National Anthropological Archives

Guide to the Alfred F. Whiting papers, 1952-1954

Collection ID:
Whiting, Alfred F.
Whiting, Marjorie Grant
Material is in
, and
Physical Description:
7 Linear feet
9 Sound tape reels

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection reflects the work of an anthropologist in Micronesia during 1952-1954. The U.S. Government employed Alfred F. Whiting as a staff anthropologist in the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific, Ponape District. His field notes, papers, photographs, and correspondence make up this collection. Marjorie Grant Whiting contributed to part of the collection including the linguistics texts and photograph file.
Diaries contain a daily record of events and mostly concern professional matters. Correspondence inlcudes official reports, answers to questions of persons in the government of the Trust Territory, and summaries of economic conditions of the islands. Some of the letters are personal letters and contain information about Whiting's work. Most frequent correspondents are Homer Barnett and Saul Riesenberg.
Note cards in the subject file are indexed by subject. Historical data is mostly information, which is quoted. Original research and data gathering inlcudes lists of persons and their roles, social arrangements, material culture and census data. Miscellaneous notes represent field notes and first drafts of reports.
Special files were created by Whiting about Nan Matol, and ancient burial place, and the diary of a young man in school in Ponape.
Hand drawn and traced maps show the physical features and social aspects of the island. Location of houses, land ownership, historic structres and other man-made features are shown on the maps. Maps are drawn on tracing paper and krasft paper and measure as large as 42 inches by 100 inches. Diagrams show family relationships and other social aspects.
Processed material contains Ponapean and English language items. Newsletters, government reports, and linguistic material are included. Whiting began a Ponapean language newletter while he was in Ponape, and several copies are in the collection.
Mrs. Whiting compiled the photograph collection, in two sections. The subject index of photographs is filed by subject. Reference is made to the print and negative file by number of film and exposure. The second part of the collection is the photograph file. It contains contact prints and negatives, which are filed in chronological order of exposure. Negatives are filed behind the prints which are numbered to provide access from the subject file of photographs. Photographs were taken of geographic features, social situations, and material culture.
The final part is a collection of books in Japanese about Micronesia.

Gary Smucker and Barbara Watanabe
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Received from Alfred F. Whiting in 1975.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The Alfred F. Whiting papers are open for research.
Access to the Alfred F. Whiting papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Preferred Citation
Alfred F. Whiting papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
The National Anthropological Archives holds additional sound recordings by Marjorie Grant Whiting in MS 7024 Magic for Curing.
The Cline Library at Northern Arizona University holds the Alfred F. Whiting collection, 1930-1979.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Oceania Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Micronesia Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Archaeology Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746