Guide to the Papers of Sir Edward Burnett Tylor (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Tylor, Edward Burnett, Sir
Papers of Sir Edward Burnett Tylor (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
18 February 1878 - 16 September 1906
Collection Number
124 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Correspondence and other papers relating to anthropological research in Australia and the Pacific, and Tylor's work at the University Museum, Oxford. Principal correspondents are Rev. Lorimer Fison, A.W. Howitt, Andrew Lang and Sir Baldwin Spencer.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Citation items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1988 (AJCP Reels: M2803). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Pitt Rivers Museum. Oxford University, England. For more information see Sir Edward Burnett Tylor at the Pitt Rivers Museum.(

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

The papers of Beatrice Blackwood (M2806-M2819) [], Makereti (M2415-M2421) [], Sir W. Baldwin Spencer (M2422-M2425) [], Ernest Westlake (M2413-M2414) [] and Miscellaceous Collections (M2804-M2805) [] have been listed separately.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

Advisory Statement

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Australia; Aboriginal Australians; Aboriginal Australian; life and customs; Anthropologists; Fison, Lorimer, Rev.; Howitt, A.W.; Great Britain; Lang, Andrew; Museums; Spencer, Sir W. Baldwin, Prof.; Tylor, Sir Edward B.; University of Oxford


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 467, p182.

Biographical / Historical

Sir Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917) was born at London into a Quaker family. He was educated at Grove House, Tottenham. At the age of 16 he entered his father's brass foundry, but in 1855 signs of tuberculosis led him to make a trip to America. In Cuba he met an ethnologist, Henry Christy, and their travels on horseback in Mexico aroused his interest in anthropology. He published an account of his travels in 1861.

Back in England Tyler immersed himself in ethnological, linguistic and archaeological literature and began to search for the origins of culture. He studied the origin of language, drawing on the work of Max Muller, and developed his theory of animism, the earliest religion of primitive peoples. His broad approach is evident in the title of his most substantial publication: Primitive culture: researches into the development of mythology, philosophy, religion, art, and custom (2 vols., 1871). In the next ten tears he gave lectures, wrote many articles for journals and encyclopaedias on anthropological subjects, and produced the first introductory textbook, Anthropology; an introduction to the study of man and civilization (1881).

Tyler's work as a writer and organiser helped establish anthropology as a legitimate field of scholarly inquiry. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1871, awarded a doctorate by Oxford University in 1875, became keeper of the Oxford Museum in 1883, and the first professor of anthropology at Oxford in 1896. He was knighted in 1912.

Item Descriptions

Series Box 6 (1 and 2). Correspondence, 18 February 1878 - 6 December 1902

7 items

filmed selectively

Rev. G. Brown, Sydney, 22 April 1882 (File B 11)

Replies to EBT's letter, re language question in New Britain, Mr Pratt suitable person to take on Comparative Dictionary of Polynesian.

P.E. Cheal, Auckland NZ., 13 September 1901 (File C 11)

Sending EBT two newspaper cuttings re maori carvings.

R.H. Codrington, 9 June 1884 - 6 December 1902 (File C 12-15)

Re Fijian word, 9 June 1884 (Item)
Sending EBT his ms, 1 March 1890 (Item)
C's view on totemism, 14 May 1898 (Item)
Melanesian practices re naming children, 6 February 1902 (Item)

J. Dawson, Glasgow, 21 July 1882 (File D 2)

Re Australian aborigines and message sticks. (drawing mentioned not now in collection).

Sir John Evans, Hemel Hampstead, 18 February 1878 (File E 3)

Enclosing letter from Mr Hayter re stone circle near Mt Elephant in Australia and cutting from Illustrated Australian News 9/4/1877

A. Fornander, Hawaii, 24 April 1880 (File F 4)

Re Hawaiian game- 'Konane' with a sketch of the board played on.

Draft of EBT's reply of 5/9/1880

A. Fornander, Hawaii, 31 January 1881 (File F 5)

Reply to EBT and more details of 'Konane'. Defence of the views expressed in his book Polynesian Race.

Series. Letters from Rev. Lorimer Fison, 6 June 1879 - 22 July 1899

54 items

filmed selectively

Biographical / Historical

Rev. Lorimer Fison (1879-1895)

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 6 June 1879 (File Fison 1)

The EBT-Fison correspondence begins with a letter from Major General A. Lane Fox enclosing from EBT to see a letter of 4 August 1878 from Fison. This letter had been sent to Lane Fox by Sir Arthur Gordon and was apparently returned to the latter. Lane Fox's letter discussed personnel problems of the Anthropological Institute. (See letter of Mr Li in L envelope). Attached is a note thought to be in EBT's writing summarising the contents of Fison's letter.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 17 August 1879 (File Fison 2)

Thanking EBT for a letter which has cleared up a misunderstanding about missing correspondence. Describing the background to and problems facing his joint work with A. Howitt. Particulars of some work he has done which might interest EBT. Defence of 'Morgan' against Sir John LeBrock's 'McHennah'. (Fiji)

