Guide to the Conrad M. Arensberg papers, 1931-1997

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.2011-17
Creators:
Arensberg, Conrad M. (Conrad Maynadier), 1910-1997
Dates:
1931-1997
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
33.3 Linear feet
83 document boxes
Repository:
This collection contains the professional papers of Conrad M. Arensberg, anthropologist, university professor, and anthropological consultant. Included are correspondence; published and unpublished writings; research materials, including notes, correspondence, diaries, charts, drafts, interviews, research plans, reports, project proposals, and bibliographic cards; speeches; pamphlets; articles from newspapers and periodicals; course materials, including bibliographies, lecture notes, reading lists, assignments, exams, project proposals, and syllabi; curriculum vitae; date books; scholarly papers and publications of other scholars; and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection contains the professional papers of Conrad M. Arensberg, anthropologist, university professor, and anthropological consultant. Included are correspondence; published and unpublished writings; research materials, including notes, correspondence, diaries, charts, drafts, interviews, research plans, reports, project proposals, and bibliographic cards; speeches; pamphlets; articles from newspapers and periodicals; course materials, including bibliographies, lecture notes, reading lists, assignments, exams, project proposals, and syllabi; curriculum vitae; date books; scholarly papers and publications of other scholars; and photographs.
The materials in this collection document Arensberg's career as a university professor, his relationships with colleagues across a spectrum of disciplines, and his contributions to the field of anthropology. As a respected member of the anthropological community, Arensberg received a voluminous amount of correspondence from his peers, who often included copies of their most recent papers. He kept many of these works, which, along with his annotations, can be found throughout the collection. It appears he used these papers in a variety of ways, including as resources for his classes or as reference materials. Arensberg's own work is reflected in his writings and research files. Arensberg's Ireland research, despite its importance to his career and to the field of anthropology as a whole, has a minimal presence in the collection. Located in Series 3. Research Files, the subseries containing Arensberg's Ireland material primarily consists of photocopies of his correspondence, field notes, and diaries during this time. His role as a professor, rather than as a researcher or writer, is the most well-represented in the collection. Arensberg formed lasting relationships with many of his students, as evidenced by his continued correspondence with many of them long after their years at Columbia.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is organized into 8 series:
  • Series 1) Correspondence, 1933-1994
  • Series 2) Writings, 1936-1983
  • Series 3) Research files, 1931-1984
  • Series 4) Professional activities, 1933-1990
  • Series 5) Teaching files, 1938-1983
  • Series 6) Biographical files, 1946-1997
  • Series 7) Subject files, 1934-1979
  • Series 8) Photographs, undated

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Conrad M. Arensberg was born on September 12, 1910 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Academically inclined from a young age, he graduated first in his class at Shadyside Academy in Pittsburgh. His early success earned him admittance to Harvard College. Arensberg studied anthropology and graduated summa cum laude in 1931.
As a graduate student at Harvard University, Arensberg was asked to join a project being conducted in Ireland by Harvard's Anthropology Department. Alongside W. Lloyd Warner and Solon T. Kimball, Arensberg spent three years studying rural Irish life in County Clare. This research resulted in his doctoral dissertation, "A Study in Rural Life in Ireland as Determined by the Functions and Morphology of the Family," which was later published as
The Irish Countryman
in 1937. His work was groundbreaking in the field of anthropology, and his study of County Clare "became a model for other community studies... requiring that researchers study a target culture from the inside, making meticulous notes on everything they saw, heard or experienced." Arensberg reshaped the way that anthropologists approached fieldwork and opened doors for the study of modern industrial societies.
Arensberg had a long teaching career. He first became a university professor in 1938 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and remained a professor for the rest of his life, teaching at MIT, Brooklyn College, Barnard College, Columbia University, the University of Florida, and the University of Virginia. At Columbia, Arensberg worked alongside such notable anthropologists as Margaret Mead, Charles Wagley, and Marvin Harris.
Arensberg officially retired in 1979, but he continued to collaborate with his colleagues, counsel past students, and participate in professional associations until his death. He passed away on February 10, 1997 in Hazlet, New Jersey.
Sources Consulted
Comitas, Lambros. 2000. "Conrad Maynadier Arensberg (1910-1997)."
American Anthropologist
101(4): 810-813.
Curriculum Vitae—Amended Posthumously. Series 6. Biographical Files. Conrad M. Arensberg papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Thomas, Robert McG. Jr. 1997. "Conrad Arensberg, 86, Dies; Hands-On Anthropologist."
