racing club, and what may be Hufangalupe, a natural land bridge on the south coast of Tongatabu.
Box 4, Folder 2

Eua, Tonga circa 1926-1928

Eua, Tonga: circa 1926-1928

General note

Footage includes fruit bats, dancing, and food customs of Tongan villagers.
Box 4, Folder 3

Eua, Tonga (landscape with cliffs) circa 1926-1928

Eua, Tonga (landscape with cliffs): circa 1926-1928

Box 4, Folder 4

Scenes in Polynesia

Scenes in Polynesia

General note

Footage includes what may be "tamure" dancing from the Cook Islands or French Polynesia.
Box 4, Folder 5

Prince of Tonga 1928

Prince of Tonga: 1928

General note

Footage includes Prince Viliami Tungi Mailefih, scenes around Eua, Nuku'alofa, Falcon Island, and a Tongan feast.
Box 5, Folder 1

Prince of Tonga (duplicate print) 1928

Box 5, Folder 2

Prince of Tonga (picture negative)

Box 5, Folder 3

Prince of Tonga (original film, part camera reversal, part reversal print)

 

Black & white and color 16mm film, 3.5" reels

Restrictions

Original films are restricted; please consult digitized versions.
Box 5, Folder 4

Fijian dancing

Fijian dancing: circa 1934

Box 5, Folder 5

Fijian natives circa 1934

Fijian natives: circa 1934

General note

Footage includes Fiji police force and what may be police escorting prisoners out of a jail building.
Box 6, Folder 1

Fiji natives (unboxed) circa 1934

Fiji natives (unboxed): circa 1934

General note

Footage includes Fijians playing cricket and rugby, and the preparation of Yaqona.
Box 6, Folder 2

Native dancing

Native dancing

General note

Footage includes what may be "tamure" dancing from the Cook Islands or French Polynesia with footage from Scenes in Tonga.
Box 6, Folder 3

Scenes in Fiji circa 1934

Scenes in Fiji: circa 1934

General note

Footage includes scenes of coastal landscape, islanders doing laundry, and native-style sailing canoe.
Box 6, Folder 4

Tonga circa 1928

Tonga: circa 1928

General note

Footage includes shots of Tongan coastline.
Box 6, Folder 5

Mauna Loa in Eruption 1942

Mauna Loa in Eruption: 1942

General note

Color film.

Restrictions

Original film is restricted; please consult digitized version.
 

Lantern slides - Negative file

 

Pacific Islands - Land/seascapes ... Vegetation

Box 6, Folder 6

Bikini (ALS/M231/1-12)

Box 6, Folder 6

Fiji (ALS/M231/13-22)

Box 6, Folder 6

Hawaii (ALS/M231/23-29)

Box 6, Folder 6

Tonga (ALS/M231/40-74)

Box 6, Folder 6

Charts, figures, graphs, maps (ALS/M231/75-98)

Box 6, Folder 6

Regional ethnography (ALS/M231/99 - 117)

Box 6, Folder 6

Historical and literary figures (ALS/M231/118-133)

Box 6, Folder 6

Florida - Land/seascapes ... Vegetation (ALS/M231/134-140)

Box 6, Folder 6

Coral and limestone specimens (ALS/M231/134-140)

Box 6, Folder 6

Charts, figures, graphs, maps (ALS/M231/183-206)

Box 6, Folder 6

Unlabeled - Land/seascapes, reefs, rock formations, vegetation (ALS/M231/207-247)

Box 6, Folder 6

Coral and Limestone specimens (ALS/M231/248-260)

Box 6, Folder 6

Charts, figures, graphs, maps (ALS/M231/2561-299)

Box 6, Folder 6

Miscellaneous (ALS/ M231/ 300-307)

Box 7, Folder 1

Unlabeled mounted 35mm color slides 1972

 