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 9 November 1879 (File Fison 3)

Discussion of points on which EBT has differed from 'Morgan' view of forthcoming publication of Fison and Howitt's joint work. (Fiji)

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 3 December 1879 (File Fison 4)

Repeat of contents of above misaddressed and may have gone astray. He therefore more or less repeats its contents. (Fiji)

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 16 January 1880 (File Fison 5)

Sending a paper on the customs of 'Mota'. A possible primitive link with freemasonary? The missionary attitude to savage customs. Fijian customs, marriage and succession to the priestly office. (Fiji)

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 18 May 1880 (File Fison 6)

Acknowledging a letter from EBT. A paper of Fison's is to be published. News of the Fison/Howitt book. Praise of Howitt. (Fiji)

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 24 January 1880 (File Fison 7.(2))

Thanking EBJ for his help over publishers. Fison is nervous about the English critiques of his book. A dispute with another Australian anthropologist. Instances of expiration for marriage, regulated by 'class-rule'. Aboriginal marriage customs. (Fiji)

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 1 March 1881 (File Fison 8.(3))

More thanks to EBT. How Fison learned the Fijian language and problems it caused. Discussion of the bull roarer. An enquiries into the 'narrowing' of skulls. Fison defends himself against the charge of 'hitting for hittings sake'. He resists false charges against his mission. Further discoveries of Howitt. List of persons to whom EBT is to send copies of Fison's Burial Customs. (Fiji)

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 30 March 1881 (File Fison 9.(2))

Sending EBT some MSS of Mr Codrington work, which Fison has annotated. The value of his work. More information about 'narrow skull' people. The frizzly hair of Fijians. The bow as a weapon among the Melanesians. The avoidance of familiarity between relatives by marriage in Fiji. A case in point. A Mission meeting attended by over 200 men, using many dialects. Instances of the Fijians imaginative powers. More praise of Mr Codrington.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 14 April 1881 (File Fison 10)

(Fiji) Fison's paper on Burial Customs has been issued and he thanks E.B.T. for copies. Mention of a critical review of Fison and Howitt's book in The Saturday Review.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 23 May 1881 (File Fison 11)

(Fiji) A note on a new word Fison has learned to be added to Codrington's list. Fison modestly admits his slight knowledge.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 15 July 1881 (File Fison 12)

(Fiji) Thanking E.B.T. for his review of 'our work' in the Academy.

An attack on Fison and Howitt by Mr McLennan

Some philological information collected on a visit to Rotuma. Dr MacFarlane's system of training relationships which Fison considers irrelevant to the notions of relationships held by 'savages'.

Resemblance between Central African and Fijian words.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 30 July 1881 (File Fison 13)

(Fiji) Asking E.B.T. to make certain alterations in the Codrington papers previously sent to him. Thanks to E.B.T. for his review, and defence against the criticism of others, particularly Mc Lennan.

Sexual relationships within families.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 12 August 1881 (File Fison 14)

(Fiji) Sending E.B.T. 31 Fijian tables. A description of kites flown in Rotuma

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 13 August 1881 (File Fison 15 (2))

Thanking E.B.T. for the gift of a copy of his Anthropology. He has sent E.B.T. a number of Fijian riddles, and now quotes another one. A children's vocabulary for counting from 1 to 10.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 23 September 1881 (File Fison 16)

(Fiji) Acknowledging a letter from E.B.T. and thanking him for the trouble he had taken over 'my Land Tenure'.

Mr McLennan has died.

E.B.T. is planning to make up a sort of record out of extracts from Fison's letters.

Discussion of the action E.B.T. is taking with Codrington's papers.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 26 September 1881 (File Fison 17.(2))

More thanks to E.B.T. for help over the land Tenure papers. Further discussion of the record to be put together out of extracts from Fison's letters.

Lengthy details of tribal sexual practices' tending to prove 'communism' as an expiatory measure.

Fison's rule of work in making enquiries.

Further criticism from a reviewer in 'The Saturday Review'.

The meaning of 'Maori' in New Zealand.

A possible but doubtful link between Central Africa and Fiji.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 27 September 1881 (File Fison 18.(2))

(Fiji) Details of the letters Fison has written recently to E.B.T.

Particulars of Mr E.O'B. Heffernan, a Government official married to a Fijian woman.

Further details of sexual practices'. The disease called Ndongai.

Howitt has made an important aboriginal contact. The Rotuma language.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 7 November 1881 (File Fison 19)

(Fiji) Sending E.B.T. a rough sketch of a tribal Sacred Enclosure.

Howitt has been making important discoveries.

His standing among the Australian Aborigines.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 20 December 1881 (File Fison 20)

(Fiji) Fison is taking his family on a trip to Australia.

His domestic burdens.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 3 March 1882 (File Fison 21.(2))

(Melbourne) Written after arrival in Australia. His plans for the future. The need to fine another job will keep him out of scientific work in future.

