Guide to the Carleton Stevens Coon papers, 1906-1982

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.1985-02
Creators:
Coon, Carleton S. (Carleton Stevens), 1904-1981
Dates:
1906-1982
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
101.69 Linear feet
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
These records concern the professional activities of Carleton S. Coon (1904-1981). Coon is well-known as an anthropologist, archaeologist, and writer. In the 1920's, when he began his career, the field of anthropology was not as specialized as it later became. As with many of the professionals in anthropology, Coon became proficient at physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology. Knowledge and experience in these areas were all tied together by his special interest in the subject of race and the evolution of man.
Coon was particularly interested in the people of the Arab world (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco, etc.). He became fluent in the Arab language and made many trips to that part of the world, both as an anthropologist and, during World War II, as a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
This collection reflects Coon's spectrum of interest. There are original anthropometric records and photographs concerning virtually every race and nationality. In this collection is also a considerable amount of material regarding Coon's many publications, (e.g., notes, drafts, photographs, correspondence), particularly the publications which dealt with race and anthropology (see attached list of Coon's major publications). The correspondence series is almost entirely professional, but there is a small amount of personal correspondence.
The collection contains the following series: Correspondence, 7.14 linear feet (5.25 ft. chronological and 1.89 ft. topical); Anthropometric Data, 11.1 linear feet (5.1 ft. original data and 6 ft. data from published sources); Subject Files, 9.46 linear feet (5.46 ft. legal-sized papers and 4 ft. index cards); Publications, 17.73 linear feet; and Photographs, 53.74 linear feet.
For the first half of his career (1927-1948), Carleton Coon was affiliated with his alma mater, Harvard. In 1948, Coon accepted a dual appointment with the University of Pennsylvania as Professor of Anthropology and Curator of Ethnology at the University Museum, from which he retired in 1963. Some of the records in this collection seem to have been acquired from the university, particularly the photographs credited to the University Museum. The bulk of the material in this collection concerns Coon's years as an active staff member of Harvard and then U. of P., (1927-1963), but there are some records preceding that period, and others which continue virtually up to his death in 1981.
Some records of Carleton Coon have been retained by the family.
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
The collection is arranged in 5 series: (1) Correspondence, 1906-1979; (2) Anthropometric Data; (3) Subject Files, 1920-circa 1978; (4) Publications, 1939-1980; and (5) Photographs.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Carleton S. Coon Chronology
June 23, 1904
Born in Wakefield, Massachusetts .
1921
Graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusettes.
1925
A.B., Harvard University.
1926
Married Mary Goodale.
1925
Morocco: Sheldon Travel Fellowship (Harvard).
1926-1928
Harvard expeditions to Morocco.
1928
Ph.D., M.A. in Anthropology, Harvard University.
1927-1948
Harvard Faculty, from Instructor to Professor [absent 1942-1945 for war service].
1929-1930
Harvard expedition to North Albania.
1933
Russia.
1933-1934
Peabody Museum expedition - Ethiopia and Yemen.
1936-1948
Asst. Curator, Peabody Museum at Harvard.
1939
Morocco (discovered "Aterian" fossil man).
1942
Membre D'Honneur, Association la Liberation of Francaise.
1942-1946
Military service, including: 1942-1945 OSS.
1942-1943
Special Assistant to American Legation, Tangier, Morocco; travels in North Africa.
1943-1944
North Africa: Tunisia, Bari; South Europe: Corsica.
1944
Divorced by Mary Goodale Coon.
1945
Married Lisa Dougherty Geddes.
1945
Decorated Legion of Merit.
1947
Morocco.
1948-1949
Member, Social Science Research Council.
1948-1963
Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.
1948-1963
Curator of Ethnology, University Museum, University of Pennsylvania.
1948-1949
University Museum expedition to Iraq and Iran.
1949-1964
Panelist, "What in the World" TV show.
1951
Excavated 5 cave sites in Iran -- discovered Hotu man.
1951
Wenner-Gren Foundation medalist.
1951-1952
Saudi Arabia, Consultant to Arab-American Oil Co.
1952
Viking Medal in Physical Anthropology.
1954
Afghanistan (including Kara Kamar rock shelter) and Syria, Jordan, and Iran; Australia.
1955
Syria - cave near Palmyra; South and Central Africa.
1955
Member, National Academy of Sciences.
1956-1957
Trip around the world for USAF; especially India and Japan.
1956-1966
Consultant, Scott Foresman & Co.
1958-1963
Member, Committee on Education, National Science Foundation (NSF).
1959
Alakaluf Indians, Chile.
1961-1964
Committee on Science Personnel, NSF.
1962
Gold Medal, Philadelphia Athenaeum.
1962-1963
President, American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
1962-1963
Morocco: discovered Jebel Ighoud Man #2.
1963
Retired from University of Pennsylvania/University Museum and moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts.
1963-1981
Res. Curator of Anthropology, University Museum, Philadelphia.
1964
Russia.
1965
Yengma Cave excavation, Sierra Leone; and Ghana, Nigeria.
1966
Cameroon, Tibesti, Acacus.
1966-1967
Chad and Libya: Saharan Rock Painting expedition; "Archaeology" TV show.
1966-1981
Hon. Curator of Anthropology, Peabody Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.
1972
Travels in Asia, especially India.
1972
Gold Medal, Harvard Travelers Club.
June 3, 1981
Died at his home in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Administration
Author
Kathleen T. Baxter
Processing Information
Processed by Kathleen T. Baxter, 1993.
Revised by NAA Staff, November 2001.
Encoded by Zac Greenfield, May 2018.
Portions of the collection are unprocessed. Contact the repository for more information.

Carleton S. Coon, Major Publications
Carleton S. Coon, Major Publications
1931 Tribes of the Rif.
1932 Flesh of the Wild Ox.
1933 The Riffian.
1935 Measuring Ethiopia and Flight into Arabia.
1939 The Races of Europe.
1942 Principles of Anthropology (w/ E.D. Chapple).
1948 A Reader in General Anthropology.
1950 The Mountains of Giants.
1950 Races (w/ J.B. Birdsell and S.M. Garn).
1951 Cave Explorations in Iran, 1949.
1951 Caravan.
1954 The Story of Man.
1957 The Seven Caves.
1958 Faces of Asia.
1962 Origin of Races.
1963 Anthropology A to Z (w/ E.E. Hunt).
1965 The Living Races of Man.
1968 Yengema Cave Report.
1971 The Hunting Peoples.
1976 A Reader in Cultural Anthropology.
1980 A North Africa Story.
1981 Adventures and Discoveries (autobiography).
1982 Racial Adaptations (published posthumously).

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
The Carleton S. Coon Papers are open for research.
Access to the Carleton S. Coon Papers requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation
Carleton Stevens Coon Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

More Information

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