Guide to the Papers of Beatrice Blackwood (as filmed by the AJCP)


M2806 - M2819

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Blackwood, Beatrice
Papers of Beatrice Blackwood (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1929 - 1975
Collection Number
M2806 - M2819
151 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

Working papers: diaries, notebooks and notes relating to Blackwood's research in North Solomons, New Guinea, New Britain, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Sarawak (1929-37).

Correspondence 1931-74 concerning Blackwood's work. Main correspondents are A.P. Elkin, A.C. Haddon, M.J. Herskovitz, C.G. Seligman, H.D. Skinner, F. Speiser and J. Wingate Todd.

Material relating to the publication of Both Sides of the Buka Passage (1935).

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: M2806 - M2819). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Pitt Rivers Museum. Oxford University, Oxford, England. For further information see Beatrice Blackwood at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University (

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 Makereti (M2415-M2421) [], Sir W. Baldwin Spencer (M2422-M2425) [], Sir Edward Tylor (M2803) [], Ernest Westlake (M2413-M2414) and Miscellaneous 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 Notice

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.


Anthropologists; Blackwood, Beatrice; Borneo; Elkin, A.P., Prof.; Haddon, A.C.; Herskovitz, M.J.; Java; linguistics; New Britain, Papua New Guinea; Papua New Guinea: life and customs; Sarawak, Malaysia; Seligman, Charles G.; Skinner, H.D.; Solomon Island: life and customs; Speiser, F.; Sumatra; Todd, J. Wingate


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 39, p14.

Biographical / Historical

Beatrice Blackwood (1889-1975) was an internationally distinguished anthropologist and ethnologist who worked in America, Melanesia, and New Guinea. She worked for over 30 years at the Pitt Rivers Museum, teaching and developing the Museum's cataloguing and indexing system. She read English at Somerville College, 1908-1912, and returned to gain a diploma in Anthropology in 1918. She took her BA and MA in 1920 when membership of Oxford University and the conferment of degrees was first opened to women. She undertook field work in the North Solomons for Yale University and in New Guinea and New Britain for the Pitt Rivers Museum. She was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1948 and was vice-president of the Royal Anthropological Society. Her major publications were Both Sides of the Buka Passage, Oxford, 1935; Technology of a Modern Stone age People in New Guinea, Oxford, 1950; and Classification of artefacts in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, 1970.

See also her obituary in The Times, 2 Dec. 1975.

Item Descriptions

Series A. Working Papers, 1929 - August 1955

81 items

Filmed selectively.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M2806-M2818.

Subseries Box 2. N. Solomons, 28 June 1929 - 27 March 1944

6 items
3 vols. of Diaries, 28 June 1929 - 27 March 1944 (File 1)
4 items
Diary, 28 June 1929 - 24 May 1930 (Item 1)


Bismark Island



Diary, 25 May 1930 - 13 September 1930 (Item 2)


Diary, 14 September 1930 - 5 December 1930 (Item 3)


Contains detailed descriptions of her fieldwork.

30 letters and 1 newspaper cutting to Prof. A. Thomson (Beatrice Blackwood's supervisor) from Buka and Bougainville and journeys. Discusses fieldwork etc., 1929 - 1930 (File 2)

Arranged in order of despatch.

9 pages of children's drawings from North Bougainville (File 3)

Collected 1930.

A.E. Collins, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, asking Beatrice Blackwood to provide descriptions of Kieta and encloses comparable descriptions of Fiji. 13p, 27 March 1944 (File 4)

Subseries Box 3. N. Solomons, September 1930 - July 1936

15 items

Field Notes: Stories

Subseries 1. Seven notebooks containing stories in pidgin and dialect. c.1400p
7 items
Stories in Pidgin Only: Ruri, Kurtatchi (File 1)
Stories in Pidgin Only: Kurtatchi (File 2)
Stories in Pidgin Only: Tabuts, Kurtatchi (File 3)
Stories in Pidgin Only: Kurtatchi (File 4)
Stories in Pidgin Only: Kurtatchi (File 5)
Stories in Pidgin Only: Ruri, Seloh, Kurtatchi (File 6)
Stories in Pidgin Only: Kurtatchi, Tabut (File 7)
1 notebook. Trip to Tiop and Timputs village, Bougainville 75p (File 2)
Subseries 3. Notebooks with Daily field notes c.1200p
6 items

(Many of these notes were written up in the diaries: See Box 2.1).

Konua (File 1)
Gomen (File 2)
Saposa (File 3)
Lessi and Kurtatchi (File 4)
Petats (File 5)
Pororan and Buka (File 6)
1 notebook. Final trip to Buka. This notebook at the back also records the skeleton of a vocabulary which it was clearly intended to collect at Salamaua, New Guinea c50p, September 1930 - July 1936 (File 4)

Subseries Box 4. N. Solomons, October 1929 - August 1955

10 items

Physical Anthropology and Botany.

Physical anthropology record sheets for 65 males aged over 20 and 1 aged under 20. North Bougainville, September 1930 (File 1)
Physical anthropology sheets for 128 females aged over 20 and 26 aged between 15 and 20 years old. North Bougainville, Sept. 1930? (File 2)
Physical anthropology record sheets for 83 females aged over 20. Islands off West coast of Buka (File 3)
Physical anthropology record sheets for 84 males aged over 20. Petats, Proroan and islands off W. coast of Buka, October 1929 (File 4)
Exercise book, giving statistics for various male physical features. N.W. Solomons. 29p (File 5)
Exercise book giving statistics for various female physical features. N.W. Solomons. 29p (File 6)
Letter to Beatrice Blackwood from A.M. Stewart of Numa Numa Plantation, 11 February 1930 (File 7)

Sending stories told by the Aitape people. These had been published in the Rabaul Times, 16 Sept., 9 Dec. and 16 Dec. 1927. 21p.