Fijian indecent riddles.

Howitt is the man to refer to about Australian 'message sticks'.

Criticism of Mr Dawson's work.

Efforts to obtain a nose-flute for E.B.T. How it is played.

Scepticsm about 'message sticks'.

Agreement with E.B.T's views on Primitive Marriage.

The meaning of the words Maori in New Zealand, and Murri in Australia.

He is convinced of the accuracy of his views about 'the rights of the old men in Australia'.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 8 March 1882 (File Fison 22)

(Melbourne) Fison has just returned from a visit to Howitt, bringing back a lot of material.

He is grateful to E.B.T. for references in his presidential address to the Anthropological Institute.

Clarification of his misunderstood views on a primitive stake of promiscuity.

His belief in a 'Divine impulse' where natural causes fail.

More views about 'the rights of the old men'. Mr Roe and his invention of a 'Nictograph'.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 18 April 1882 (File Fison 23)

(Melbourne) More efforts to get a nose-flute for E.B.T.

Discussion of the 'gens' and the savage 'division'.

Possible relationship between 'savage rites' and Freemasonry.

Criticism of Dawson's book.

Detailed statement of views on an early stage of absolute promiscuity.

Defence of the Fison/Howitt book against a critical review in 'The Spectator'.

A custom in New Britain which throws light on exogamy.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 23 August 1882 (File Fison 24.(2))

(Fiji) A disappointment about a nose-flute. Fison has no reason to believe that there are any relics of a higher culture, among the Australians.

More views about 'absolute promiscuity' and its role as expiation. (Note: a reference to a letter to E.B.T. dated 4th February 1880 which is missing from this collection).

A philological discovery by Codrington.

Scepticism about the connections of languages in with Malay.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 3 October 1882 (File Fison 25)

(Fiji) Sending E.B.T. a nose-flute and revised instructions on playing it.

A suggestion by Codrington about the 'house-mound' and its height.

The rule of exogamy and its connection with the hilling of new-born twins of different sex.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 27 December 1882 (File Fison 26)

(Fiji) Howitt and his programme of work. He is now the 'acknowledged Great Medicine Man'.

Resemblance between African and Fijian place names.

Fison has accepted E.B.T.'s advice to abstain from controversy.

His views have been misunderstood by critics.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 26 January 1883 (File Fison 27.(3))

(Fiji) Discussion of the practice of avoidance of the father-in-law and mother-in-law, and the distinction between the two.

The origin of exogamy.

Australian origins in Asia, and possibly Central Africa.

The Great Mystery of Initiation - the ceremonial admission of young men into full membership of the community, on which Fison is preparing a detailed statement.

Codrington and some of his recent discoveries. Defence of the 'savages' both as regards intellect and morality. Their methods of reassuring out changes in patterns of behaviour.

Misunderstandings in the European mind.

The need for the term 'totemy' to describe a division with descent through females.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 14 April 1883 (File Fison 28)

(Fiji) Another disappointment about a nose-flute.

Further discussions of 'house-mounds' and the meaning of their height. Old Testament analogies.

Mr Frazer and his foolish paper about the connection between Australian and Sanskrit words.

The shape of skulls in Fiji is artificially induced.

Praise of Howitt and his immense capacity for work.

Despondency about Fison's own future.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 13 January 1883 (File Fison 29)

Sending a water colour sketch of a 'Stone Enclosure'. Continuing enquiries into the secret Nanga ceremony, the initiation of young men into the tribe.

Link with the Greek 'Mysteries'. The shallowness of civilisation.

References to Codrington and Howitt.

Discovery of a spear with a human thumb-nail attached, and its meaning.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 26 July 1883 (File Fison 30.(2))

(Fiji) Congratulating E.B.T. and the University, on his appointment to Oxford.

Resemblances between African and Fijian names.

A humourous anecdote about buying a nose-flute.

The sketch referred to in No. 29 above has proved to be unsatisfactory.

The habitat of the Nanga custom.

Particulars of Howitt's recent work.

Hoping for E.B.T.'s criticism of a recent paper on 'Attic Demes etc.'

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 17 August 1883 (File Fison 31.(3))

(Fiji) Mingled praise and criticism of Sir H. Maine's 'work' sent by E.B.T. Maine has misunderstood the 'savage' mind and heart.

Another nose-flute and some fish hookshave been sent to E.B.T. for the Museum.

Defence of missionaries against the charge (by Sir Arthur Gordon) of land speculation.

Sending the paper on the Nanga ceremony, and another sketch of the Stone Enclosure.

Disbelief in the 'cannibal experiences' of Baron Maklay in Fiji.

(Note: Two small p.s. attached on separate sheets).

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 30 August 1883 (File Fison 32)

(Fiji) Details of the specimens sent to E.B.T., including a Nanga trumpet.

Again asking for criticism of the 'Attic Demes etc' paper, which has been seen and approved by Dr. Hearn of McPhourne University.

