- Collection ID:
Thomas, Winifred Smeaton, 1903-1987
Collection is primarily in
. A driving license and one published book are in
- Physical Description:
Winifred Smeaton Thomas (1903-1987) was an anthropologist whose main focus was the Near and Middle East, particularly Iraq where she lived from 1932 to 1935. Her papers largely document her time in Iraq and include her work on the Field Museum Anthropological Expedition in 1934, writings about her time in Iraq, and her doctoral studies at University of Chicago. The collection includes writings and publications, correspondence, field diaries, photographs, passports, and notes from Thomas's time as a doctoral student and later as a professor.
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Winifred Smeaton Thomas papers comprise professional and research materials of Winifred Smeaton Thomas, in particular documenting her time in Iraq, 1932-1935. The collection includes writings, publications, correspondence, field diaries, photographs, passports, and class notes from Thomas's time as a student and later as a professor. It includes Thomas's photographs, writings, and research from the Field Museum Anthropological Expedition in 1934 and her time with the Jawdat family in Baghdad. There are also materials related to Thomas's doctoral training at University of Chicago, teaching materials from her time as a professor at Stevens College and University of Missouri, and some correspondence from her time with U.S. Military Intelligence during World War II.
This collection is arranged into 4 series: (1) Writings and professional activities, 1927-1968; (2) Passports and Iraq driving license, 1932-1986; (3) Iraq field notes, 1932-1935; (4) Photographs, 1932-1974.
Winifred Smeaton Thomas (1903-1987) was an anthropologist whose main focus was the Near and Middle East, particularly Iraq where she lived from 1932 to 1935. Born April 21, 1903 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thomas attended Stanford University for some time before earning a B.A. (1924) and M.A. (1927) from the University of Michigan. In 1932, she traveled to Baghdad, Iraq, where she lived with the family of Ali Jawdat. Thomas conducted anthropological fieldwork throughout her time in Iraq; her studies on women were later published in New Orient (1936) and her studies on tattooing were later published in the American Anthropologist (1937). In 1934, Thomas took part in the Field Museum Anthropological Expedition, which traversed the country to collect anthropometric and other data on various ethnic groups in and around Iraq. Also in 1934 and 1935, she taught an English class at the Central High School for Girls in Baghdad. Thomas earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1940. From 1943 to 1945, she worked as a Research Analyst for the U.S. War Department, Military Intelligence Division. Thomas taught a World Literature class at Stevens College (1952-1953) and was Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Missouri (1960-1962). From 1954 to 1967 she served as Associate Editor of Archeology magazine, published by the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). Thomas died May 18, 1987.
For the most part, original organization of the collection's first series has been maintained and original folder titles used where applicable. Duplicate copies of Thomas's reprinted articles as well as a copy negative of WST.626 have been removed from the collection.
Processed and encoded by Sarah Ganderup, 2015.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Winifred Smeaton Thomas's husband, Homer Leonard Thomas, in 1996.
- 1936 "Women in Present-Day Iraq." New Orient: 22-30.
- 1937 "Tattooing Among the Arabs of Iraq." American Anthropologist 39(1): 53-61.
- 1940 "Individuals measured in Royal Hospital, Baghdad." Appendix E in The Anthropology of Iraq, Part I, Number 1. By Henry Field. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, Anthropology Series.
- 1949 "Anthropometric Data from an Nasirya Liwa." In The Anthropology of Iraq, Part I, Number 2, The Lower-Euphrates-Tigris Region. By Henry Field. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, Anthropological Series.
- 1956 "Anthropometric Data." Appendix B in Ancient and Modern Man in Southwestern Asia. By Henry Field. Coral Gables: University of Miami Press.
- 1958 "Glossary (of Tattoing Terms from Iraq)." Appendix B in Body-Marking in Southwestern Asia. By Henry Field. Cambridge: Peabody Museum.
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Conditions Governing Access
The Winifred Smeaton Thomas papers is open for research.
Original nitrate negatives are in cold storage and require special arrangements for viewing.
Winifred Smeaton Thomas papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746