Also a descriptive piece sent by Gordon Thomas of Pororan entitled 'An Island Initiative'. 5p.

Typed and manuscript accounts of Dreams, most by N. Solomon islanders, but some apparently by Beatrice Blackwood herself (?) (File 8)

Also notes on the classification of dreams. 257p.

Typed papers giving account of plants from Bougainville used for a variety of purposes e.g. contraception, control of menstruation, childbirth, illnesses etc. 46p (File 9)
Lecture (11p.)and draft notes (15p.) on physical anthropology of N.W. Solomons, 20 March 1939 - August 1955 (File 10)

Correspondence with L. Dudley Buxton (?) about the paper Physical Anthropology and his comments. August 1955.

3 letters and 6p.

Letter from Douglas Oliver, 20 Mar. 1939, Kiefa, TNG re: his physical anthropology work in N.W. Solomons; reply by Beatrice Blackwood giving details of her fieldwork. 20 Apr.1939. Assorted working notes. c14p.

Subseries Box 5. N.Solomons, 1929 - 30 November 1934

6 items

Stories, Language

Typescript and notes on stories from N. Bougainville collected by Beatrice Blackwood (File 1)

Also notes on material collected by other people. Includes totemic stories, culture origin stories, animal stories, transformation stories and 'real life' stories. Mostly unpublished, kept by Beatrice Blackwood for reference. c507p

Word and phrase lists (File 2)
2 items
Kurtachi language, 13p (Item a))
Petats language (Item b))


Based on the work of Rev. A.H. Cropp. (See BSBP p.15).

Stories in Buka dialect, with English interlinear translation, 1929 (File 3)


Copy of 'A Methodist Hymn Book' in Pidgin English (10p), 1929 (File)
Papers relating to comparative study of Buka and Bougainville dialects and those of adjacent islands (File 4)


Letters from S.H. Ray, Thorpe Bay, Essex, 27 Nov 1933; 19 Dec 1933; 30 Nov 1934 (File 4)
Miscellaneous papers relating to publication of fieldwork material (File 5)
2 items
Typed guidelines for the pattern and composition of BSBP . 29p (Item a))
Ms. raw material for BSBP covering various themes. Some of these are marked 'used' (presumably in BSBP .) 176p (Item b))

Subseries Box 6. N. Solomons 1929 -1930

4 items

Material culture, social structure.

Material on women for BSBP bearing on the position of women (File 1)

Also 'first draft of chapter on Marriage and Marital Relations': 258p.

Accounts of marital relationships and sexual habits. 66p (File 2)
Stories from Kurtachi relating to marital and sexual matters 183p (File 3)
Material on string figures. 138p (File 4)

Subseries Box 7. N. Solomons, 1929

6 items


Notebook containing a Pidgin and English-Petats vocabulary. 84p, August 1929 (File 1)
Notebook containing Petats vocabulary. 133p, 1 October 1929 (File 2)
Notebook. Petats language. 68p, October 1929 (File 3)
c480 paper slips. Melanesian prescriptions, giving local language terms for medical conditions and points of clinical treatment (File 4)
c151 cards 'Beginning of a vocabulary of Petats and Kurtachi Bougainville (File 5)
5 notebooks containing vocabularies and notes on the Buka and Kurtachi dialects. C280p (File 6)

Subseries Box 8. New Guinea, 3 April 1936 - 17 October 1937

2 items

Diaries and Notebooks

3 vols. of diaries, 3 April 1936 - 17 October 1937 (File 1)
3 items
Journey, Manke, Nauti 108p, 3 April 1936 - 31 August 1936 (Item 1)
Anga 262p, 1 September 1936 - 17 May 1937 (Item 2)
Arawe 104p, 18 May 1937 - 17 October 1937 (Item 3)
8 notebooks (File 2)
Andarora (Plants) c83p (Item)
Andarora (General field notes, vocabulary) c51p (Item)
Manki (2) (General field notes, vocabulary) c520p (Item)
2 items
Orokolo (General field notes, vocabulary) c68p (Item)
Nauti (General field notes, vocabulary) c84p (Item)
Ekua & Manki (General field notes, vocabulary) c56p (Item)
Anga ?(incomplete, appears to tally with B8.1.2.) 26p (Item)

Subseries Box 9. New Guinea 1933- 1937

6 items

Fieldnotes. Language

Compilation of notes on material culture of the Ramu River region. 110p (File 1)
Notebook. Field notes for Bosman region, New Guinea. C100p (File 2)
Diary, 18 October 1937 - 13 December 1937 (File 3)

Bosman villages (unfinished according to Beatrice Blackwood) (Notebook and lists relating to photography removed to photo r.d.f.) 49p.

3 pads. Notes and texts relating to Ekua, Bosman and Arawe language. C250p (File 4)
Notebook. Field notes and language notes. Arawe. C160p (File 5)
Material relating to New Guinea language: S.H. Ray's list (9p.), 29 May 1933 (File 6)

Letter from Rev. A.H. Cropp from Buka Passage, with news of the area; pamphlet The Papuan Languages by S.H. Ray. 8p.

Subseries Box 10. New Britain, 15 February 1929 - 14 September 1937

8 items

Material Culture

Notes on Arawe material culture (typescript) 64p (File 1)
3 hand-drawn maps of southern New Britain and Rook Island; meteorological records; genealogical tree (File 2)
Drawing book containing drawings of Arawe canoe paddle designs. (File 3)


39 rough sketches and notes on Arawe canoe paddles; and list of names for designs. 6p.

2 Arawe children's drawings.

Collected 1937

2 letters. Beatrice Blackwood to H. Balfour. Rabaul, 14 September 1937 - 19 September 1937 (File 4)

Re sending Arawe specimens.

