National Anthropological Archives

Guide to the Irving Goldman papers, 1928-1999 (bulk 1934-1994)

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.2003-11
Creators:
Goldman, Irving, 1911-2002
Dates:
1928-1999
bulk 1934-1994
Languages:
Collection is in
English
,
Spanish
,
Cubeo
,
Tzotzil
,
Carrier
,
Bella Coola
,
Shuswap
, and
Modoc
.
Physical Description:
27 Sound recordings
9.3 Linear feet
26 boxes
Repository:
Irving Goldman (1911-2002) was an anthropologist who conducted research among the Modoc Indians in California, the Ulkatcho Carrier of British Columbia, and the Cubeo Indians in the Vaupes region of the Northwest Amazon. The focus of the collection is Goldman's field research on the Cubeo. The collection also includes some materials relating to his work on the Modoc, the Ulkatcho Carrier, Polynesians, and Tzotzil of Chamula Indians of Chiapas, Mexico. Other materials in the collection include his professional and personal correspondence and his writings. Another important part of this collection is from his personal materials. Goldman was a Communist from 1936-1942, and in 1953 was brought before the Jenner Committee. The file Goldman kept of this investigation includes a transcript of his appearance in front of the Committee, as well as many newspaper clippings.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The focus of the collection is Irving Goldman's field research on the Cubeo Indians of Vaupes, Colombia. In addition to documentation from multiple trips to Cubeo, the collection also includes some materials relating to his work on the Modoc, the Ulkatcho Carrier, Polynesians, and Tzotzil of Chamula Indians of Chiapas, Mexico. The Cubeo materials include field notes, research notes, questionnaires and photographs that Goldman used in his publications, which include The Cubeo: Indians of the Northwest Amazon and Hehenewa of the Cuduiari: An Introduction to Cubean Religious Thought, which was published posthumously as Cubeo Hehenewa Religious Thought: Metaphysics of a Northwestern Amazonian People. Additional materials from his Cubeo research are 26 field recordings of music, interviews, and dances. Also in the collection is a sound recording relating to the Kwakiutl Indians. The work on Polynesia for his publication "Ancient Polynesian Society" consist of his reading notes. His Ulkatcho Carrier notes contain language material from his field research among the Ulkatcho, Nazko, and Quesnel, three Carrier bands in the Blackwater dialect group. His notes from his research in Chiapas contain ethnographic and linguistic notes on what appears to be Tzotzil. The Modoc materials also contain ethnographic and linguistic notes.
The correspondence in the collection is a mix of professional and personal. This includes correspondence from former students and recommendations he wrote for them. In the writing series are notes and edits of chapters and manuscripts for his books, as well as articles that Goldman wrote and a couple of speeches he gave. The collection includes many photographs, most of which do not have descriptions of locations. The identified photographs include images from Vaupes and Chiapas, Mexico. There is one folder that includes some photographs of the Modoc and another that contains pictures from the British Columbia Ulkatcho.
Another important part of this collection is a file on the Jenner Committee's investigation of Goldman and a transcript of his testimony in front of the committee, as well as many newspaper clippings.
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 7 series: (1) Professional Correspondence, 1951-1999; (2) Field Research, 1935-40, 1955-90, undated [Bulk 1970-1985, undated]; (3) Writings, 1941-45, 1958-94 [Bulk 1968-85]; (4) Conferences, 1975-1976; (5) Personal Material, 1928-1977 [Bulk 1943-1958]; (6) Photographs, Undated, 1934, 1948-40, 1948, 1955, 1962-79 [Bulk 1978-1979]; (7) Microfilm, undated; (8) Sound recordings, 1968-70, 1986, undated.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Irving Goldman was born September 2, 1911 in Brooklyn, New York to Louis and Golda Goldman, immigrants from Russia. Goldman graduated from Brooklyn College in 1933, and continued from there to Columbia University for graduate work, where he studied under Franz Boas. In 1936, he joined the American Communist Party, but left the party in 1942.
As a graduate student, Goldman conducted research among the Modoc Indians in California (1934) and the Cubeo in the Vaupes region of the Northwest Amazon (1939). For his graduate work at Columbia, he focused on the Ulkatcho Carrier of British Columbia, which he researched from 1935-36. His thesis, "The Alkatcho Carrier of British Columbia" was published in Acculturation in Seven American Indian Tribes (1940). Goldman received his Ph.D. in 1941.
Goldman began World War II as a Research Analyst for the Coordinator of InterAmerican Affairs (1942-43). He was reassigned to the Office of Strategic Services, where he was a 2nd Lieutenant (1943-1945). In 1945 he was transferred to the U.S. Department of State, where he was the Chief of Branch for the Office of Research and Analysis, until he was released in 1947 as a security risk due to his earlier involvement with communism.
Goldman taught at Sarah Lawrence from 1947 until 1981, where he also served on many faculty committees, as well as their Board of Trustees. During this time, Goldman also continued his anthropological research. He spent 1955 in Chiapas, Mexico, studying Tzotzil of Chamula Indians. He also did library research on Polynesia, which led to his book Ancient Polynesian Society (1970), a key work in anthropological thought. During his time at Sarah Lawrence College, Goldman also published two other significant books: The Cubeo: Indians of the Northwest Amazon (1963) and The Mouth of Heaven: An Introduction to Kwakiutl Religious Thought (1975). In 1968, he returned to the Cubeo, continuing his research there into the early 1980s. His wife, Hannah, who died in 1986, traveled occasionally with him. From 1980 to 1987, Goldman taught at the New School for Social Research in New York City.
During the McCarthy era, in 1953, Goldman was forced to testify before the Jenner Senate Committee, which investigated connections between academics and communism. While Goldman admitted to having been a part of the party, he took his First Amendment right to avoid naming others who he knew had been members. This was a risky and rare tactic; however it had a positive outcome for him, as Sarah Lawrence College, where Goldman was teaching at the time, decided not to fire him since he had spoken his conscious and no more.
Goldman died April 7, 2002. Goldman's peers considered him to have "insightful analyses that were often ahead of his time" (Rubel 2003) and to have had "the courage to tackle big problems in the realm of comparative research." (Rubel 2003) His final manuscript was published posthumously as Cubeo Henewa Religious Thought: Metaphysics of a Northwestern Amazonian People (2004).
Sources Consulted
Rubel, Paul and Abraham Rosman. 2003. Irving Goldman (1911-2002). American Anthropologist 105:4.
Shenn, Jody. 2002. Remembering Irving Goldman. News and Events at Sarah Lawrence.
Schildkrout, Enid, and Irving Goldman. 1989. A Conversation with Irving Goldman. American Ethnologist 16:3.
1911
Born April 18 in New York, New York.
1933
Earns B.S. from Brooklyn College.
1934
Fieldwork on Modoc Indians, California.
1935-1936
Fieldwork on Ulkatcho Carrier Indians, British Columbia.
1939-1940
First fieldwork on Cubeo Indians, Vaupes, Colombia.
1941
Earns Ph.D. from Columbia University.
1942
Research Analyst on Latin America for the Coordinator of InterAmerican Affairs.
1943-1945
2nd Lieutenant for the Office of Strategic Services.
1945-1947
Chief of Branch for the Office of Research and Analysis for the United States State Department.
1947
Left State Department; began to teach at Sarah Lawrence College.
1953
Investigated by the Jenner Committee for his communist connections.
1955
Fieldwork on Tzotzil of Chamula Indians, Chiapas, Mexico.
1968-1980
Goldman continuously returned to Vaupes, Colombia to study the Cubeo.
1980
Began to teach at the New School for Social Research.
1981
Retired from Sarah Lawrence College.
1987
Retired from the New School for Social Research.
2002
Died April 7, 2002 in Brooklyn, New York.