CORRESPONDENCE

Scope and Content of Series

Series 5) CORRESPONDENCE
Includes General and Collected correspondence. The former consists of a single folder with letters from colleagues addressing issues related to Hoffmeister's and others' research on corals. The Collected Correspondence is dominated by letters to and from Hoffmeister's friend and frequent collaborator, Harry Ladd. Most of the letters concern the reef-related research the two men conducted jointly and individually. Although the specific topics they address change over the 50-year span covered by the correspondence, the warmth and good humor inherent in the exchanges remains constant.
Box 7, Folder 2

General 1927 - 1936

Box 7, Folder 3

Ladd, Harry 1932 - 1944

Box 7, Folder 4-7

1945 - 1949

Box 7, Folder 8

1950s

Box 7, Folder 9

1960s

Box 7, Folder 10

1971 - 1982

Box 7, Folder 11

Setchell. W.A. 1932 - 1939

 

WRITINGS

Scope and Content of Series

Series 6) WRITINGS
This series contains reprints of all of Hoffmeister's published work, except those pieces grouped with the expeditions. There is also a draft of a speech he gave in 1972, when the Miami University Institute of Marine Sciences dedicated their new Laboratory for Comparative Sedimentology to T. Wayland Vaughn.
Box 7, Folder 12-13

Reprints 1925 - 1940

Box 8, Folder 1

Reprints 1941 - 1968

Box 8, Folder 2

Draft of speech given at dedication of T. Wayland Vaughn Laboratory for Comparative Sedimentology, Miami University Institute of Marine Sciences, Fisher Island Station 1972 January 27

 

SUBJECT FILES

Scope and Content of Series

Series 7) SUBJECT FILES
Papers related to the Pacific Science Association's committee on coral reefs of the Pacific. The third Pan Pacific Science Congress (1927) resolved that a "comprehensive plan" for the study of coral reefs be drawn up by an international committee composed of "biologists, oceanographers, and geologists." That international committee was originally headed by T. Wayland Vaughn, who asked each participating country to form its own national subcommittee, with the chair of the new sub-body to act as delegate to the international group. Vaughn passed the chairmanship of the American subcommittee on to Hoffmeister in 1935. The files in this collection consist exclusively of the materials Vaughn forwarded to Hoffmeister; papers that may have been generated during Hoffmeister's own tenure are not included.
Box 8, Folder 3-4

Pacific Science Association, International Committee on Oceanography. Coral Reefs of the Pacific

 

PHOTOGRAPHS AND NEGATIVES

Scope and Content of Series

Series 8) PHOTOGRAPHS AND NEGATIVES
The photographs and negatives in this series are of coral and limestone specimens Hoffmeister collected during his career. There are proportionately more black and white contact sheets of pictures of Florida corals than of any other subjects.
Box 8, Folder 5

Australian deep sea corals 1933

Box 8, Folder 6

Florida corals 1962

Box 8, Folder 7

Loggerhead Key and Bird Key Reef Corals, Tortugas, Florida 1932

Box 8, Folder 8

Negatives, 35mm color film [corals] ca. 1960s

 

ARTIFACTS AND GEOLOGICAL SPECIMENS

Scope and Content of Series

Series 9) ARTIFACTS AND GEOLOGICAL SPECIMENS
A small box of types of foraminifera (in vials and on cross-sectional slides) Hoffmeister collected in Tonga, and three South Pacific artifacts (a war club and two walking sticks).
Box 8, Folder 9

Tonga foram (?) types -- specimens, vials, cross-sectional slides

Oversize TS-91

Tongan war club -- tree branch, c. 4 ft long, diameter c. 3", fine carving in bottom 12", suggesting handle

Oversize AB-27-F01

Walking stick - Approx. 3 ft. long, smooth-sided and slender

Oversize AB-27-F02

Walking stick - Approx 3 ft. long with burls

Oversize FB-235

Tapa cloth

General

Condition: fair to poor. Three specimans of printed cloth.
Oversize FB-235

Woven garment