1 letter to Beatrice Blackwood from G. Thomas, Rabaul, 26 February 1934 (File)

Re news of local people.

2 pages of unidentified draft for letter (?) from Gasmata, describing her fieldwork (File)
Five issues of The Papuan Languages published Port Moresby, 15 February 1929 - March 1937 (File 5)
5 items

English language newspaper for Papuan consumption - 'The paper is written in English because the government want you to learn White Man's language'. P.V. Vol.1, No.!, 1929c

Vol.1 No.1, 15 February 1929 (Item)

Front page only.

Vol.1 No.10, 15 November 1929 (Item)
Vol.2 No.3, 15 February 1930 (Item)
Vol.3 No.1, 15 January 1931 (Item)
Vol.9 No.3, March 1937 (Item)

(smaller format.)

Notes extracted from field file. New Guinea (File 6)

[Some notes in pencil and faint.]

Western Various (Item 1))







Physical: Menstruation 14p (Item 2))
Songs, 6p (Item 9))
Bought in Port Moresby 7p (Item 10))

1 pot (from Cloridy Bay)

1 mat (from Cloridy Bay)

Mawat 41p (Item 11))
Masingara 7p (Item 12))
Iasa 12p (Item 13))
P.M. Physical: general information 1p (Item 14))
Louisiades done but refer when doing 'Waga'. 10p (Item 15))
Card 156 Erythriem (?) 6p. and 2 pieces of hair (Item 16))
Pathological 4p (Item 18))
Sinaugolo 1p (Item 19))
Port Moresby 3p (Item 20))
Music dances 3p (Item 22))
Play 3p (Item 23))
Motu speaking villages other than Port Moresby 13p (Item 24))
Boiera - var 7p (Item 25))
Statistics : general 1p (Item 26))

Subseries Box 11. New Guinea, 1936

12 items

Material Culture, Social Structure.

Notes on Ekua, Manki & Amat vocabulary, comparative word lists etc. 111p (File 1)
Notes on material culture, including Clothing, Weapons, Agriculture, Tools and Musical Instruments. 86p (File 2)
Notes on Fighting etc. Cannibalism and related stories, Spirits, Ghosts and related myths. 134p (File 3)
Notes on Villages, Clans, Marriage, Childbirth, Initiation, Death and Social Structure. 83p (File 4)
46 drawings by Anga children (File 5)
Patrol reports and handdrawn maps relating to activities in the Watut River region. 8p (File 6)
Notes on Anga material culture. 10p (File 7a))
Description of Watut country (typescript) 2p (File 7b))
Diary of Pangi, an elderly man, and Oyendapo, a young man and family. Morobe region. 10p, 1936 (File 7c))
Typescript of letter (?) from Beatrice Blackwood to unnamed recipient (poss. Balfour?), Manki, Morobe district, October 1936 (File 7d))
Letter and geological notes from L.C. Noakes, Rabaul, 29 April (File 7e))
Notes on racial crossing in Melanesia, 2p, also 10 photographs (File 8)

Subseries Box 15. Lecture and Notes : Oceania and Asia, 11 July 1934 - 25 November 1941

5 items

Filmed selectively

Cards for practical comparison of Melanesia and Polynesia (File 1)

49 5' X 3' cards, some of which have been used as headings or guide cards, some give comparative data for Melanesia and Polynesia.

Borneo and Sarawak, 13 November 1941 - 25 November 1941 (File 2)

Comprises draft papers, booklists, correspondence; rough notes; Subjects include Agriculture; Hunting; Pagan Tribes of Borneo; Dress; Basketry. Correspondence between Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, and W.O. Pidgeon, Secretary British North Borneo (Chartered) Co. concerning information on North Borneo. 4 letters. c63p

Java (File 3)

Comprises drafts and rough notes; subjects include Batiks; Art; Music and Musical Instruments; agriculture. 35p

Sumatra (File 4)

Comprises rough notes on history and ethnology. 6p

Loose material on Pacific, 11 July 1934 (File 5)

Comprises rough notes, booklists, lecture notes, correspondence; Subjects include Ethnology; Secret Societies; Languages; Culture; Migration; Letter, Secretary Prime Minister's Office Canberra to Beatrice Blackwood re reports on New Guinea. C241p

Subseries Box 16. Working Notes: Race, Ethnology, Social Structure

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Religion and Magic (File 1)
Totemism and the Intichiuma ceremonies. 13p (Item a))
Social organisation. 8p. Notes: include the Arunta and other Australian tribes (Item b))
Spencer and Gillen v. Strehlow 9p (Item c))
Influence of ritual on belief in regards to funeral ceremonies in Australia. 18p (Item d))
Ethnology Lecture: Asia, Oceania, America (File 2)

Select pages 44-81 and (107)

Ethnological survey of Malay peninsula, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, Oceania, New Zealand.

Subseries Box 17. Working Notes, Physical anthropology, Ethnology

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Oceania and Australia (File 1)

Comprises reading notes, rough notes, press cuttings; Subjects include the Pygmies of German New Guinea; Tasmanian crania; racial comparison. 40p.

Series B. Correspondence, 1928 - 1975

77 items

Filmed selectively.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M2819.

From J.A. Barnes, ANU, Canberra, 14 May 1965 (File B28)

Introducing research student M. Rimoldi who is going to work in Buka and asking Beatrice Blackwood's advice.

From T. Barrow, Dominion Museum, Wellington New Zealand, 1 August 1963 (File B29)

With Museum news.

From T. Barrow, Dominion Museum, Wellington, N.Z, 6 Aug 196[illeg] (File B30)

From T. Barrow, Honolulu, 23 October 1968 (File B31)

Ms. I. de Beauclair, Institute of Ethnology, Academie Sinica, Taiwan, 18 October 1957 (File B37)

Re her interest in the Solomons.