Administration
Author
Mary Crauderueff
Processing Information
The papers of Irving Goldman were received partially organized. The processing archivist kept existing grouping and arrangement and organized the collection into seven series. Original folder titles were retained with titles assigned by the archivist placed within square brackets. Lucy Thomason provided information about the linguistic material in the collection.
Processed by Mary Crauderueff, July 2008.
Encoded by Catherine Carbone, April 2013.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Sonya Shenn of the Department of Anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2002. An unidentified 8mm film in the collection was transferred to the Human Studies Film Archives in 2007 (HSFA 2008.04)

Selected Bibliography
Selected Bibliography
1963. The Cubeo: Indians of the Northwest Amazon. Urbana: The University of Illinois Press.
1970. Ancient Polynesian Society. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
1975. The Mouth of Heaven: An Introduction to Kwakiutl Religious Thought. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
2004. Cubeo Hehenewa Religious Thought: Metaphysics of a Northwestern Amazonian People. New York: Columbia University Press.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
Access to the Irving Goldman papers requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation
Irving Goldman papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
Materials at the NAA relating to Irving Goldman's involvement with the Handbook of South American Indians can be found in Manuscript 4846 and the Handbook of South American Indians records, 1934-47.

More Information

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Vaupés (Colombia) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cubeo language Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Carrier language Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bella Coola language Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shuswap Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Modoc Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cubeo (Kobeua) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Language and languages -- Documentation Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Linguistics Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tzotzil Maya Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nuxalk (Bellacoola) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field notes Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tzotzil language Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Modoc language Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shuswap language Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chiapas (Mexico) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakelh (Carrier) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ethnology Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
British Columbia Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color slides -- 1960-1990 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jenner Committee Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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