Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California   Seal of The University of California
Letter from A.L Kroeber to F.W. Putnam

Alfred Louis Kroeber

Letter to F. W. Putnam

4 March 1904

“It is certain that the situation as regards the future is very serious. I do not think it is hopeless…. I suspect that Mr. Clark [Hearst’s cousin and business manager] may be only waiting for the ordering and recording of the collections to be completed, to wind the Department up…. The thing that can save us and give us the renewed opening for developing a great institution, is to have work going on when that time comes….”

In this prescient letter, Kroeber notes that when the cataloging of Hearst’s collections was completed in 1906 her primary objective in funding the Department will have been met. He craftily proposes, therefore, to launch new projects that will be just beginning to bear fruit in 1906 and, perhaps, attract continued funding by Hearst. He adds, notably, possibly reflecting Boas’s continued influence,

“The general impression now about the University, and for that matter in a measure in the East, is that our end is settled and only a question of time.”

BANC MSS C-B 925 Ctn 1:6