Ms I. de Beauclair, Institute of Ethnology, Academie Sinica, Taiwan, 16 August 1959 (File B38)

Her work on Betel Tobago Island, that Beatrice Blackwood is wise not to revisit New Guinea and Solomons.

Ms I. de Beauclair, Institute of Ethnology, Academie Sinica, Taiwan, 10 December 1960 (File B39)

Her plan to work on Micronesia.

H.J. Braunholtz B.M., 16 May 1956 (File B58)

The Cook exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.

Dr. P.H. Buck, Bishop Museum, Honolulu, 17 Aug. 1943; 10 Aug. 1944; 10 Oct. 1944; 25 Oct. 1945; 7 May 1946; 18 June 1947; 2 June 1949 (File B66-72)

With Museum news and Polynesia details.

Ms Eleanor Crosby, ANU Darwin and Canberra, 9 May 1974 (File C35-36)

Updated research in Australia.

Visit to England.

F.H. Douglas, Denver Art Museum. From New Hebrides, 2 Jan. 1944; 10 Aug. 1944; 28 Nov. 1944. (File D16-18)

Details of life as Army Captain (Medical) in New Hebrides.

F.H. Douglas, Denver, 19 June 1946, 27 Jan. 1947, 25 May 1949, 20 May 1952, 3 Aug. 1953, 8 Jan. 1954, 27 June 1955 (File D19-24)

News of the museum in Denver, his interest in New Caledonia, Borneo specimens, museum exchange.

Letters from A.P. Elkin, University of Sydney, 10 September 1943 - 4 August 1965 (File E)

13 items
Thanks for letter, 10 September 1943 (Item E1)

P.R. Report and booklet about Marett. News of anthropological personalities. The War and its effect on the aboriginal populations. A.P. Elkin's work and plans. 2p

Thanks for letter and Report, 19 April 1945 (Item E2)

Details of A.P. Elkin's work, and developments of anthropological studies in Australia. The process of 'turning the edges' in making stone implements among the Australian Aboriginals. 2p

Asking if Beatrice Blackwood can tell him what the research being done at Cambridge on the ethnology of northern tribes in Australia covers, 3 September 1945 (Item E3)

There might be danger of duplication, as A.P. Elkin's department has done much field-work. 1p

Thanks for letter and Report, 5 October 1945 (Item E4)

Remarks on the making of spear points (see No. 2 above). The lack of a Report by anthropologists on the effects of the War on the natives of Papua. He is working on a scheme to enable those who have previously worked intensively on the S.W. Pacific to return to study the effects of the War. 2p. & index card.

Thanks for letter, 18 January 1946 (Item E5)

Mention of Donald Thompson and the problems he presents. The possibility of an offer being made to Beatrice Blackwood to enable her to revisit the Solomon Islands. 1p

Thanks for letter and Report. News of his son Anthropological news. 1p, 5 July 1949 (Item E6)
Thanks for Report, 8 September 1952 (Item E7)

Anthropological news. His visit to Arnhem Land N. Australia and the material he brough back, as recorded in 'Oceania' Vol. 22, No.4. News of his son. 1p

Thanks for Report. Details of the films and musical records he brought back from his N. Australia visit. 1p, 6 November 1952 (Item E8)
Thanks for Report, 17 June 1954 (Item E9)

His projected journeys.

Anthropological news.

A lot of research is going on in both the Australian and New Guinea.

Melanesian fields.

Thanks for letter and Report. General news of his retirement and son, 3 November 1959 (Item E10)
Thanks for letter and Report. Retirement is an illusion for both of them, 24 October 1960 (Item E11)

Beatrice Blackwood ought to come to Australia next year, and on the way attend the Pacific Science Congress at Honolulu. Asks if she has any notes or recollections of the 1936 P.C.S. 1p

Thanks for letters and Report, 14 January 1964 (Item E12)

He hopes that P.R. does not become too exclusively African.

Anthropology in England has been in danger of that for some years.

The Dept. of Anthropology in Sydney University, and the Australian Museum have both been developed.

Thanks for letters and Reports, 4 August 1965 (Item E13)

Academic and other positions which he occupies.

References to the technique of turning the edge in pressure flaking.

Recordings of Aboriginal music.

News of his son.

Raymond Firth, LSE, London, 7 June 1935 (File F12-13)

Answering Beatrice Blackwood's enquiry on Oceania orthography. Also 21/7/41, Cambridge, re. his Malay material and New Guinea.

Hans Fischer, Tubingen, 12 March 1960 (File F14)

His work on Northern Kukukuku, New Guinea.

D.C. Gajdusek, Betnesda USA, 7 Aug. 1958, 2 Sept. 1958, 21 Dec. 1972, 9 June 1975 (File G 1. a-c)

His interest in disease pattern in New Guinea.

W.C. Groves, Director of Native Education, Nauru, 1 July 1938 (File 28)

Sending Beatrice Blackwood a copy of his book on 'Native Education and Culture - contact in New Guinea'. His work on culture.

Beatrice Blackwood's reply to Groves, above, 28 June 1939 (File 29)

F.H. Hadden, Chabar Buka Passage, 25 October 1931 (File H1)

Thanking Beatrice Blackwood for the letter and pamphlet she had sent, but giving news of the death of Mrs Hadden. 2p.

Letters from A.C. Haddon, 11 November 1931 - 17 June 1939 (File H2-9)

8 items
Cambridge, 11 November 1931 - 12 November 1931 (Item H2)

Pottery is made by men in Bougainville? Attached is a copy (or draft) of Beatrice Blackwood's reply. She has been misquoted or misinterpreted. It is women who make the pottery.

