Register to the Papers of John L. Fischer and Ann K. Fischer
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.2013-16
Creators:
Fischer, Ann K.
Fischer, John Lyle, 1923-1985
Dates:
ca. 1942-1985
Languages:
Multiple languages
Collection is primarily in
English
. Some materials are in
Trukese
,
Nuokuoro
,
Japanese
, and
Russian
.
Physical Description:
31.71 linear feet
(65 boxes, 1 manuscript folder, and 128 sound recordings)
Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
This collection contains John and Ann Fischer's correspondence, field notes, manuscripts, microfilm, sound recordings, and photographs relating to their work in Micronesia, Japan, and New England. Most of the materials in this collection were produced or collected by John. Although some materials have been identified as Ann's work, not all folders containing her notes have been so identified. Since John and Ann often collaborated, some of their notes are also intermixed. Materials relating to Truk and Ponape make up the bulk of the series. They not only include John and Ann's field notes but also administrative materials relating to John's position as District Anthropologist and District Island Affairs Officer. Because they returned at various times to visit and update data, there are documents on Ponape from 1949 as well as from the 1970s and in between. The Fischers' work in Japan is also well-represented in the collection along with their research for John and Beatrice Whiting's Six Cultures Project. The collection also contains a number of psychological tests administered by John and Ann during their research in Ponape and Japan. The sound recordings are mostly related to Ponape, with additional recordings from Japan. Several of the photographs are from Micronesia, some of which were taken by Harry Clifford Fassett. There are also some photos from Japan as well as personal photographs. Additional items in the collection include John's correspondence and papers he wrote as a student.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection contains John and Ann Fischer's correspondence, field notes, manuscripts, microfilm, sound recordings, and photographs relating to their work in Micronesia, Japan, and New England. Most of the materials in this collection were produced or collected by John. Although some materials have been identified as Ann's work, not all folders containing her notes have been so identified. Since John and Ann often collaborated, some of their notes are also intermixed.
Materials relating to Truk and Ponape make up the bulk of the series. They not only include John and Ann's field notes but also administrative materials relating to John's position as District Anthropologist and District Island Affairs Officer. Because they returned at various times to visit and update data, there are documents on Ponape from 1949 as well as from the 1970s and in between. The Fischers' work in Japan is also well-represented in the collection along with their research for John and Beatrice Whiting's Six Cultures Project.
The sound recordings are also mostly related to Ponape, with additional recordings from Japan. Several of the photographs are from Micronesia, some of which were taken by Harry Clifford Fassett. There are also some photos from Japan as well as personal photographs. Additional items in the collection include John's correspondence and papers he wrote as a student. Psychological tests administered by John and Ann during their research in Ponape and Japan are also in the collection.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged in 9 series: (1) Records and correspondence, 1948-1985; (2) Truk, 1949-1984 [Bulk 1949-1953]; (3) Ponape, 1839-1984 [Bulk 1947-1984]; (4) New England, 1954-1968 [Bulk 1955-1968]; (5) Japan, 1940-1985 [Bulk 1961-1964]; (6) Academic Work, 1946-1974; (7) Photographs, 1899-1974 [Bulk 1942-1974]; (8) Microfilm, undated; (9) Sound Recordings, 1947-1976 [Bulk 1959-1976]

