National Anthropological Archives

Guide to the Conrad Copeland Reining papers, 1950-1982

Collection ID:
Reining, Conrad C.
Physical Description:
15 Linear feet

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of correspondence, subject files, teaching materials, photographs, and other materials documenting Reining's study of the Azande and Eastern Europeans.
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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today.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.

The collection is arranged into 8 series: (1) Correspondence, 1950-1982; (2) subject file; (3) material concerning Africa generally; (4) material concerning the Azande; (5) material concerning eastern Europe; (6) teaching material; (7) photographs; (8) miscellany.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Conrad Copeland Reining (born Conrad Reining) was trained in German and Public Speech at Akron University (BA, 1940), in social service administration at the University of Chicago, and in social anthropology at Oxford University. At the latter institution, where his studies were directed by E.E. Evans-Pritchard, Reining received a diploma in 1951, a BLitt in 1952, and a PhD in 1959.
Reining claimed that a vacations to the Red Lake Indian Reservation in 1947 and 1950 brought about his interest in anthropology as a career. In addition, undoubtedly, his marriage to anthropologist Priscilla Copeland in 1944 affected the course of his life and he apparently shared her interest in the Haya of Tanzania. His dissertation for the BLitt degree was a study of British applied anthropology in an effort to determine the distinction between applied and basic, or academic, anthropology. This research was carried on mainly with traditional historical sources. His main field work took place in 1951-1953 when he studied the Azande of the Sudan in connection with a colonial economic project involving cotton production. In 1966, Reining returned to his study of British applied anthropology. In 1974, he traveled to Hungary to study the rural German minority there, and in 1978, he carried out a related study in Romania. His interest in Europe centered on the persistence of the ethnic identity of minority and the interactive effects of economic organization and the values and social organization of such groups.
Reining became an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota in 1956 and an associate professor in the Foreign Area Studies Division at the American University in Washington, D.C. In 1960, he became the head of the African Division at the Library of Congress and, in connection with his bibliographic work, he traveled extensively in Africa. In 1966, he joined the Department of Anthropology of the Catholic University of America. In 1970, Reining was chairman of a workshop on anthropology and the media. In 1972-1974, he was co-editor of the newsletter Medical Anthropology. In 1968, he served as president of the Anthropological Society of Washington; in 1969, as the secretary of the American Anthropological Association, and in 1976, as the first president of the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Received from Priscilla Reining in 1991, Robert Reining in 2008, and Kathryn Ryner in 2015.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The Conrad Copeland Reining papers are open for research. Some materials may be restricted for privacy reasons.
Access to the Conrad Copeland Reining papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Preferred Citation
Conrad Copeland Reining papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
The National Anthropological Archives holds the Priscilla Reining papers.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Zande (African people) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sudan Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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