Cambridge, 14 February 1932 (Item H3)

Commenting on a paper sent to him Beatrice Blackwood He thinks it gives a good general idea of the classics of Melanesia, and adds suggestions. Quotes sources re: pottery making.

Cambridge, 20 November 1932 (Item H4)

Thanking Beatrice Blackwood for a letter, etc.

Cambridge, 30 April 1938 (Item H5)

Can she provide information about some specimens that have arrived at the Museum (presumably in Cambridge)? He assumes that she brought them over.

Brockenhurst, 26 March 1939 (Item H6)

He has undertaken to write an obituary of Balfour for the Royal Society. Now comes a request from Beatrice Blackwood He will try to do both, but will need much information.

Cambridge, 25 May 1939 (Item H7)

He has not made much progress with the appreciation of Balfour for the Memorial Volume.

Cambridge, 6 June 1939 (Item H8)

Enclosing his appreciation of Balfour. Forthcoming visit to Oxford, wants to study the bamboo pipes from New Guinea.

Cambridge, 17 June 1939 (Item H9)

Enclosing his paper on New Guinea pipes and tobacco.

A.S. Haynes, Leamington, 13 January 1943 - 14 June 1945 (File H33-34)

Re Opt. H. Berkeley's collection of Malayan items.

Letters from M.J. Herskovitz, North Western University Dept. of Sociology, 14 March 1928 - 2 June 1939 (File H37-42)

6 items
Evanston, 14 March 1928 (Item H37)

Thanks for letter. Reference to problems of skin colour heredity. Various papers are being exchanged.

Paris, 21 June 1938 (Item H38)

He enjoyed and valued her book about Buka. The importance of the short 'diaries' she has published, which he hopes to get hold of.

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 23 June 1938 (Item H39)

Copy of Beatrice Blackwood's reply to the above. She will be pleased to make the 'diaries' available. She returned to Oxford only just before term, after two years absence in New Guinea.

Paris, 2 July 1938 (Item H40)

M.J.H. will be delighted to get Beatrice Blackwood's 'diaries'. Has she any data in the quantitative form in which Provinse cast his material?

Evanston, USA, 25 May 1939 (Item H41)

He is sorry that his request for some of the 'diaries' has burdened Beatrice Blackwood for so long. General news. Distressed to have had the news of the death of Buxton and Balfour.

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 2 June 1939 (Item H42)

Copy of Beatrice Blackwood's reply to the above. She now suggests using some of the diaries material in an article for The American Anthropologist. Information about Upper Watut, New Guinea, and its people.

T. Heyerdahl, 2 September 1960 (File H51)

Re. arrow heads from Pitcairn Island.

D. Jenness, National Museum of Canada, 6 July 1948 (File J11)

Been to New Zealand and worked at Maori Education and Welfare.

Dr. Keynes, St. Barts Hospital, 13 May 1929 (File K1)

Beatrice Blackwood to Keynes re blood groups for her visit to Bismarck Archipelago.

A.V. Kidder, Cambridge, 30 June 1951 (File K13)

Re spear throwing in New Guinea.

M.J.A. de Kizuer on board ship Amsterdam, 11 August 1963 (File K25)

Going to small Nogella in Solomons for fieldwork, and thanks Beatrice Blackwood for advice.

R.R. Marett, Exeter College Oxford, 3 Feb 1928, 7 Mar. 1934, 22 Nov. 1935, 7 Nov. 1939 (File M1-4)

Re her book 'Both Sides of Buka Passage', and makes some suggestions.

G.H. Murray, Director of Agriculture, Rabaul, 3 November 1930 (File M35)

Sending two skulls.

Correspondence with Sidney H. Ray, Thorpe Bay, 12 Mar 1933; 16 Mar 1933; 6 Apr 1933 (File R1-4)

Beatrice Blackwood asks Ray to look at her linguist material from Buka, his letter details the work he is doing on languages of New Solomons.

Biographical / Historical

Ray was the linguist on the 1898 Torres Straits Expedition

Max Rimoldi or (Kimoldi) ANU Canberra, 7 June 1965 (File R7)

That going to Buka to investigate social change, can she make any material available to him?

Prof. R.Ruggles Gates, London, 23 Nov. 1932, 25 Nov. 1932, 9 Feb. 1933, 10 Feb. 1933 (File R10-13)

Re. a rare case Beatrice Blackwood has come on in the Solomons and his replies.

Dr. C.A. Scmitz, Dusseldorf, 20 July 1954 (File S3)

That he plans to go to New Guinea.

Schroeder, Manus, New Guinea, 15 February 1938 (File S4)

Problems of life at Manus.

Carl Schuster, New York, 23 May 1946, 24 June 1966, 30 June 1966 (File S5-7)

Enquiry about a stone head from Guadalcanal.

Letters from Prof. C.G. Seligman, 13 November 1931 - 27 May 1940 (File S9-23)

15 items
Prof. C.G. Seligman to Beatrice Blackwood, 13 November 1931 (Item S9)

That he missed her paper on dreams.

Beatrice Blackwood to Seligman, Oxford, 31 December 1931 (Item S10)

Sending him her 'drea material'.

Toot Baldon (Oxford), 4 March 1932 (Item S11)

His consideration of her dream material has been held up.

Toot Baldon, 6p., 19 August 1932 (Item S12)

He has now finished his book, (Pagan Tribes of Nilotic Sudan?) and has started work on Beatrice Blackwood's dream material. He attaches a list of questions on sexual behaviour. Attached is her reply.

Toot Baldon, 25 September 1932 (Item S13)

Thanking Beatrice Blackwood for notes.

Toot Baldon, 9 October 1932 (Item S14)

Asking one more question about Beatrice Blackwood's dream material. Does it betoken a society in which marriage seems generally unhappy?

