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Finding Aid to the George McClelland Foster Papers, 1934-2005
BANC MSS 2007/103  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: George McClelland Foster papers
    Date (inclusive): 1934-2005
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 2007/103
    Creators : Foster, George M. (George McClelland), 1913-2006
    Extent: Number of containers: 28 cartons, 54 boxes, 1 oversize folder Linear feet: 53.85
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The George McClelland Foster papers (1934-2005) consist of Foster's professional materials, which represent a prodigious career in anthropology. The collection contains correspondence; consulting files from various agencies concerned with health and development issues worldwide, such as the Agency for International Development, International Cooperative Administration, and The World Health Organization. Foster's professional administrative records focus mainly on the American Anthropological Association around 1970 during his term as President and include the Association's position on the Simon Fraser University tenure case and professional ethical concerns in Thailand. Also included are numerous reprints and manuscript drafts of Foster's writings; administration papers from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) Anthropology Department during his Chairmanship, consisting of correspondence and materials mainly relating to the faculty statement on the Ishi controversy; and teaching course files from various teaching assignments. There are some biographical papers and information. The bulk of the collection contains extensive research files primarily covering areas on medical anthropology; applied anthropology; the principle of limited good; hot/cold theory (humoral medicine); field work in the village of Tzintzuntzan, Mexico which includes detailed census data covering a span from 1945-2000, note cards and bibliographic information filed by subjects, interviews on cassette tapes; and films on Tzinzuntzan, Popoluca, Oaxaca pottery, and Mexico in general (1940-1944).
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English and Spanish.
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George McClelland Foster Papers, BANC MSS 2007/103, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Related Collections

    An anthropologist's life in the twentieth century: oral history transcript (BANC MSS 2001/116c).

    Separated Material

    Slides have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Foster, George McClelland, 1913-2006
    Anthropologists
    Anthropology Fieldwork
    Anthropology Research California Berkeley
    Applied anthropology
    Ethnology Mexico
    Indians of Mexico Economic conditions
    Medical anthropology
    Popoluca Indians Folklore
    Traditional medicine Mexico
    Tzintzuntzan (Mexico)
    Tzintzuntzan (Mexico) Social conditions
    Faculty papers
    American Anthropological Association

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The George McClelland Foster Papers were given to The Bancroft Library from Jeremy Foster on June, 12, 2007.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Janice Otani in 2012.

    Biographical Information

    George McClelland Foster was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on October 9, 1913. He studied at Northwestern University with Melville Herskouits (B.S. 1941) and at the University of California, Berkeley, with Robert H. Lowie and Alfred L. Kroeber (Ph.D. 1946). He married Mary LeCron, a linguist anthropologist and research collaborator throughout his career. During the 1940s and 1950s, Foster held various teaching positions as well as contract consulting jobs in Latin America and Asia. His work in Mexico led to his ethnographic research in the Tarascan village of Tzintzuntzan that would continue for half a century. In 1953, Foster returned to Berkeley as a professor of anthropology where he mentored numerous graduate students and strongly supported the Department of Anthropology and its Museum and Library, which was named in honor of George and Mary LeCron Foster. He retired in 1979, but continued to travel, do research, and publish. During his long career, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as President of the American Anthropological Association (1970). He received many awards including the Berkeley Citation and the Malinowski Award. Foster authored nearly 300 publications including books on theory, method and ethnography, such as Empire's Children (1948), Culture and Conquest (1960), and Tzintzuntzan: Mexican Peasants in a Changing World (1967). He is recognized as the founder of medical anthropology, for his contributions on peasant societies, and his long-term field research documenting societal change. He died at the age of 92 in 2006.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The George McClelland Foster papers (1934-2005) consist of Foster's professional materials, which represent a prodigious career in anthropology. The collection contains correspondence; consulting files from various agencies concerned with health and development issues worldwide, such as the Agency for International Development, International Cooperative Administration, and The World Health Organization. Foster's professional administrative records focus mainly on the American Anthropological Association around 1970 during his term as President and include the Association's position on the Simon Fraser University tenure case and professional ethical concerns in Thailand. Also included are numerous reprints and manuscript drafts of Foster's writings; administration papers from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) Anthropology Department during his Chairmanship, consisting of correspondence and materials mainly relating to the faculty statement on the Ishi controversy; and teaching course files from various teaching assignments. There are some biographical papers and information. The bulk of the collection contains extensive research files primarily covering areas on medical anthropology; applied anthropology; the principle of limited good; hot/cold theory (humoral medicine); field work in the village of Tzintzuntzan, Mexico which includes detailed census data covering a span from 1945-2000, note cards and bibliographic information filed by subjects, interviews on cassette tapes; and films on Tzinzuntzan, Popoluca, Oaxaca pottery, and Mexico in general (1940-1944).