Virginia Drew Watson papers, 1930-2001

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.2002-12
Creators:
Watson, Virginia
Watson, James B. (James Bennett), 1918-2009
Cole, J. David, 1941-
Dates:
1930-2001
Languages:
Multiple languages
Collection is primarily in English. Some materials are in Portuguese or German.
Physical Description:
8.13 Linear feet
20 boxes
Repository:
Virginia Drew Watson was a cultural anthropologist best known for her work in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Her papers attest to a variety of interests related to culture and culture change, drawing on resources both archaeological and ethnographic. This collection contains catalogs, correspondence, drawings, field notes, grant proposals, manuscripts, maps, photographs, publications, reports, and slides. The majority of the field work relates to her work in Papua New Guinea, both with her husband (James B. Watson) and with J. David Cole, but there are also materials related to her work in Brazil.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Virginia Drew Watson papers attest to a variety of interests related to culture and culture change, drawing on resources both archaeological and ethnographic. Her work could be conveniently separated into four areas: Brazil, Plains and Caddo Indians, Papua New Guinea ethnographic, and Papua New Guinea archaeology with Cole. This collection contains catalogs, correspondence, drawings, field notes, grant proposals, manuscripts, maps, photographs, publications, reports, and slides. Most of the correspondence is with colleagues doing related work in other museums or universities in the United States or Australia. A small part of the correspondence is with friends, including missionaries, who report relevant information of interest. The collection includes original field notes from Brazil, including notes from a lecture by Radcliffe-Brown in 1943. There are also original field notes from the Tairora, Agarabi, and Gadsup groups in Highland New Guinea. In addition, this collection includes a list of Watson's publications, a copy of most of them, and some reviews.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged in 5 series: (1) Correspondence, 1930s-2000; (2) Brazil, 1943-1955, 1966; (3) New Guinea, 1949-2000; (4) Manuscripts, 1939-2001; (5) Books/Monographs, 1942-1977, 1997; (6) Slides of PEHNG Archeological Sites, 1965-1973, undated

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Virginia Drew Watson was born on June 17, 1918, in Tomah, Wisconsin. Her undergraduate work was completed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a PhB in Sociology (1940). She conducted graduate work for both AM (1943) and PhD (1965) degrees at the University of Chicago. She was a Fellow of both the American Anthropological Association and the Royal Anthropological Institute.
Virginia Watson's early work was in archaeology, but later she pursued both archaeology and socio-cultural anthropology. She married James B. Watson, a cultural anthropologist, in 1943. During that year they went to Brazil, where Virginia Watson's work was primarily ethnographic among the Cayua Indians of Mato Grosso. On the trip returning from the field to Sao Paulo the Watsons stopped at the archaeological site of Ciudad Real del Guayra. From 1944 to 1945 Watson worked in the Cultural Relations Department of the American Consulate General in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Watsons made two trips to the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The first, 1954-1955, was funded by the Ford Foundation. Watson focused on socio-cultural aspects of the Tairora and Agarabi groups, and her work resulted in the 1965 publication of her dissertation, "Agarabi Female Roles and Family Structure, a study of socio-cultural change." The Watsons' second Papua New Guinea trip was in 1963-1964. It was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and focused on the Tairora and Gadsup groups. For Virginia Watson, the second trip was partly connected to archaeological work previously carried out by J. David Cole. Due to illness, he was unable to analyze the mass of material (25,000 objects) that he had collected. Watson analyzed the material and produced publications, one of which was in collaboration with Cole.
Virginia Watson often held one or more part-time positions. As a graduate student in 1942, she was a part-time Lecturer in the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. On returning from Brazil, the Watsons moved to Oklahoma University in Norman for one year. There, Watson supervised archeology students in sorting and putting in order the university collection of artifacts as well as directing them in the field. From 1948 to 1953 Watson was a Lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and she also directed students in field work. During the St. Louis years the Watsons spent two summers studying the Anglo-Spanish community in Colorado. From 1957 to 1963 she was a Lecturer at Seattle University and from 1961 to 1971 she was also an Occasional Lecturer at the University of Washington, Seattle. From 1969 to 1989 Watson held the position of Affiliate Curator at the Burke Museum, University of Washington. After she retired, Virginia Watson spent her winters in Florida and her summers in Boulder, Colorado.
Virginia Watson died in 2007.
Sources Consulted
Watson, Virgina Drew. "Curriculum vitae, 2001, For National Anthropological Archives." Virginia Drew Watson papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
"James Watson III."
Bangor Daily News
, December 10, 2009.
Chronology
1918
Born on June 17 in Tomah, Wisconsin
1940
Earned PhB in Sociology from University of Wisconsin-Madison
1942
Lecturer in archaeology at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
1943
Earned AM from University of Chicago
Married James B. Watson
Field research of the Cayua Indians, Mato Grosso, Brazil
1944-1945
Worked in the Cultural Relations Department of the American Consulate General in Sao Paulo, Brazil
1947
Special Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, Norman
1948-1953
Lecturer in anthropology and archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis
1949-1950
Field research of the Anglo-Spanish community, Del Norte, Colorado
1953-1955
First field research trip to the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea
1957-1963
Lecturer in anthropology at Seattle University
1961-1971
Lecturer in anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle
1963-1964
Second field research trip to the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea
1965
Earned PhD from the University of Chicago
Published dissertation: "Agarabi Female Roles and Family Structure, a study of socio-cultural change"
1969-1989
Affiliate Curator of Melanesian Archaeology at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington
2007
Died

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Laura Lathrop, 2003.
Encoded by NAA Staff.
Author
Laura Lathrop
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Virginia Drew Watson donated her papers to the National Anthropological Archives in 2002.

Selected Bibliography
Selected Bibliography
1950.
The Wulfing plates, products of prehistoric Americans
. Vol. 8
Washington University Studies. New Series. Social and philosophical sciences
. St. Louis: Washington University Press, 1950.
1950. "The Optima Focus of the Panhandle Aspect: description and analysis."
Bulletin of the Texas Archeological and Paleontological Society
, 21 (1950): 7-68.
1955. "Pottery in the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea."
Southwestern Journal of Anthropology
, 11 (1955): 121-128.
1965. "Agarabi Female Roles and Family Structure: A Study in Sociocultural Change." PhD diss., University of Chicago, 1965.
1972. With James B. Watson.
Batainabura of New Guinea
. New Haven: Human Relations Area Files, 1972.
1977. With J. David Cole.
Prehistory of the eastern highlands of New Guinea
. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1977.
1997.
Anyan's Story: A New Guinea Woman in Two Worlds
. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
The Virginia Drew Watson papers are open for research.
Access to the Virginia Drew Watson papers requires and appointment.
Preferred Citation
Virginia Drew Watson papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
The National Anthropological Archives also has the papers of Virginia D. Watson's husband, James Bennett Watson.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Brazil Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Papua New Guinea Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mato Grosso (Brazil : State) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ethnology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Papua New Guinea -- Social life and customs Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Archaeology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Papua New Guinea -- Antiquities Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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