Fison is leaving Fiji for good at the end of the year.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 18 February 1884 (File Fison 33)

(Melbourne) Fison has moved to Australia and has been very pp-? (sic) a nervous breakdown.

References to specimens he has sent to E.B.T. The Nanga trumpet was of the wrong kind.

Howitt's paper on 'Initiation', and the theory that indecent pantomines are intended to be incentives to virtue.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 17 May 1884 (File Fison 34)

(Melbourne) Details of specimens sent or to be sent to E.B.T.

Acknowledging E.B.T.'s comments on Codrington's papers and on the 'The Deme and the Horde' paper.

Fison's general health is improved, but he cannot yet do brain work.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 28 February 1885 (File Fison 35.(2))

Fison has received copies of various Fison/Howitt papers, some with serious misprints.

E.B.T. had revised and corrected them.

Remarks on Bonney's paper on the Darling tribes.

Fison and Howitt have been elected corresponding members of the Anthropological Institute.(Melbourne).

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 4 December 1886 (File Fison 36.(4))

Fison is still unwell, and has not written for a long time.

He cannot get fijian specimens for E.B.T. because Government officials and others 'have cleaned them all off'.

Shell money and its influence upon savage society.

Fison's modest estimate of his own work: he has got others to work.

Customs money and the 'legal' system among tribes in New Britain.

Dr. Carroll who is making investigations among the South Sea Islanders, and his theories.(Melbourne).

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 5 March 1887 (File Fison 37)

(Melbourne) Fison has had a letter from E.B.T. introducing 'Mr Spencer'. (? Baldwin Spencer).

Mention of 'Danks' and his paper which Fison has helped with; 'Brown' who was in New Britain and has a fine collection of weapons; and Codrington's new living.

The troubles in Tonga which Fison had forescess (sic) The 'tabu signs about which E.B.T. has enquired.

Fijian specimens which E.B.T. has asked for.

Fison is shy about sending E.B.T. a photograph of himself.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 3 November 1887 (File Fison 38)

(Sydney) A paper of 'Danks' on Marriage Customs.

Efforts to get 'Brown' to help write a book.

Fison would help as he helped Codrington to write his book.

Criticism of Mr Curr's book on the Australian aborigines. Fison has suggested to Howitt that he should send his materials on the Dieri tribe for publication by the Anthropological Institute.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 23 November 1887 (File Fison 39.(2))

(Flemington) Fison has paid a visit to Howitt to discuss the paper on the Dieri tribe, and thinks very highly of it. Marriage customs among the Dieri.

He defends himself against Curr's criticisms.

Howitt is preparing a paper on Message Sticks.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 2 June 1888 (File Fison 40.(4))

(Melbourne) E.B.T. has made an enquiry on a point relating to sons-in-law and fathers-in-law which Fison has referred to Howitt, whose reply is enclosed in original.

A description of travel in the past through the Australia Alps.

The line being followed in combatting Curr's criticisms. Fison defends himself against being considered a 'man of war'. In the 'diggings' he was known as 'the Peacemaker'.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 4 May 1889 (File Fison 41)

(Melbourne) Fison has received E.B.T.'s paper on The Method of Investigating the Development of Institutions. He and Howitt have both failed to understand its diagrams.

'Couvade' and the naming of children in Fiji.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 29 September 1893 (File Fison 42.(2))

(Melbourne) A visit from Mr S.F. Peal of Assam. Marriage customs among head-hunters. Mr Peal is 'an invaluable man'.

An awkward situation in connection with Trefear's Maori Comprehensive Dictionary.

Criticism of Carroll and his translation of the inscription upon the Easter Island stones.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 18 October 1893(?) (File Fison 43.(2))

(Melbourne) A further reference to E.B.T.' paper on 'The Method of Investigating etc etc.'.

(See no. 41 above)

Raising a number of points on names in relation to family divisions. Paternal and maternal descent.

Criticisms of certain points made by E.B.T.

Modest assessment by Fison of the value of many of his theories.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 30 April 1894 (File Fison 44.(3))

(Melbourne) Fison has had an invitation to the British Association meeting at Oxford. He had declined, but 'Spencer' and others are insisting that he goes.

Mention of the philologist Sidney R. Ray, and his knowledge of Melanesian languages.

Mr Fellowes and his researches in New Guinea.

E.B.T.'s paper on the Tasmanians. Did they have hatchets with handles?

Criticism of Westermarch's 'theory'.

The derivation of the word 'beach comber'.

Discoveries of gold and the role of the Banks.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 31 August 1894 (File Fison 45)

(Ipswich) Fison has reached England, and is arranging to go and stay a day or two with the Tylors.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 19 October 1894 (File Fison 46)

(On board ship) On his way back to Australia. A brief letter of thanks.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 6 December 1894 (File Fison 47.(3))

(Melbourne) Clearing up a number of points which came up in his discussions with E.B.T..

A revealing anecdote about the dreams of a Fijian man.

