Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding aid to the S. L. Washburn papers, 1932-1996
BANC MSS 98/132 c Phonotape 2950 Motion Picture 842 Phonodisc 738  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (145.39 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Chronology
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: S. L. Washburn Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1932-1996
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 98/132 c

    Phonotape 2950

    Motion Picture 842

    Phonodisc 738
    Creator: Washburn, S. L. (Sherwood Larned), 1911-2000
    Extent: Number of containers: 9 cartons, 5 boxes, 8 oversize folders Linear feet: 13.25
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: S. L. Washburn papers contain correspondence, writings, research notes, lectures, speeches, field notes, biographical information and photographs relating to his career in physical anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Correspondence is mainly professional with colleagues at Berkeley, in the United States, and abroad. Prominent correspondents include Irven Devore, Phyllis C. Jay, L.S.B. Leakey, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Washburn's writings relate to his expertise in and teaching of evolution, as well as documenting his role in education. Field notes relate to primate anatomy and canine teeth. U.C. Berkeley courses are reflected in syllabi, reading lists and lecture notes. Subject files document Washburn's participation in conferences, including speeches and programs, as well as professional activities with the National Science Foundation. Also includes biographical information, research photographs and negatives, and other illustrations and tables.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], S. L. Washburn papers, BANC MSS 98/132 c, Phonotape 2950, Motion Picture 842, Phonodisc 738, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Videotapes/sound recordings and motion pictures have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The S. L. Washburn Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Sherwood L. Washburn in 1997.

    Biographical Chronology

    1911 Born on November 26, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, second son of Henry Bradford Washburn and Edith Hall Washburn
    1935 B.A. in anthropology from Harvard College, summa cum laude
    1936-37 Field work in Ceylon, Siam, Borneo (Asiatic primate expedition organized by Harold Coolidge)
    1937-38 Teaching Assistant for Professors Earnest A. Hooton and Alfred M. Tozzer, Anthropology Department, Harvard University
    1939 Married Henrietta Faxon Pease on September 10
    1939-47 Instructor and Assistant Professor, Anatomy, Columbia University Medical School
    1940 Ph.D. from Harvard University
    1947-58 Associate Professor and Professor (Chairman 1953-1955), Anthropology Department, University of Chicago
    1948 Field work in East and South Africa
    1951 President, American Association of Physical Anthropologists
    1955 Field work in Southern Rhodesia and South Africa
    1958-78 Professor (Chairman 1967-1968), Anthropology Department, University of California at Berkeley
    1959 Field work in East Africa
    1960 Awarded the Viking Fund Medal
    1963 Membership in the National Academy of Sciences
    1965 Awarded Ciba Foundation Medal
    1967 Awarded Huxley Medal, Royal Anthropological Society, Great Britain
    1969 Appointed to Stanford University Board of Trustees
    1975 Awarded title of University Professor
    1978-present University Professor Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley
    1979 Awarded Berkeley Citation, University of California, Berkeley
    1981 Laboratories for undergraduate Physical Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley named the Sherwood L. Washburn Laboratories
    1985 Henrietta Washburn died March 5
    1990 Teaching Center in Valley Life Sciences Building, University of California, named the Sherwood Washburn Teaching Center

    Scope and Content

    The S. L. Washburn Papers contain professional and personal correspondence, writings, research notes, lectures, speeches, field notes, biographical information and photographs. Some of the collection dates back more than 50 years and illustrates the breadth and evolution of not only physical anthropology as a discipline, but specifically Dr. Washburn's illustrious and lengthy career in anthropology. Virtually all of the professional and academic material included is from Dr. Washburn's tenure at the University of California, Berkeley.
    Series 1, General Correspondence comprises a large part of the collection and is primarily professional in nature. Interdepartmental memoranda and letters to and from colleagues within the domestic and international anthropology community, and correspondence with publishers form the bulk of this series. Prominent correspondents include Irven Devore, Phyllis C. Jay, L. S. B. Leakey, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
    The Writing Series illuminates Dr. Washburn's expertise on evolution and his passion for teaching it, as embodied in "The Fun of Human Evolution!" Other pieces, such as "Why Schools?," demonstrate Dr. Washburn's role as an administrator and his contributions to the educational system as a whole. Series 2 contains papers he prepared for lectures, talks and speeches, such as "Behavior and the Origin of Man," the Huxley Lecture. Also included is a draft of an unpublished book entitled The Human Past.
    Series 3, Field Notes, contains material on primate anatomy, canine teeth and measurements. Included in this series are eight oversize folders containing notes from Washburn's field work from 1939-1940. The series comprises a very small part of the collection. It provides measurements of various species and a brief glimpse of hard physical anthropological data.
    Series 4 is a straightforward compilation of U. C. Berkeley courses taught by Washburn, ranging from Anthropology 1 to 200, and an interdisciplinary human sociobiology course. The material includes class syllabi, reading lists, and transcribed lecture notes.
    Series 5, Subject Files, is divided into two subseries, conferences and professional activities. The first subseries, Conferences, contains speeches given by Dr. Washburn and literature and programs about many of the symposia. This is a particularly interesting section because it highlights Washburn's international reach and reputation. It is highly detailed at some points within this subseries, as illustrated by the verbatim transcriptions of the Wenner-Gren Conference on "Primate Social Behavior." The second subseries, Professional Activities, pertains to Washburn's work with the National Science Foundation, specifically its teaching project. In addition, there are detailed chronological listings of his public appearances and dates of publications.
    Series 6, Biographical Information, chronicles Washburn's career through certificates, honors, interviews, newspaper clippings and documentation of his trips to East and South Africirca
    Finally, Series 7 consists primarily of research photographs, negatives, illustrations and instructional charts and tables. The series contains research photographs of primates, in the wild, at a research center and dissected, as well as animals, landscape, people and conferences.