Guide to the Ralph Leon Beals papers, 1919-1970

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.1980-54A
Creators:
Beals, Ralph L. (Ralph Leon), 1901-1985
Dates:
1919 - 1970
Physical Description:
48 Linear feet
Repository:
The Beals papers in the National Anthropological Archives include field notes, correspondence, printed materials, copies of historical documents, drafts and final manuscripts of writings, photographs, and cartographic materials. Most relate to research projects and sometimes include materials of colleagues and assistants. Especially notable is the abundant material regarding Oaxaca markets. There are some materials relating to aspects of Beals's career other than his research but they are generally widely distributed throughout the collection. Materials relating to events that happened to occur at the time of certain field work are often interfiled with the material relating to that certain field work. There are also some personal materials included. Conspicuously missing from the papers are notes on Beals's archeological work, which he has retained. There are relatively few materials relating to his teaching career, although some of the letters exchanged with Alfred Louis Kroeber concern the establishment of anthropology at the University of California at Los Angeles; and correspondence with students in the field concerns teaching as well as research activities. A typesript of notes on the Nisenan are at the Bancroft Library of the University of California at Berkeley. Some of the letters concern Elsie Clews Parsons and Carlos Castenada.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
These papers reflect the professional and personal life of Ralph L. Beals (1901-1985), author, anthropologist and professor at the University of California. Included are his research files, correspondence, grant proposals, notes, charts, census material, maps, newspaper clippings, appointment calendars, drafts of published and unpublished writings, photographs and card files.
The bulk of the material relate to his research. Major projects documented in the collection include his studies of a Tarascan community; Mexican students in the United States; indigenous market systems in Oaxaca markets; economic systems in Nayón, Ecuador; land utilization by California Indians; and conditions in Hicks Camp in Southern California. The collection also contains his early research in Mexico during the 1930s as well as a study of kinship relationships undertaken by Beals' students during his residency as visiting professor at the University of Buenos Aires in 1962. Absent from the papers are notes from Beals' archeological work in Cobra Head Wash in Arizona.
A portion of the collection also reflects Beals' literary efforts beginning in the 1920s until later in his life. Throughout his adult lifetime Beals had been actively involved with the publishing world, constantly editing, reviewing, revising, rewriting and submitting for publication articles, speeches, lectures, essays, scholarly papers, and textbooks, in addition to contributing to various symposia, scientific associations and journals.
While there is little material regarding his faculty work at UCLA, some of his professional activities are documented in the collection. Of particular interest is his investigation for the American Anthropological Association into the ethics surrounding the use of anthropologists by government security agencies. The collection also contains files pertaining to his work with international professional societies and universities in Latin America and his service as editor of Acta America, the journal for the now defunct InterAmerican Society for Anthropology. His correspondence documents the development and demise of the organization.
The correspondence series is arranged both alphabetically and chronologically. Correspondents whose letters are included are Ellen Waterbury, Ronald Waterbury, Charlotte Stolmaker, Keith A. Dixon, Clark Kerr, R.G. Sproul, George Kennedy, and William Madsen. Correspondence listed chronologically (1928-78) has not been processed. A cursory review reveals that this includes a great deal of information on Beals' days at the University of California: personal and personnel papers and records, vitae, awards and commendations, salaries, positions held, etc. Some of the letters in the series concern Elsie Clews Parsons and Carlos Castenada.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.

Arrangement
Arrangement
    Organization
  • (1) Correspondence, 1928-1980
  • (2) Research proposals, 1936-1977
  • (3) Acta Americana materials, 1942-1963
  • (4) Early Mexican and California studies, 1930-1932, 1936
  • (5) Tarascan project materials, 1939-1941
  • (6) Social science in Latin Amerian materials, 1948-1949
  • (7) Nayon Project, Ecuador materials, 1948-1949
  • (8) Cross-cultural education study materials, 1952-1957
  • (9) California Indians materials, 1945-1955
  • (10) Study of markets in Oaxaca materials, 1938-1973 (most 1960s)
  • (11) Research and ethics materials, 1965-1968
  • (12) Miscellaneous field materials (Hicks Camp and Argentine kinship), 1946-1952, 1963
  • (13) Manuscripts of writings and lectures, 1919-1977
  • (14) Miscellany, 1929-1970
  • (15) Photographs, card files, notebooks, and oversized materials, 1930s-1960s