Basil Thomson's theory of the 'happy hunting ground'. Strong criticism of 'Fraser' in Melbourne. 'A disgrad to science'.

Fison sends kind regards to Mr. Balfour, and records how much he enjoyed his visit to the 'Museum'.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 5 August 1895 (File Fison 48)

(Melbourne) Congratulating E.B.T. on his appointment to a Chair. He has heard that Anthropology has been made one of the University courses, and would like details of the arrangements. He and Howitt are considering a new edition of their book.

Baldwin Spencer has met a Mr Gillans (Gillen) who is an excellent man.

Mr Balfour has been ill.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, undated (File Fison 49)

Undated half sheet headed 'memo' in Fison's handwriting. References to Fijian words, tabus among certain tribes, and the meaning of certain terms relating to Land Tenure.

Rev. Lorimer Fison (File Fison 50)

One and a half sheets of an unidentified letter, on tissue paper and barely legible.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 13 May 1885 - 6 April 1886 (File Fison H 1-2)

A. Hale Perat Malaya.

Re Hale's Collection of Sakai objects for display in 1886 Colonial Exhibition; Malay games.

Rev. Lorimer Fison, 1884-07-27, 1884-08-14, 1886-12-30 (File Fison H-P 1-3)

A. Hale to Prof. Prestwich.

Re Malaya anthropology.

Benjamin Harrison (Ightham Kent): Re an 'Australian Miner', 22 July 1899 (File Fison No. 7)

Benjamin Harrison (Ightham Kent):Re two men travelling in Australia, 22 June 1899 (File Fison No. 8)

Series. Letters from A.W. Howitt, 22 October 1881 - 21 December 1901

40 items

Filmed selectively.

A.W. Howitt, 22 October 1881 (File Howitt 1)

(London) A letter from Howitt's sister (Mrs Watts) enquiring on her brothers behalf about the 'Institution Ethnographique' of Paris. He has not yet succeeded in getting a particular specimen for E.B.T.

A.W. Howitt, 21 November 1881 (File Howitt 2)

(Sale, Victoria) Howitt is writing at Fison's suggestion to send a selection from the material he has on the intersexual customs of the Aborigines, to supplement the Fison/Howitt paper entitled From Mother right to Father right.

He has not yet been able to get a Tundun for E.B.T., but offers whatever help he can give. The material attached is in 9 pages.

A.W. Howitt, 4 January 1882 (File Howitt 3)

(Sale) Thanking E.B.T. for having sent him a note on the Ancient Mysteries. It may not be possible to establish any connection between Greek Mysteries, and those of savages. He is planning to organise a Ceremony of Initiation which may cast light.

Details of fire-making apparatus, shields and message sticks.

A.W. Howitt, 5 January 1882 (File Howitt 4)

(London) Another note from Mrs Watts covering materials Howitt has asked her to forward She had been asked to go through the Ms to clarify Howitt's handwriting and offers to read proof's if required.

A.W. Howitt, 22 June 1882 (File Howitt 5)

(Sale) Sending E.B.T. a paper on the Australian Class System. He is continuing to collect specimens.

A.W. Howitt, 23 August 1882 (File Howitt 6(2))

Howitt is sending some 'fire drills' and now describes the method of use.

He will be sending 'bull roarers' later. He has nearly completed a paper on 'Some Australian Beliefs'.

A.W. Howitt, 30 December 1882 (File Howitt 7)

Sending the paper referred to in No. 7 (sic) for the Anthropological Institute. He has several other papers in hand. He is about to send a parcel of specimens.

Account of the method of use of a Turndun, and a 'fire drill'. Mr Palmer has written an account of the Carpentaria tribes to be sent to the Institute.

A.W. Howitt, 13 March 1883 (File Howitt 8(2))

Details of Mr Paler and his paper, and E.B.T.'s request for information about message sticks has been passed on to him.

Several consignments of specimens have been sent.

A reference to funeral offerings.

A tribal custom which seems to point to a former condition of promiscuity.

A.W. Howitt, 4 January 1883 (File Howitt 9)

(Sale) Howitt is gratified by E.B.T's approval of his paper on the Class System. He hopes a visit he has made will clear up much aboue Initiation Ceremonies. He learned much at a ceremony he attended and gives some particulars. Details of a Turndun he has sent.

Missionaries cannot really get information about secret rites of the tribes.

A.W. Howitt, 25 June 1883 (File Howitt 10)

(Sale) Details of the specimens being sent to E.B.T. (Bull roarers, Message Sticks, Diere net).

Howitt raises with E.B.T. the question 'What name are we to apply to the Australian Aboriginal? Blackfellow might be the most suitable."

A similar problem arises with the Bull roarer which has different names in different tribes. A possible paper by Mr Cameron who lives in Riveinu(?)

A rough sketch of a mallet used for knocking out teeth.

A.W. Howitt, 8 August 1883 (File Howitt 11)

(Sale) Sending a collection of message sticks, and one message totem. Details are given with two rough pen and ink sketches.