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 21 May 1933 (Item S15)

She is again turning her attention to her Solomons book. What can best be done with her dreams material? She encloses an outline of a propsed chapter on dreams.

Toot Baldon, 22 June 1933 (Item S16)

His reply to the above. Beatrice Blackwood is the best person to handle the material. Information about his own dream papers.

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford (Item S17)

Beatrice Blackwood's reply (copy) to the above. She will be grateful if he will look over her chapter on dreams.

Toot Baldon, 10 July 1933 (Item S18)

He has read her dreams chapter with great interest. Proposals for a visit from her.

Toot Baldon, 30 October 1933 (Item S19)

Will Beatrice Blackwood allow a post-graduate student to read through her dream material, and quote passages?

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 31 October 1933 (Item S20)

Beatrice Blackwood's reply (copy) to the above

Toot Baldon, 8 January 1934 (Item S21)

He has read Beatrice Blackwood's material (title illegible).

Toot Baldon, 4p., 9 May 1935 (Item S22)

References to marriage in Ambrym culture. A suggested alteration to one of Beatrice Blackwood's footnotes The term 'Watchitchio', and its role in marriage.

A copy of Beatrice Blackwood's work on this subject is attached, incorporating the proposed alteration.

An invitation to a sherry party., 27 May 1940 (Item S23)

(Mrs Seligman), 9 March 1943 (File 24)

Thanking Beatrice Blackwood for an offprint sent to him.

W.W. Skeat, Dawlish, 24 January 1943 (File S25)

To tell Beatrice Blackwood of any spare Malayan specimens which could be sent to P.R. Nearly all have gone to Cambridge but a few are available. The most important is the wax figure for sticking pins into. A Chinese candle is also enclosed, as well as some Javanese and other cloths.

Letters from H.D. Skinner, 6 October 1931 - 21 December 1974 (File S26-51)

29 items
Dunedin, New Zealand, 6 October 1931 (Item S26)

Forwarding a letter apparently concerning a Mr R.M.S. Taylor who has been doing research on Moriori teeth.

Family news. Developments at the Otago University Museum. Details of his own work.


Dunedin, 20 February 1932 (Item S27)

Collections and specimens from the Solomons his museum has received.

Asking for a copy of one of Beatrice Blackwood's papers. Understands her wish to go back to Bougainville.

Potential and economic troubles in New Zealand.

News of family, friends and work. 3p.

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 22 April 1932 (Item S28)

Beatrice Blackwood writes to say that the boxes of material intended for his museum have not gone off yet.

General work and business matters. The economic situation.

She cannot foresee another visit to Bougainville References to anthropological personalities. 3p.

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 26 April 1932 (Item S29)

A second letter reporting that the boxes of specimens, with some of her notes, have now gone off. Attached is a list of the items sent. 2p.

Dunedin, 1 June 1932 (Item S30)

Thanks for her letters and papers. Discusses the qualities needed by anthropologists.

He is delighted with the specimens which have now arrived.

The troubles of New Zealand.

Starting to work on typological studies. 2p.

Dunedin, 15 February 1933 (Item S31)

A query about two items of the Bougainville material sent by Beatrice Blackwood Comments on the collection. Publication of notes? 2p.

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 21 March 1933 (Item S32)

Beatrice Blackwood's reply to the above (copy)

Answers to his queries.

Her plans for publication of her book

Shortage of money will prevent her doing much travelling. 2p.

Dunedin, 27 June 1939 (Item S33)

Thanks for letter. He thinks Beatrice Blackwood ought to have been chosen as Balfour's successor. Sorry to hear Beatrice Blackwood's last spell in the field was less successful.

Developments at his museum.

Family news. 2p.

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 16 November 1939 (Item S34)

Beatrice Blackwood's reply to the above (copy) Radcliffe Brown who has been trying to abolish all branches of anthropology except Social. 'He is a major disaster to Anthropology in Oxford'.

Interesting details of the struggle and the teaching of Anthropology in Oxford.

Dunedin, 21 March 1940 (Item S35)

Thanks for letter. Sorry to hear of P.R. troubles.

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 22 May 1940 (Item S36)

Beatrice Blackwood's reply to the above (copy) P.R. is going on well under Penniman. There is plenty of work and students and materials keep pouring in.

Radcliffe Brown remains a thorn in the flesh.

Dunedin, 26 January 1943 (Item S37)

Sorry for long failure to write.

His War work.

He has published a paper on the classification of fish hooks.

Dunedin, 7 October 1944 (Item S38)

Thanks for letter and Reports.

His War work.

His museum has been able to make great improvements.

He has published some typological papers.

He will write to Knowles and suggest an exchange of Maori stone implements for Lower Palaeolithic.

(Mrs Skinner), 22 November 1944 (Item S39)

Mrs. Skinner writes thanking Beatrice Blackwood for a letter.

Family news. H.D.S. adds a few lines.

Dunedin, 3 September 1948 (Item S40)

Thanks for letter and Report. P.R. has made remarkable progress; his museum has also developed.

Dunedin, 13 August 1951 (Item S41)

Thanks for letter and Report.

Speiser and his good work.

Family news.

Dunedin, 1955 (Item S42)

Thanks for letter and Report. The whereabouts of Pitcairn material.

His museum's work and problems.

His impending retirement.

Dunedin, 7 September 1963 (Item S43)

News of his wife's death.

The opening of the new museum wing Otago. A.D. Litt had been conferred on him.

Family news. 2p.

Dunedin, 23 March 1964 (Item S44)

Thanks for letter. His work. A projected trip. Family news.

Dunedin, 20 August 1964 (Item S45)

Thanks for letter and Report.

Development of the University and Museum in Dunedin.

He is at work on two papers.

Family news.

