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Introduction to the Exhibit

The Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California, 1901-1960 : A Centennial Exhibit tells a story of key personalities and events driving the establishment and development of anthropology in its first sixty years at the University of California. The exhibit draws on the extensive collection of records, documents, and images held by The Bancroft Library. A special feature of the online exhibit are several audio and film clips generously provided by the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. All items in the exhibit are from Bancroft collections except as noted.

We have drawn a narrow perimeter around a very large subject. The intent is not to record a complete history but to indicate the significance of developments in anthropology in California and at the University over the last century as revealed in Bancroft’s collections, and to suggest the richness of those collections for historical research.

The exhibit is organized as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Historical Overview by Ira Jacknis
  3. Founders and their Visions, 1901
  4. Establishing the Department, 1901
  5. Research
  6. Curriculum, Collections, Facilities, and Staff
  7. Departmental Publications
  8. Selected Images from the Honeyman Collection
  9. Catalog of the Exhibit

The exhibit’s timeframe aligns precisely with Alfred L. Kroeber’s tenure at the University, and one might assume a major focus to be the great man’s contributions to the Department and the discipline at large. While such a tribute would be justified, the scope of the present exhibit is broader and more general. However lengthy Kroeber’s shadow, this is not just his story or his program in any absolute sense.

We selected 1960 as the exhibit’s terminal date because in that year the Department realized a long-deferred dream: a permanent building in Berkeley (appropriately named Kroeber Hall) with laboratories, classrooms, library, museum and offices under one roof dedicated to a comprehensive program of cultural and physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics.

David Farrell and Kathleen L. Hull

Curators of the Exhibit

For further reference