A.W. Howitt, 22 October 1883 (File Howitt 12)

(Sale) Sending E.B.T. the Fison/Howitt paper which compares the Attic and Australian tribes. (?The Deme and the Horde).

He will send E.B.T. stone tomahawks, if wanted.

Another reference to Mr Cameron's paper.

A.W. Howitt, 21 February 1884 (File Howitt 13)

(Sale) Howitt has attended an Initiation Ceremony and notes a number of details.

Rules for the fair division of food are carefully taught to youths who may have been in contact with whites, and hence been misguided.

A.W. Howitt, 14 April 1884 (File Howitt 14(2))

(Sale) Sending two Turnduns with a detailed description. Also a Gule-Wil, one of the things used to bewitch an enemy.

Howitt is preparing a paper on Australian Totems. Mention of Mr Cameron's and Mr Palmer's papers.

A.W. Howitt, 21 March 1885 (File Howitt 15)

(Sale) Howitt has been told of his election as a Corresponding Member of the Institute and expresses his gratitude. He reports that Fison is better, but still unable to do ethnological work

A.W. Howitt, 21 February 1888 (File Howitt 16)

(Sale) Sending a paper on Message Sticks and two Sticks named in it.

Details of marriage customs among the Kumai.

Expiatory fights.

He has a paper on the Dieri tribe in hand.

Fison is now much better.

A.W. Howitt, 20 April 1888 (File Howitt 17)

Thanking E.B.T. for having read the paper on Australian Systems at the Institute.

The Dieri paper is almost completed. Problems of descent through the mother or the father.

He has evidence of the existence of group marriage over an extended area.

He is preparing a paper defending himself and Fisc against Curr's criticisms. Fison is starting on their joint work again.

A.W. Howitt, 15 May 1888 (File Howitt 18)

(Sale) Further discussion of the relations between a man and his wife's people. Details of the 'ball play'.

Attached is a paper quoting extracts from information about marriage customs supplied by various correspondents. Also attached is a copy of a cutting from the Gippsland Mercury of 31 January 1884 giving details of an initiation ceremony attended by Howitt.

A.W. Howitt, 31 May 1888 (File Howitt 19)

(Sale) Sending two further pieces of information about marriage customs, supplied by correspondents

A.W. Howitt, 20 May 1888 (File Howitt 20)

Sending three photographs taken in the Australian Alps region.

On the Latrobe River.

The Thimble Rock at Hickey's Creek.

On the Upper Wellington River.

Also enclosed are two sheets of information about marriage customs, and the 'ball play'.

A.W. Howitt, 21 September 1888 (File Howitt 21)

(Sale) Howitt is taking steps to infirm his views about descent from the mother and the father, contrary to the views of Curr and Frazer, and Gason.

He quotes further information received from his correspondents.

More news of the Dieri paper he is working on; and of Fison's improved health.

A.W. Howitt, 26 September 1888 (File Howitt 22)

(Sale) Writing further to No.21 above to ask E.B.T. to communicate the results of his enquiries about descent among the Dieri to the Anthropological Institute

A.W. Howitt, 28 January 1889 (File Howitt 23)

(Sale) Sending the Dieri paper.

He has been making enquiries about getting Fison established in a 'lectureship' at the University.

He has no more information to send about marriage arrangements.

A.W. Howitt, 2 May 1890 (File Howitt 24)

(Melbourne) Howitt has been appointed Secretary for Mines, and writes on Departmental paper. His time is more than fully occupied and anthropological work has to be given up. He will go on trying to get information for E.B.T. Particularly on the 'Tasmanian' questions

A.W. Howitt, 1 September 1890 (File Howitt 25)

(Melbourne) He has managed to get very little information about Tasmanian stone implements, but will keep trying.

Fison has been very ill again.

Howitt is still overwhelmed with Departmental work.

A.W. Howitt, 1 December 1890 (File Howitt 26)

(Melbourne) Still no success about stone implements. He has read Roth's book which E.B.T. sent him: and has also read and agrees with E.B.T.'s paper on Assyrian Winged figures.

His pressure of Departmental work and plans for a holiday in the Bush.

A.W. Howitt, 30 March 1894 (File Howitt 27)

(Melbourne) He is trying to obtain information as an enquiry from E.B.T. on 'Batami'.

Fison has been caught in the effects of the financial crash when the 'Boombubble' burst. 'There is a complete halt of all commercial progress.'

A.W. Howitt, 5 May 1894 (File Howitt 28)

(Melbourne) Details of his efforts to get information about 'Baiami'.

General pleasure at the invitation to Fison.

A.W. Howitt, 22 July 1894 (File Howitt 29(2))

(Melbourne) Discussion of 'Baiami' and criticism of Ridley's views. Details of the verb 'Baia'

A.W. Howitt, 29 September 1894 (File Howitt 30)

(Melbourne) Howitt is glad to hear how successful Fison has been in England.