New York Times
, February 16: 51.
Chronology
1910 September 12
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1931
B.A. from Harvard College
1932-1934
Traveled to Ireland to study rural life in County Clare as part of the Harvard Irish Mission
1933-1936
Junior Fellow, The Society of Fellows, Harvard University
1933-1994
Member and Fellow, American Anthropological Association
1934
Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University
1937
Published
The Irish Countryman
, the result of his work in Ireland
1938-1940
Occasional consultant, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of American Ethnology
1938-1941
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1940
Founded (with others) the Society for Applied Anthropology
1941-1946
Associate Professor and Chairman, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Brooklyn College
1943-1946
Captain, Major, AUS, Military Intelligence Service
1946-1952
Associate Professor of Sociology, Chairman (until 1949) Department of Sociology, Barnard College, Columbia University
1951-1952
Research Director, UNESCO, Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany
1951-1952
Editor, Point Four Manual, American Anthropological Association
1952-1953
Associate Professor of Anthropology, The Graduate Faculty of Political Science, Columbia University
1953-1970
Professor of Anthropology, Chairman (1956-1959), Department of Anthropology, Columbia University
1962-1978
Co-Director (with Alan Lomax) of Columbia University's Cross-Cultural Surveys of Social Structure and Expressive Behavior
1970-1979
Buttenwieser Professor of Human Relations, Columbia University
1979-1997
Buttenwieser Professor Emeritus of Human Relations, Columbia University
1980
President, American Anthropological Association
1991
First recipient, "Conrad M. Arensberg Award" of the Society for the Anthropology of Work
1997 February 10
Died in Hazlet, New Jersey

Administration
Processing Information
The papers of Conrad M. Arensberg were prepared for deposit at the National Anthropological Archives by Vivian E. Garrison Arensberg. The papers arrived at the archives partially organized, with a general description of the contents written on the record storage boxes. Some of the materials were in labeled folders, but most were not. Original folder titles were retained. Folder titles assigned by the archivist are indicated by square brackets. Files have been rehoused in acid free folders. The archivist kept existing groupings and organized the collection into eight series. While the materials were organized into several natural series—correspondence, teaching materials, Eastern and Central Europe, and industrial relations files, several series—writings, biographical files, professional activities, and research files—were imposed by the archivist with the help of biographical information as well as Arensberg's curriculum vitae. These materials were scattered throughout the collection and had to be brought back together. Restricted materials were separated and replaced with notes indicating original and new locations.
Processed by Christy Fic, 2011. Finding aid originally encoded by Jocelyn Baltz, 2012 June. Finding aid updated and encoded by Katherine Madison, 2018 June.
Author
Christy Fic
Sponsor
The papers of Conrad M. Arensberg were processed with the assistance of a Wenner-Gren Foundation Historical Archives Program grant awarded to Vivian E. Garrison Arensberg.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Vivian E. Garrison Arensberg in 2011.

Selected Bibliography
Selected Bibliography
1937.
The Irish Countryman
. New York and London: Macmillan.
1940. With Solon T. Kimball.
Family and Community in Ireland
. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
1940. "Toward a 'Control System' for Industrial Relations."
Mechanical Engineering
62(5): 380-382.
1952. "Behavior and Organization: Industrial Studies." In
Social Psychology at the Crossroads
. John H. Rohrer and Muzafer Sherif, eds. pp. 324-352. New York: Harper.
1954. "The Community Study Method."
American Journal of Sociology
40(2): 109-124.
1955. "American Communities."
American Anthropologist
57(6): 1143-1162.
1957. With Geoffrey Tootell. "In-Plant Industrial Sociology." In
Common Frontiers of the Social Sciences
. Mirra Komarovsky, ed. pp. 310-337. Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press.
1957. "Anthropology as History." In
Trade and Markets in the Early Empires
. K. Polanyi, H. W. Pearson, and C. M. Arensberg, eds. pp. 97-113. Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press.
1961. "The Community as Object and as Sample."
American Anthropologist
63(2): 241-264.
1963. "The Old World Peoples: The Place of European Cultures in World Ethnography."
Anthropological Quarterly
36(3): 75-99.
1965. With Solon T. Kimball.
Culture and Community
. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.
1967. "Upgrading Peasant Agriculture: Is Tradition the Snag?"
Columbia Journal of World Business
2(1): 63-69.