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Ann Kindrick Fischer was born on May 22, 1919 in Kansas City. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Kansas with a B.A. in Sociology in 1941. During World War II she lived in Washington, D.C. working as registrar at the School of Advanced International Studies. At the time she was briefly married to her first husband, James Meredith.
In 1946 Ann entered Radcliffe College's graduate program in the Department of Anthropology. As a student at Radcliffe, she met John Fischer, who was a student at Harvard. In 1949 she traveled to the Caroline Islands to study Trukese mother and child training and to marry John, who had obtained a position as District Anthropologist of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. During their time in Micronesia, the two lived a year in Truk and three years in Ponape. While in Ponape, Ann taught English in a middle school as part of her anthropological research. She completed her dissertation, "The Role of the Trukese Mother and Its Effect on Child Training," and was awarded her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1957.
Her interest in childrearing continued when she returned to Massachusetts from Micronesia. From 1954 to 1957, she worked as a research assistant on the Ford Foundation Six Cultures Project under the direction of John and Beatrice Whiting. Ann and her husband collaborated in a study of children in a New England town, which resulted in their 1963 article "The New Englanders of Orchard Town, USA." In 1961 and 1962, Ann and John worked together again to study childrearing in Japan, focusing on psychology and family life. When they returned from Japan, they did a follow-up study of a Japanese community in San Mateo, California.
In 1959, Ann became the first anthropologist to hold a training fellowship in biostatistics and epidemiology at Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She joined their faculty and also taught at the Tulane School of Social Work (1960-1966) and the Anthropology Department of Newcomb College (1968-1971). In addition, Ann served as consultant to the Peace Corps on Micronesia.
Although she continued to write extensively on families and children throughout her career, her interests also included medicine, the role of women, and minority rights. She particularly became interested in the Houma Indians, publishing her article "History and Current Status of the Houma Indians" in 1965. An active supporter of the Houma Indians, she played an integral role in eliminating segregation in the school system in their area.
On April 22, 1971 Ann died of cancer at the age of 51.
Selected Bibliography
Edmonson, Munro S. "Ann Kindrick Fischer."
Women Anthropologists: Selected Biographies
. Ed. Ute Gacs,
et al.
Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1989.
Halpern, Katherine Spencer. "Ann Fischer 1919-1971."
American Anthropologist
, New Series, Vol. 75, No. 1. (Feb., 1973), pp. 292-294.
Marshall, M. and M. Ward. "John (Jack) Fischer (1923-1985)."
American Anthropologist
, New Series, Vol.89, No.1 (Mar., 1987) 134-136.
John Lyle Fischer was born in Kewanee, Illinois on July 9, 1923. His undergraduate work began at Harvard in 1940 but was interrupted by his military service during World War II. During the war he studied Japanese and served as both an interpreter and translator in the Marines. Following the war he returned to Harvard to complete his B.A. in 1946. His undergraduate honors thesis was entitled "Japanese Linguistic Morphology in Relation to Basic Cultural Traits."
John continued on at Harvard for his graduate studies in the Department of Social Relations, earning his Masters degree in Anthropology in 1949. That same year he married Ann Kindrick Meredith on his birthday. The two were stationed in Micronesia where John served as District Anthropologist (1949-1951) for the Naval Administration and later as the District Island Affairs Officer (1951-1953) under the Interior Department Administration.
When he and his family moved back to Massachusetts, he returned to his academic studies at Harvard. Drawing upon his fieldwork in Micronesia, he completed his dissertation, "Language and Folktale in Truk and Ponape: A Study in Cultural Integration," in 1954 and received his PhD from Harvard the following year. Work on the dissertation led to a lifelong interest in folklore and lingistics as well as Truk and Ponape. He revisited Ponape several times in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
From 1954 to 1955 John collaborated with his wife to study comparative child-rearing in New England. In the early 1960s, they once again conducted fieldwork together, this time in Japan, studying the psychological dynamics of family life. They later did a follow-up study of a Japanese community in San Mateo, California. Just before his death, John was planning another research trip to Japan.
In 1958, John obtained a faculty position at Tulane University teaching social anthropology. He served as chair of the Department of Anthropology from 1969 to 1971 and taught at the university until his death. By 1979 Fischer had learned Russian and taught for a year at the University of Leningrad. Fischer was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh in 1975 to 1976. In addition, he was active in various professional societies and consulted with several national organizations. He was co-author of 8 books as well as author of many articles and book chapters.
Following Ann's death from cancer, Fischer married Simonne Cholin Sanzenbach, who was also a professor at Tulane, in 1973. They shared many interests and published an article together in Japanese, "The Nature of Speech According to French Proverbs," in 1983.
At the age of 61, John passed away on May 16, 1985.

Administration
Processing Information
In 2009, the sound recordings were separated from the collection and moved to the audio cabinets. Loose notes were separated from the recordings and placed in a folder titled "[Audio ephemera]" and filed with the rest of the collection.
Processed by Laura Lathrop
Encoded by Jocelyn Baltz, July 2012
Author
Laura Lathrop
Sponsor
Digitization and preparation of these materials for online access has been funded through generous support from the Arcadia Fund.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Richard A. Marksbury in 2013.

Digital Content
More …
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
Access to psychological tests administered by John and Ann Fischer during their research in Ponape and Japan is restricted. Access to the John L. Fischer and Ann K. Fischer Papers requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation
The John L. Fischer and Ann K. Fischer papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
More materials relating to John and Ann Fischer can be found in other collections at the National Anthropological Archives. MS 7516 "Documents relating to scientific investigations in Micronesia" contains the Fischers' 1954 East Caroline Handbook. More of John's correspondence can be found in the Southern Anthropological Society Records and in Saul Herbert Riesenberg's Correspondence series under the Records of the Department of Anthropology. The American Indian Chicago Conference Records contains Ann's correspondence.
Harvard University's Tozzer Library and the Bishop Museum also hold some of John's original Ponapean field notes.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Polynesian languages Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Truk language Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Caroline Islanders Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese language Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Child rearing -- New England Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Folklore -- Caroline Islands Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Music -- Caroline Islands Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nurses -- anthropological study Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Child rearing -- Japan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Caroline Islands Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chuukese (Micronesian people) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New England -- child rearing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japan -- child rearing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ponape Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Language and languages -- Documentation Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland 20746
naa@si.edu