Mr Andrew Lang is 'off the track altogether' on a point to do with the 'Davenport Brothers business'.

A.W. Howitt, 18 June 1896 (File Howitt 31)

(Melbourne) Howitt has become Commissioner of Audit, which he describes as 'the top of the tree'. Nevertheless, Fison and he are work-on a re-writing of their book. They will have to set matters right in respect of a number of those of different views, including (the late) Curr, Westermarck, Matthew, and Frazer.

Some information about Bull roarers.

Fison's poor health and financial anxieties.

Spencer is doing splendid work in Anthropology.

A.W. Howitt, 12 June 1897 (File Howitt 32)

(Melbourne) Howitt has not been able to do anything for E.B.T. about stone implements. His correspondents have been swallowed up in the Mining Boom, and the mining men have no interest in anything but gold.

Spencer is doing splendid work; 'he had a unique chance, and he took it……'

Fison is not at all well.

Howitt is preparing a book on the Folklore of the tribes of South Eastern Australia, and asks E.B.T. whether it would be better to publish in England or Australia.

A.W. Howitt, 6 July 1899 (File Howitt 33)

(Melbourne) Replying to two of E.B.T.'s letters.

Criticism of D.E. Rougemont. No one in Australia believes in his adventures. They are 'fiction'.

He is writing more about the Dieri tribe, and has nearly completed a rough draft of his 'Tribal and Social Organisation etc'.

A.W. Howitt, 4 September 1899 (File Howitt 34)

Providing information about Dieri beliefs in response to an enquiry from E.B.T..

Gason has been in error in some of his statements.

The real meaning of 'Mura Mura'. Deluge Legends.

Howitt has found a willing and competent correspondent in the Dieri country.

A.W. Howitt, 7 September 1899 (File Howitt 35)

(Melbourne) News that Spencer and Gillen are planning another expedition.

The university has granted Spencer 12 months leave. Information about 'Baiami'.

He has pointed out in writing to Andrew Lang that there is no such thing in the minds of the Australian natives as an omnipresent and omnipotent deity.

He is planning to retire from public services and finish his book.

A.W. Howitt, 15 August 1899 (File Howitt 36)

A typed letter (9 sheets) from Howitt probably to Andrew Lang.

This is almost certainly the letter to Lang referred to in No. 35 above.

'Notes and labels on bull-roarers' (File Howitt 37)

A paper (apparently not in E.B.T.'s writing) headed 'Notes and labels on bull-roarers', containing pen and ink sketches of bull-roarers, numbered and with references to the dates of Howitt's letters in which they are mentioned. This was probably prepared for the use of the Museum. On the reverse is a suggested label for this collection, in E.B.T. writing.

A.W. Howitt (File Howitt 38)

Three pages of rough notes in E.B.T.'s writing. Two pages (incomplete) appear to be a draft of a book review. The third is rough notes on certain items in the Museum

N.J. Knowles, 18 December 1898 (File Howitt K.4)

Making a comparison of Tasmanian and Irish Stone age specimens.

Lady A. Low, 21 December 1901 (File Howitt L.3)

Asking for information on divining rods from Malay Peninsular, and enclosing a page of a letter from Mr H. Clifford.

Series A. A. Lang, 16 April 1886 - 16 September 1906

13 items

Dated Letters, 16 April 1886 - 2 November 1903 (File I)

8 items

Filmed selectively

London, 16 April 1886 (Item No.2)

A book being written by Atkinson 'My New Caledonian Cousin'.

London, 18 April 1894 (Item No.3)

Thanks E.B.T. for 'Tasmania'.

St. Andrews. Discussion of meaning of Australian aboriginal words, 4 December 1898 (Item No.8)
St. Andrews. A.L. would like to write a serious study of Australian creeds, 6 December 1898 (Item No.9)
London. A.L. received note on Arunta religion which will upset Spencer and Gillen, 19 October1903(?) (Item No.13)
London. A.L. sent the original of above in German to Spencer in Melbourne, 28 October 1903 (Item No.14)
London. References to work of Strehlow in Australia, 2 November 1903 (Item No.15)
St. Andrews. Further references to Strehlow, criticism of Howitt and Gillen, 13 January(?)1904(?) (Item No.16)

Undated/Uncertain Letters (File II)

1 item

Filmed selectively

Asks E.B.T.'s advice on books on God of Australians, 6 January(?) 1884 or 1885 (Item No.19)

Miscellaneous Documents, 7 November 1898 - 16 September 1906 (File III)

4 items

Filmed selectively

Two sheets headed 'Baby Making' re the Arunta (Item No.27)
Manuscript re work of Spencer and Siebert in connection with Arunta (Not in A.L.'s handwriting.) (3p.) (Item No.29)
J.P. Moir, Hobart, 7 November 1898 - 3 September 1905 (Item M. 8 and 9)

Sending E.B.T. some Tasmanian stone specimens.

H.L. Roth, Halifax, 16 September 1906 (Item R. 10.)