Dunedin, 30 July 1965 (Item S46)

Thanks for letter and Report.

P.R. is a wonderful institution. Museum news

Family news.

Dunedin, 9 July 1968 (Item S47)

Thanks for Report. News of family and colleagues.

Dunedin, 16 December 1968 (Item S48)

Thanks for letter. Sorry to hear that P.R. progress, on the financial side, has been held up He is writing his memoirs.

Family news.

Progress at his museum. 2p.

Dunedin, 5 August 1969 (Item S49)

Thanks for letter and Report. His museum progresses and still gets accessions.

Centennial celebration of the museum and university.

Family news.


Dunedin, 21 December 1974 (Item S50)

Thanks for letter and Report. Congratulations to Beatrice Blackwood for her courage in continuing work on the catalogues.

His book of papers has been published by Otago University Press.

He has just had his 86th birthday and says good-bye.

Mrs Skinner, Dunedin, 10 July 19? (Item S51)

A partly dated letter from Mrs S. going back to the early days of their friendship Her husband's work and news of the family.

Jim Specht, ANU Res. School of Pacific Studies, Canberra, 16 February 1967 (Item S52)

Asking Beatrice Blackwood for information and help on the prohistory of pottery-using groups in Papua and New Guinea.

His plans for excavations on Buka. 2p.

Jim Specht, Sydney, 8 March 1973 (Item S53)

Thanking Beatrice Blackwood for her letter about the paper he had sent her on the pottery industry of Buka.

His future plans.

Philadelphia, 16 July 1943 (Item S54)

Thanks to Beatrice Blackwood for the memorial notices on Marett.

Letters from Dr. F. Speiser, 7 April 1932 - 1 June 1949 (File S55-68)

14 items
Basel. He is glad she was able to make use of some his ideas. News of his work. 3p, c1931-1932 (Item S55)
Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 7 April 1932 (Item S56)

(copy) suggesting the possibility of exchanging specimens. P.R. wants a blow-gun, and could offer a 'tall hat' (upi) from North Bougainville, about which she could offer information and photographs.

Basel, 20 April 1932 (Item S57)

His own results from his visit were only in collecting material. He will be glad to offer a blow-pipe. He would prefer something else from Bougainville? a hafted stone axe.

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 7 May 1938 (Item S58)

Beatrice Blackwood writes to say (copy) that she is just back from two years field work in New Guinea. Details of her programme. Can he help her get anything he has written on Rook Island?

Basel, 10 May 1938 (Item S59)

Reply to the above.

Comments on Beatrice Blackwood's two years field-work. The importance of having a good description of one of the inland tribes. Enquiring about people he had met on his visit there. Sending regards to Balfour.

His own age and health.

His hatred of lecturing.

Developments in his own museum.

Basel, 16 August 1938 (Item S60)

Sends Beatrice Blackwood the 'concept' of his lecture, and his North Britain material. She may use what she likes, without mentioning his name (material not present)

Beatrice Blackwood, Oxford, 18 October 1939 (Item S61)

Beatrice Blackwood's reply (copy) to the above. News of her work and P.R.M.

Basel, 2p., 30 October 1939 (Item S62)

His reply to the above.

The war atmosphere in Switzerland.

He still finds lecturing boring.

The difficulties of the situation for small neutral nations His view of the way the war will go. The war has stopped his museum's plans for enlargement.

Basel, 12 June 1942 (Item S63)

Reference to an exchange of letters.

Problems of war conditions. He has taken charge of his museum.

Shortage of fuel and coal in Switzerland.

No-one doubts the final victory of the allies.

(NOTE: a second sheet of his letter is missing.)

Basel, 11 October 1942 (Item S64)

Thanks for a letter. Life in Switzerland and his military service. References to the 'Anthropological clique' and Father Schmidt, a 'nasty little pope'.

Museum and anthropological news.

General war news. Strong anti-German feeling in Switzerland. Unrest in Germany. Probably post-war problems. 2p.

Basel, 8 May 1945 (Item S65)

The scientific isolation of Switzerland.

He wants news of his English anthropologist friends.

He has been working on the cultural history of the Pacific.

His views on his German colleagues. The linguistic problem of German-speaking Switzerland. German universities had bred the mentality that led to Hitler and the war.

The Swiss are full of admiration for what England has done for civilization.

Museum news and comments. 2p.

Basel, 20 June 1945 (Item S66)

Thanks for a long letter. The deaths of Haddon, Seligman, and Malinowsky. Is the latter such a terrible loss?

The objects evacuated from his museum are now being put back.

Basel, 30 January 1946 (Item S67)

Thanks for letter and Reports. He is envious of P.R. and its constantly increasing rich collections.

'The Melanesians are quite dead now'.

Conditions in Switzerland.

Thanks for letter and Report., 1 June 1949 (Item S68)

He himself is tired and has no enthusiasm for work. He sees that P.R. is to get more room for the library, but not for collections.

The political situation looks hopeless

Ms Marilyn Strathern, University of PNG, 9 January 1975 (File S88)

Thanks for letter. The state of affairs in PNG - tribal fighting.

Correspondence with Richard Taylor of Dental Clinic Wellington, New Zealand, 21 April 1932 - 7 July 1932 (File T1&2)

Sending photos of skulls.

Dr. E.M. Todd, Bougainville, 9 July 1974 (File T14)

Giving details of work on linguistic studies in Solomons and Bougainville.

(J.A.?) Todd, Supreme Court, Sydney, 16 December 1937 (File T15)

To Beatrice Blackwood re his research at Mowehafen and the ending of his ANRC funding.

Beatrice Blackwood to Todd, 24 June 1938 (File T16)

Ack. his letter and describing her work on the Arawe.

Beatrice Blackwood to Todd, 28 July 1938 (File T17)

Re headbinding amongst Arawe.

