National Anthropological Archives

Guide to the Frederick L. W. Richardson papers, circa 1930 - circa 1980

Collection ID:
Richardson, F. L. W. (Frederick Leopold William)
circa 1930 - circa 1980
Physical Description:
52.25 Linear feet

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Frederick L.W. Richardson was educated at Harvard University (B.S. in geology, 1931; Ph.D. in anthropology, 1941). During World War II, he served with the Board of Economic Warfare, Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, and Lend Lease Administration. His professional affiliations were with the Yale Labor-Management Center, Harvard School of Public Health, 1949-1954; University of Pittsburgh, 1962-1966; and the University of Virginia, 1966-1980. While at the two universities, he was on the faculty of their graduate business schools and also their departments of anthropology.Richardson was originally interested in the geological and geographical influences that shaped ancient cultures. With this in mind, he worked in Iraq in 1931-1934 on expeditions to Ur of the British Museum and University of Pennsylvania University Museum and at an Assyrian site of the University of Chicago Oriental Institute. In 1933, he surveyed ancient irrigations systems in southern Iraq. In 1934, he joined a Harvard expedition to Ireland. While at Harvard he studied with Elton Mayo, a psychologist, and Lloyd Warner. In 1938-1941, under their influence, he became involved in the Penncraft project in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, a project jointly sponsored by the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Department of Anthropology. In this, he worked closely with Eliot Chapple and Conrad Arensberg, who were developing new and revolutionary theories concerning human interaction. Under Chapple's direction, Richardson's wrote his dissertation, An Anthropological and Geographical Approach to a Resettlement Problem in the Pennsylvania Coal Region. This work also led Richardson to abandon his archaeological interest and became an industrial consultant focusing on human interaction and an anthropology teacher in business schools. Richardson worked on projects involving International Business Machines (IBM), the Ford Motor Company, Massachusetts General Hospital, New England Telephone Company, and the Raytheon Corporation.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
The bulk of the collection was received from Rebecca Broch Richardson in 1992 and 1994. Additional materials were received from the Tozzer Library at Harvard University in 2017.
Processing Information
The collection is unprocessed. Contact the repository for more information.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
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Access to the Frederick L. W. Richardson papers requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation
Frederick L. W. Richardson papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Use
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Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Applied anthropology Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Industrial relations Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Organizational behavior Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Society for Applied Anthropology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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