Criticisms of Gregory's Dead Heart of Australia.

H.L.R. cannot face expense of a new edition of his book on Indigenous Australians of Tasmania.

Series. Letters from W.W. Skeat, 26 January 1899 - 23 October 1904

7 items

Filmed selectively

W.W. Skeat, 26 January 1899 (File Skeat 3)

(Cambridge) Enquiring about the possibility of a grant from the Oxford University Museum in support of the expedition to Malaya which he is accompanying. A contribution of £50 would satisfy him.

W.W. Skeat, 29 January 1899 (File Skeat 4)

(Cambridge) More about the expedition to Malaya. Warning E.B.T. that specimens obtained must come to Cambridge in the first instance.

A copy of E.B.T.'s reply dated 1 February 1899 is attached advising that the money will be found if conditions are agreed.

W.W. Skeat, 6 February 1899 (File Skeat 5)

(Cambridge) Writing to say that shortage of time before departure will not allow him to go ahead with getting formal agreement to the proposed conditions.

A copy of E.B.T.'s letter of 8 February 1899 to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford is attached. This suggests informal arrangements for a contribution from Oxford, if expenditure eventually exceeds resources.

Also attached is a copy of E.B.T.'s letter of 8 February 1899 advising W.W.S. of the propose arrangement, and the Vice-Chancellor's letter of 9 February 1899 approving of the suggestion.

W.W. Skeat, 4 March 1901 (File Skeat 6(2))

(Cambridge) Sending E.B.T. his notes on the Malay Divining Rod.

W.W. Skeat, 19 November 1901 (File Skeat 7)

(Cambridge) Thanking E.B.T. for a note and his 'generosity'.

Mention of the Malay Dancing Spoon, and other objects.

W.W. Skeat, 8 January 1902 (File Skeat 8)

(Cambridge) Supporting E.B.T. in his view about the Divining Rod, as against that of 'A.L.' (? Andrew Lang), who is described as a Demon's Advocate.

Letters from W.W. Skeat, 23 October 1904 (File Skeat 9)

(Cambridge) Thanking E.B.T. for having agreed to write an introduction to his book, and suggesting chapters and passages E.B.T. could usefully read with a view to working out parallels.

Series. Letters from Sir B. Spencer, 23 May 1889 - 10 August 1906

12 items

Filmed selectively

Sir B. Spencer, 23 May 1889 (File Spencer 12(2))

(Melbourne) The need to arrange some help for Fison.

The possibility of a lectureship in Anthropology at a Wesleyan College, in Melbourne.

Surprising news of appointments at Oxford.

'Australia is not a pleasant place to live in … Monotonous scenery. Excessive work. Unsatisfactory patterns of lecturing and study.

A visit from Professor Haddon.

Sir B. Spencer, 15 March 1898 (File Spencer 13)

(Melbourne) Thanking E.B.T. for having contacted Messurs. MacMillans about the Spencer/Griffin book.

Sir B. Spencer, 19 February 1899 (File Spencer 14(3))

(Melbourne) References to a M.S. by Miss Howitt and the difficulties in getting it published.

J.G. Frazer's theory of the Totem, in reference to the Australian tribes.

Sir B. Spencer, 28 April 1899 (File Spencer 15)

(Melbourne) B.S. has sent for the Pitt Rivers Collection some Churinga of the Arunta tribe. A white man has been travelling through the centre of Australia, 'stealing' the stores of Churinga which Spencer and Gillen had left undoubted.

The alarming rapidity of deterioration among the Indigenous Australians.

Sir B. Spencer, 5 September 1900 (File Spencer 16(2))

(Melbourne) Thanking E.B.T. for help in getting B.S. the opportunity to visit Northern Australia.

Financial problems involved in the expedition.

Plans for routes to be taken, the use of axes, both chipped, flaked, and ground.

Sir B. Spencer, 7 April 1901 (File Spencer 17)

(Central Australia) Reporting that the expedition is on its way North. Useful work has been done with 'phonograph' and 'cinematograph'.

Sir B. Spencer, 17 June 1901 (File Spencer 18)

Another report while travelling North. Work is at present going on among the Kaitish tribe. Good photographic.

Sir B. Spencer, 10 August 1906 (File Spencer 19(2))

(Melbourne) B.S. is glad to hear that E.B.T. is producing a new book.

Native views on children not being the result of sexual intercourse.

References to Andrew Lang's criticism of Spencer/Griffin's work.

Major W.E. Taunton, 22 September 1898 (File T.1)

Giving some specimens of words from native dialects of Australians.

F.F. Tuckett, Bristol, 17 August 1891 (File T.6)

Discussion, objects he had seen in Australia.

F.F. Tuckett, Hobart, 13 February 1895 (File T.7)

On a trip to Australia and New Zealand and reports on commissions E.B.T. had given him.

W.L. Williamson, Tasmania, 16 October 1894 (File W.8)

Sending flints.