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Ralph Leon Beals trained in anthropology at the University of California (Ph.D., 1930) under Robert Lowie, Edward W. Gifford, and Alfred L. Kroeber. After a brief period with the National Park Service, he became an instructor at Berkeley and, in 1936, as an anthropologist, joined the Department of Psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles. He eventually organized the UCLA Department of Anthropology and Sociology and served as its chairman in 1941-1948. He was chairman of the UCLA Department of Anthropology in 1964-1965. In 1969, he became a professor emeritus of the university. Beals' research focused on California, the American Southwest, and Latin America, especially Mexico. During the summer of 1929, he carried out an ethnological survey of the Southern Maidu (Nisenan), working under Kroeber and partly supported by Bureau of American Ethnology Cooperative Ethnological Research funds. In 1937-1938, he was on the Rainbow Bridge-Monument Valley Expedition under the direction of Ansel F. Hall and excavated an archeological site in Cobra Head Wash in Arizona. In 1948-1949, he investigated conditions at Hicks Camp, a Mexican settlement in southern California; and, in 1945-1955, he headed a project for the United States Department of Justice to study traditional land utilization by California Indians. The study related to Indian land claims cases.
Beals' involvement in Mexico goes back to a youthful tramp through Sonora and Sinaloa in 1918-1919 that included a long sojourn with a Mexican family. In 1930-1932, Beals worked with the Yaqui and Mayo; in 1932, with Elsie Clews Parsons, he worked with the Cora and Huichol found at Tepic, Nayarit; and, in 1933, with the western Mixe of Oaxaca. With these groups and with the tribes of northern Mexico in general, he concerned himself with both the ethnography of exiting cultures and the reconstruction of the cultures at the time of contact with Europeans. Given the currents of anthropology, a family background of social concern, his historical interest in cultures long influenced by Europeans, and his observation of rapid change and strong modern economic influences among Indian tribes, Beals came to treat largely with social anthropology, problems of acculturation, and studies useful in applied aspects of anthropology.
In 1938, with Daniel F. Rubín de la Borbolla, Alfonso Caso, John M. Cooper, and Alfred L. Kroeber, Beals took part in a comprehensive multidiscipline study of the Tarascans to help formulate government policies and programs. Beals and several collaborators and assistants carried out ethnographic and social anthropological studies at Cherán. In 1948-1949, Beals studied the economic systems of Nayón, Ecuador, a Quechua village, and cultural and social changes accompanying the shift from a subsistence to marketplace economy. In Buenos Aires in 1963, he collected kinship data from students at the Institute of Sociology. In 1965, he began a detailed study of the large traditional market system of eastern Oaxaca in Mexico. Over a five-year period, many scholars and students assisted Beals.
Beals had active ties with many organizations and gave some extraordinary service. During 1942-1943, he directed a cooperative social science program between Latin American institutions and the Smithsonian Institution, establishing the InterAmerican Society for Anthropology and Geography. From 1943-1948, he edited the Society's journal Acta Americana, initially fulfilling official obligations but, after 1944 and his return to teaching, donating his time for the work. In 1944-1951, he was a collaborator with the Smithsonian's Institute for Social Anthropology.
As a member of the Social Science Research Council from 1946-1962, Beals undertook to study conditions in Latin American social science. In 1952, for the Council's Committee on Cross-Cultural Education, he and Norman D. Humphrey investigated the experiences of Mexican students in the United States. He also served the American Anthropological Association as a member of its executive council from 1947-1949, vice president in 1949, and president in 1950. In 1965, the AAA, concerned with the use of anthropologists by government security agencies, asked Beals to study the ethics involved. Prepared in cooperation with many research scholars, Beals report became the basis for the work of the AAA's ethics committee.
Beals had many other organizational ties and responsibilities. He served as American technical advisor at the First Inter-American Indianists Conference at Patzcuarol, Mexico, in 1939; chairman of the Social Science Research Council Cross-Cultural Education Committee from 1953 to 1960; member of the Society for American Archaeology executive committee from 1954 to 1957; and president of the Southwest Anthropological Association in 1958. He was an editor with the Handbook of Latin American Studies, American Anthropologist, and Notes on Latin American Studies.
Chronology of the life of Ralph Leon Beals
July 19, 1901
Born in Pasadena California
1923
Married Dorothy Manchester
1926
B.A. University of California, Berkeley
1930
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
1933-1935
Museum technician, National Park Service
1935
Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
1936-1938
Instructor, University of California, Los Angeles
1937-1941
Assistant Professor
1941-1947
Associate Professor
1942-1943
Director of Latin American Ethnic Studies, Smithsonian Institution
1947-1969
Professor of Anthropology
1944-1951
Collaborator, Institute of Social Anthropology
1962
Visiting Professor, University of Buenos Aires
1969-
Professor Emeritus
