- Collection ID:
Primarily English. Some materials are in Wan, Baule, and French.
- Physical Description:
1.7 linear feet
4 document boxes and 5 sound recordings plus 1 map folder
These papers of Philip L. Ravenhill primarily document the period during which he was a graduate student at the New School for Social Research and contain his field research on the Wan and neighboring groups in the Ivory Coast. There are also some some research files of Judith Timyan, whom Ravenhill was married to at the time.
Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of Philip L. Ravenhill primarily document the period during which he was a graduate student at the New School for Social Research. The collection contains his field research on the Wan, including linguistic notes and notebooks with interlinear translations of Wan folktales and proverbs; archival and bibliographic research; field recordings; and a draft of his dissertation. The collection also contains his research on neighboring groups in the Ivory Coast, including the Baule, as well as some research files of Judith Timyan, whom Ravenhill was married to at the time. Additional materials includes correspondence, course papers and exams, grant applications, and maps.
Folders are arranged in alphabetical order. The sound recordings are at the end.
Philip L. Ravenhill was the chief curator of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art, where he worked from 1987 until his death in 1997. He was born in 1945 in Bath, England. He earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Nyack College (1968) and his Ph.D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research (1976), where he studied under Thomas O. Beidelman. As a doctoral student, he conducted field research on the Wan in the central Ivory Coast. He had initially intended to study interethnic relations between the Wan and the Baule. Due to a flood that forced many of the Baule villages to relocate, Ravenhill focused his research on the social organization of the Wan. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, he was a senior research fellow at the International African Institute in London and project director of the West African Museums Project in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Cotter, Holland. 1997. Philip L. Ravenhill, 52, Expert On the Art and Culture of Africa. The New York Times, October 16. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/10/16/arts/philip-l-ravenhill-52-expert-on-the-art-and-culture-of-africa.html (accessed April 5, 2012).
The papers of Philip L. Ravenhill were received unarranged. The processing archivist rehoused the collection in archival folders and organized the folders in alphabetical order. Original folder titles were retained with titles assigned by the archivist placed within square brackets. Sound recordings were not reviewed to confirm contents. Sound recording numbers were assigned by the archivist.
Processed by Lorain Wang, April 2012.
Digitization and preparation of these materials for online access has been funded through generous support from the Arcadia Fund.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by his former wife, Judith Timyan.
Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
No restrictions on access.
Restrictions on Use
Philip L. Ravenhill papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Philip L. Ravenhill's curatorial records are at the Smithsonian Institution Archives. The Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives of the National Museum of African Art holds photographs from Ravenhill's research trip to Mali in 1989.
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road