1968. With Solon T. Kimball. "Community Study: Retrospect and Prospect."
American Journal of Sociology
73(6): 691-705.
1972. "Culture as Behavior: Structure and Emergence." In
Annual Review of Anthropology,
Vol. 1. Bernard Sigel et al, eds. pp. 1-26. Palo Alto, California: Annual Reviews.
1976. With Vivian E. Garrison. "The Evil Eye: Envy or Risk of Seizure? Paranoia or Patronal Dependency?" In
The Evil Eye
. Clarence C. Maloney, ed. pp.286-328. New York: Columbia University Press.
1981. With Arthur Iberall and Harry Soodak. "Homeokinetic Physics of Societies—A New Discipline: Autonomous Groups, Cultures, Polities." In
Perspectives of Biomechanics
. H. Reul, D. N. Ghista, and G. Rau, eds. pp. 433-519. New York: Harwood Academic Publishers.
1981. "Cultural Holism through Interactional Systems: Presidential Address for 1980."
American Anthropologist
83(3): 562-581.
1982. "Generalizing Anthropology: The Recovery of Holism." In
Crisis in Anthropology: View from Spring Hill
. E. Adamson Hoebel, ed. pp. 109-130. New York: Garland Publishing.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The Conrad M. Arensberg papers are open for research.
Files containing Arensberg's students' grades have been restricted, as have his students' and colleagues' grant and fellowships applications. For preservation reasons, the computer disk containing digital correspondence files from Joel Halpern is restricted.
Access to the Conrad M. Arensberg papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Preferred Citation
Conrad M. Arensberg papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
Arensberg is listed as a correspondent in the following collections at the Smithsonian Institution's National Anthropological Archives: John Lawrence Angel papers; Papers of Carleton Stevens Coon; Ethel Cutler Freeman papers; Frederica de Laguna papers; Ruth Landes papers; William Duncan Strong papers.
For oral history interviews with Arensberg, see the following collections:
-The Smithsonian Institution's Human Studies Film Archives "Video Dialogues in Anthropology: Conrad Arensberg and Lambros Comitas, 1989." In this video oral history conducted by anthropologist Lambros Comitas, Arensberg comments on his training in anthropology, the individuals who were influential in his career, and the geographical areas where he conducted his fieldwork.
-The National Anthropological Archives Manuscript (MS) 2009-15. May Mayko Ebihara conducted this oral history interview with Arensberg on March 7, 1984 as part of a larger oral history project with anthropologists.
For more concerning Arensberg's work with interaction theory, see the Frederick L.W. Richardson papers at the National Anthropological Archives. Richardson worked closely with Eliot Chapple and Conrad Arensberg on theories concerning human interaction.
For correspondence and other information related to Arensberg's Ireland research, see: Solon Toothaker Kimball Papers, Special Collections, Teachers College, Columbia University; and Solon Toothaker Kimball Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.
Additional materials concerning Arensberg's research and personal life can be found among the papers of his wife, anthropologist Vivian "Kelly" Garrison. See the Vivian E. Garrison papers at the National Anthropological Archives.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Peasants Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Periodicals Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Management Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Irish Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lecture notes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ethnology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ethnic groups Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Family Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Urban policy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Social interaction Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Industrial relations Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Political anthropology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Linguistics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
India Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Syllabi Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Europe Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ireland Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field notes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Applied anthropology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Economic anthropology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Columbia University Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brooklyn College Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Harvard University Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Appell, George N. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beatty, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chapple, Eliot D. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Comitas, Lambros Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coon, Carleton S. (Carleton Stevens), 1904-1981 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Curry, Donald Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dillon, Wilton Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ehrich, Robert W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fried, Morton H. (Morton Herbert), 1923-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gamburd, Geraldine DeNering Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Garrison, Vivian, 1933-2013 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Goodell, Grace E. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Halpern, Joel Martin Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Haskell, Edward F. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Iberall, Arthur S. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kimball, Solon T. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landes, Ruth, 1908-1991 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lomax, Alan, 1915-2002 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mencher, Joan P., 1930- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Niehoff, Arthur H., 1921- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Richardson, Frederick L.W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steward, Julian Haynes, 1902-1972 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tax, Sol, 1907-1995 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tootell, Geoffrey M. B. (Geoffrey Matthew Bemis) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Warner, William Lloyd Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Whyte, William Foote, 1914-2000 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Winner, Irene Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zenner, Walter P. Personal Name 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/