Ralph Leon Beals was trained in anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley under Robert H. Lowie, Edward W. Gifford, and, especially, Alfred Louis Kroeber. After a brief period of work for the National Park Service following graduation, he became an instructor in anthropology at Berkeley and, in 1936, as an anthropologist, joined the Department of Psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles. There he organized the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and served as its chairman in 1941-1948. He was also chairman of the UCLA Department of Anthropology in 1964-1965. In 1969, he became an professor emertius of the university.
Beals's research has focused primarily on California, the American Southwest, and Latin America, especially Mexico. In California, he carried out an ethnological survey of the Southern Maidu (Nisenan) during the summer of 1929, working under Kroeber and supported in part by funds from the Bureau of American Ethnology's Cooperative Ethnological Research program. In 1937-1938, he was a member of the Rainbow Bridge-Monument Valley Expedition under the direction of Ansel F. Hall and excavated an archeological site in Cobra Head Wash in Arizona. In 1948-1949, he studied conditions at Hicks Camp, a Mexican settlement in southern California, and in 1945-1955 Beals headed a project for the
United States Department of Justice to study traditional land utilization by California Indians. The study was related to Indian land claims cases.
Beals's involvement in Mexico can be traced to a 1918-1919 tramp through Sonora and Sinaloa that included a rather long sojourn with a Mexican family. In his later academic interest in the area, he was at the forefront of a movement of American anthropologists and geographers to fill some of the gaps in the ethnographic and archeological knowledge about northern Mexico, of interest largely because it lay in the way of possible influences passing between the American Southwest and the highly developed cultures of Mesoamerica. In 1930-1932, Beals worked among he Yaqui and Mayo; in 1932, with Elsie Clews Parsons , he worked among the Cora and Huichol found at Tepic, Nayarit; and, in 1933,
among the western Mixe of Oaxaca. With these groups and with the tribes of northern Mexico in general, he concerned himself with both the ethnography of contemporary cultures and the reconstruction of the cultures at the time of contact with Whites. Given the current of anthropology of the time, a family background of social concern, his historical interest in cultures with a long history of influence by Europeans, and his witness of rapid change and strong modern economic influences among Indian tribes, Beals came to treat largely with social anthropology, problems of acculturation, and studies useful in applied aspects of anthropology.
In 1938, Beals took part with Daniel Rubin de la Borbolla, Alfonso Caso, John Montgomery Cooper, and Alfred Louis Kroeber in planning a multidisciplinary study of the Tarascans, a project which aimed at a comprehensive examination useful in formulating government policies and programs. Under its auspices, Beals and several collaborators and assistants carried out ethnographic and social anthroplogical studies at Cheran. In 1948-1949, he studied the economic systems of the Quechua village of Nayon, Peru, and cultural and social changes accompanying the shift from a subsistence to a marketplace economy. In 1963, he collected kinship data from students at the Institute of Sociology in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1965, he began a detaile.
study of the large, traditional market system of eastern Oaxaca in Mexico. In this latter work, Beals was assisted by many scholars and students over a five-year period.
Beals has had active ties with many organizations concerned with anthropology and the social sciences and to some he has given extraordinary service. During 1942-1943, he was in charge of a program of cooperating in the social sciences between institutions in Latin American and the Smithsonian Institution. In that capacity, he was charged with the establishment of the Inter-American Society for Anthropology and Geography. From 1943-1948, he edited the Society's journal Acta Americana, intially fulfilling official obligations but, after 1944 and his return to teaching, donating his time for the work. He was a collaborator with the Smithsonian's Institute for Social Anthropology in 1944-1951.
A member of the Social Science Research Council from 1946-1962, Beals undertook a study on its behalf of conditions in Latin American social science. In 1952. he carried out a project with Norman D. Humphrey for the Council's Committee on Cross-Cultural Education that involved an investigation of the experiences of Mexican students who were studying in the United States. He also served the American Anthropological Association as a member of its executive council from 1947-1949, vice president in 1949, and president in 1950. In 1965, the AAA, concerned with the use of anthropologists by government security agencies, asked Beals to study the ethics involved in anthropological research and related problems that result from government and.
and other organizational affiliations. Beals's report, prepared with cooperation from many research scholars, became the basis for the work of the AAA's ethics committee.
Beals has had many other organizational ties and responsibilities. He served as technical advisor for the United States delegation to the First Inter-American Indianists Conference at Patzcuarol, Mexico, in 1939; chairman of the Cross-Cultural Education Committee of the Social Science Research council from 1953 to 1960; member of the executive committee of the Society for American Archaeology from 1954 to 1957; and president of the Southwest Anthropological Association in 1958. He also served on several other committees and had editorial duties with the Handbook of Latin American Studies, American Anthropologist, adnNotes on Latin American Studies. He has been honored with several honorary professorhsips at Latin American universities.

