Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California   Seal of The University of California
Phoebe Apperson Hearst, et al., Suggestions for the organization of a Department of Anthropology, [Berkeley, September 1901] full transcription

Phoebe Apperson Hearst, et al.

Suggestions for the organization of a Department of Anthropology

[Berkeley, September 1901]

Presenting this proposal to the Regents in San Francisco three days after it was conceived at Pleasanton, Wheeler remarked,

“The work which Mrs. Hearst has been conducting under various heads, all looking toward the collection of materials illustrative of anthropology and of its subdivisions, is now offered by her ... free of all expense to the University.”

Although Wheeler credited the plan to Hearst, several of the founders clearly had a hand in preparing it. Boasís influence is evident in the focus on ethnological, linguistic, and mythological research. A map attached to the document indicated the first research priorities for Kroeber and Goddard.

The plan clearly reflects Hearstís intentions with regard to two important matters, instruction and the collections. It reads,

“While the Department is in its formative state, under the direction of the Committee, regular instruction will not be undertaken .... Instructors and Assistants ... shall carry on researches and from time to time give lectures relating to their researches....”

Regarding the priority of the collections, the plan states,

“...it was of the first importance that these collections ... should be brought together and recorded ... in a temporary fire-proof structure... and all persons seeing it, knowing that it was filled with objects of great value and interest, which could not be seen until properly arranged, would undoubtedly hasten the erection of a Museum building.”

This expectation was never met in Hearstís lifetime, and may well have weakened her interest in the University. From subsequent actions the authorities made clear they valued research and instructional programs much more highly than the collections perhaps, in part, because they found them easier to fund. A museum opened in Kroeber Hall in 1960, but a facility worthy of the distinguished collection founded by Hearst still remains an elusive dream.

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Phoebe Apperson Hearst, et al., Suggestions for the organization of a Department of Anthropology, [Berkeley, September 1901] Phoebe Apperson Hearst, et al., Suggestions for the organization of a Department of Anthropology, [Berkeley, September 1901] Phoebe Apperson Hearst, et al., Suggestions for the organization of a Department of Anthropology, [Berkeley, September 1901] Phoebe Apperson Hearst, et al., Suggestions for the organization of a Department of Anthropology, [Berkeley, September 1901] Phoebe Apperson Hearst, et al., Suggestions for the organization of a Department of Anthropology, [Berkeley, September 1901] Phoebe Apperson Hearst, et al., Suggestions for the organization of a Department of Anthropology, [Berkeley, September 1901]

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