Letters from Dr. J. Wingate Todd, Western Reserve University of Cleveland, USA., 1 February 1928 - 16 September 1931 (File T18-24)

7 item
On the article on which they have collaborated for the Journal of Physical Anthropology, 1 February 1928 (Item T18)
Copy of Beatrice Blackwood's reply to the above. She could readily be available for the Pacific Project Dr. Wissler is arranging (Item T19)
Copy of Beatrice Blackwood's letter. She is to go to work in one of the smaller islands of the Bismarck Archipelago. She asks his opinion of the 'spectrum red' discs, 27 May 1929 (Item T20)
Copy of Beatrice Blackwood's letter informing him of her return from her year in Buka/Bougainville, 20 February 1931 (Item T21)
Thanking Beatrice Blackwood for the above letter. Would be glad to have some of the spectrum red paper, 9 March 1931 (Item T22)
Copy of Beatrice Blackwood's letter sending the spectrum red samples, She is very busy with her Buka material, 20 August 1931 (Item T23)
Thanking Beatrice Blackwood for the above letter and the spectrum red papers, 16 September 1931 (Item T24)

Ms Margaret Tuckson, Wahroonga, Australia, 7 January 1975 (File T25)

Thanking Beatrice Blackwood for letter. Account of the work she has been doing connected with the pot-making areas of Papua New Guinea and their relationship to language groups.

Dr. Wilson D. Wallis, University of Minneapolis, 10 Dec. 193? (File W1)

Re. exchange of Melanesian materials.

Beatrice Blackwood's reply to the above., 16 May 1940 (File W2)

Dr. Wallis, 5 September 1943 (File W7)

That Beatrice Blackwood's Buka book is being used in Army training courses.

Mrs Virginia Watson, Lae, New Guinea, 18 December 1953 (File W29)

Describing their surroundings.

Beatrice Blackwood to Miss Bella Weitzner, American Museum of Natural History, New York, 20 February 1931 (File W30)

Re Beatrice Blackwood's return (from Solomons) and that she is getting on with her Bougainville material.

Bella Weitzner, 15 February 1946 (File W37)

That F.H. Douglass arrived from the Pacific.

Bella Weitzner, 21 June 1946 (File W38)

Sending a photo of a stone carving found by a soldier on Guadalcanal.

F.E. Williams (Govt. Anthropologist, Port Moresby, Papua), 4 August 1937 (File W44)

Re: Beatrice Blackwood's fièldwork. Problems about permission for some areas.

Mrs Constance Williams, 4 August 1937 (File W45)

Family and general news

F.E. Williams, 17 September 1937 (File W46)

General news. Rattle collect in Orokolo.

F.E.W. (from Beatrice Blackwood at Salamana), 23 September 1937 (File W47)

Marooned in Rabaul. Other field-work possibilities. 2p.

C.W. (from Beatrice Blackwood at Salamana), 23 September 1937 (File W48)

News of Rabaul and return to England.

F.E.W., 31 May 1939 (File W49)

Thanks for BSBP. News of work, comment Oxford Anthropology.

C.W., 4 July 1939 (File W50)

News of journeys.

F.E.W., 25 August 1937 (File W51)

News of F.E.W.'s book. Discusses passages in BSBP. 2p.

Beatrice Blackwood to F.E.W., 26 October 1939 (File W52)

Beatrice Blackwood's reply to the above.

Congress of Americanists.

Photographic techniques.

Problems in Oxford anthropology.

Undated copy of Beatrice Blackwood's review of Drama of Orokolo for (illegible) journal. 2p (File W53)

F.E.W. to R.R. Marett, 3 July 1940 (File W54)

Re: submission for D.Sc Personal news.

Set of papers relating to F.E.W.'s submission for D.Sc. Beatrice Blackwood was one of the judges. 5p, 29 January 1942 (File W55)

C.A. Wilson, New Zealand, undated. Copy of a review presumably by Beatrice Blackwood Legends and Mysteries of the Maori. (File W56)

Beatrice Blackwood to Clark Wissler, American Museum of Natural History, New York, re her work on Solomons, 7 February 1932 - 26 March 1932 (File W61-62)

Wissler, 13 April 1932 - 14 November 1932 (File W63-64)

Re details of her work as the committee sponsoring her in the South Seas is to be wound up.

Beatrice Blackwood's reply on her progress, 7 December 1932 (File W65)

Wissler's reply, 27 January 1933 (File W66)

Beatrice Blackwood to Wissler that her book is about to be published, and she wishes to revisit the Solomons, 29 September 1935 (File W67)

Wissler's reply, 10 October 1935 (File W68)

Beatrice Blackwood to Wissler that book favourably received in Oxford, 21 October 1935 - 10 December 1935 (File W69-70)

Beatrice Blackwood to Wissler that she is teaching a young man preparing to go into the civil service in Sarawak, 30 October 1941 (File W73)

Beatrice Blackwood to Dr R.M. Yerkes, Yale University, 26 March 1932 (File Y2)

replying to his query on delousing behaviour patterns in humans with details of her own observations in the Pacific.

Series C. Material Relating to the Publication of Both Sides of the Buka Passage: an ethnographic study of social, sexual and economic questions in the North Western Solomon Islands. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1935 - 1946

3 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M2819.

Letters of congratulation (File i))

Correspondents include Henry Balfour, Alfred C. Haddon, R.R. Marett, C.G. Seligman. 21 Letters.

Review cuttings (File ii))

Includes a cutting from Melbourne Age 18 cuttings.

Business papers, 1935 - 1946 (File iii))

Includes letters to Mr Chinery and Mr Thomas from Beatrice Blackwood sending them complementary copies for opinion. Statements of royalty payments. 16 items.