Administration
Author
Alyce A. Mears
Processing Information
Arrangement of the collection was begun in 1980 and completed in 1981. The complete folder listing was produced in 2003. Materials from the study of kinship relationships undertaken by Beals' students during his residency as visiting professor at the University of Buenos Aires have not been processed. Material regarding miscellaneous research grants, proposals, etc., submitted by Beals or proposed to him by others is also unprocessed.
Processing Information
Encoded by Elizabeth Bauerle, December 2011

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The Ralph Leon Beals papers are open for research. At Ralph Beals' request, his 1930-1933 correspondence were restricted until 2000. These include letters to and from his wife while he was in the field, several letters to his children, and one letter to his mother-in-law. Beals supplied edited copies of the restricted letters for public access. The restrictions have since been lifted, and the edited copies have been retained with the original letters. His field assistants' materials have been restricted for the lifetime of the creators.
Access to the Ralph Leon Beals papers requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation
Ralph Leon Beals papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.

More Information

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Hick's Camp (California) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Argentina Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anthropology -- Applied anthropology Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Markets Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mixe Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cora Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Quechua Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yoeme (Yaqui) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wixarika (Huichol) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maidu Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Acta Americana Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yoreme (Mayo) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Indian -- California Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tarascan (archaeological culture) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nisenan Indians Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America -- California Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peru Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mexican Americans Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America -- Southwest, New Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mexico Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rubin de la Borbolla, Daniel F. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Strong, William Duncan, 1899-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Young, Donald R. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Laguna, Frederica, 1906-2004 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Boggs, Stephen Taylor Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hugg, Lee Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Woodbury, Richard B. (Richard Benjamin), 1917-2009 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kennedy, George Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horowitz, Irving Louis Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barney, R. A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Caso, Alfonso, 1896-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Goldschmidt, Walter, 1913-2010 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kerr, Clark Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nutini, Hugo Gino Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shevky, Eshrev Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lowie, Robert Harry, 1883-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wheeler-Voegelin, Erminie, 1903-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Epling, Carl Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Broom, Leonard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Frantz, Charles Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Warner, William Lloyd Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bacon, Elizabeth Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Depouy, Walter Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Opler, Marvin K. (Marvin Kaufmann), 1914-1981 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Anthropological Association -- ethics Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lessa, William Armand Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, M. Brewster Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dixon, Keith A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Murdock, George Peter, 1897-1985 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kirchhoff, Paul Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
DuBois, Cora Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morton, Perry W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cassady, Ralph C. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Social Science Research Council. Committee on Cross-Cultural Education Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Humphrey, Norman D. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McCown, T. C. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Inter-American Society of Anthropology and Geography Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sproul, Robert G. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hare, Peter Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hoijer, Harry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zeitlin, Jacob Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steward, Julian Haynes, 1902-1972 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Halpern, Abraham Meyer Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hammond, Peter Boyd Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnson, Virginia R. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spier, Leslie, 1893-1961 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of California, Los Angeles. Department of Anthropology and Sociology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Strauss, Louise Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Castenada, Carlos Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Parsons, Elsie Worthington Clews, 1874-1941 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kroeber, A. L. (Alfred Louis), 1876-1960 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brand, Donald Dilworth Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hester, Joseph Aaron, Jr. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746
naa@si.edu
http://www.anthropology.si.edu/naa/