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Guide to the Records of the Puerto Rico Project RISM RG 3

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2641
university-archives@nyu.edu


New York University Archives

Collection processed by Emilyn L. Brown. Inventory prepared by Katie Ehrlich and Stephanie Schmeling, September 2010.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on March 04, 2013
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

 
Creator: Steward, Julian Haynes, 1902-1972
Title: Records of the Puerto Rico Study
Dates [inclusive]: 1943-1951
Dates [bulk]: Bulk, 1948-1949
Abstract: The Puerto Rico Project was a comprehensive study conducted by Dr. Julian H. Steward and a select team of anthropologists between 1947 and 1949. The collection includes correspondence, minutes, interviews, reports, journal accounts, fieldwork reports, printed matter, manuscripts, thesis, maps, and ephemera.
Quantity: 4.0 linear feet
Location: Offsite storage
Call Phrase: RISM RG 3

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Historical/Biographical Note

The Puerto Rico Project was an in-depth study of the Island's population organized by Dr. Jaime Benitez, chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, with the assistance of Clarence Senior, director of the University's Center of Social Science Investigations. In early 1947, the proposed study was brought to the attention of Dr. Julian Steward, chair of Columbia University's Anthropology Department.

By December 1947 the organization of project goals, research hypotheses and methodology were underway. The fieldwork phase of the project began in February 1948, coinciding with Operation Bootstrap ("Operación Manos a la Obra"), the Puerto Rico government's ambitious plan to industrialize the Island. Dr. Steward chose many of his graduate students to head fieldwork investigations. This core group included noted leaders in the field of anthropology: Sidney Mintz, Eric R. Wolf, Elena Padilla Seda, Robert A. Manners, John Murra, Raymond Scheele and others. Students from the Universities of Puerto Rico and Chicago also assisted in the study to gain professional training.

In contrast to previous anthropological studies that investigated communities as isolated units, the Puerto Rico Project not only assessed the impact of industrialization among rural communities, but it also produced an analysis of the relationship between those communities and the Island through oral history, labor studies, and comparative surveys of sociocultural patterns.

Fieldwork activities concluded in August 1949, followed by a year of supplemental library research. A preliminary report was published in 1951. Funding from the University of Puerto Rico, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Research Board of the University of Illinois helped to facilitate completion of the final report, published as The People of Puerto Rico: A Study in Social Anthropology.

Sources:

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Scope and Content Note

The records of the Puerto Rico Project comprise 4.0 linear feet and span the years 1943 to 1951. The bulk of the records, generated between 1947 and 1949, represent a unique, cooperative effort in modern anthropology. The collection includes bilingual correspondence, conference papers, minutes, interviews, journal entries, fieldwork reports, manuscripts, clippings, printed matter, miscellaneous papers, and maps. Descriptive details are included in the scope and content note for each series.

Although the collection represents a small portion of a comprehensive study, the records provide critical insight into the impact of industrialization on the Island's cultural history, demography, land use patterns, economics, race relations, migration, and family kinship structure. The records also highlight the influence of external economic and political forces.

Although critical gaps occur between Nov - Jun 1948, Jun 1949 - 1950, and during the final phase of the Project, Series I details the Project's development and highlights the relationships of the fieldwork team. Series II provides insight into the research structure of the Project with particular emphasis on the development of hypotheses and fieldwork methodology. Although there is some overlap between Series III and Series IV, the records in both series detail day-to-day life in Puerto Rico during the transitional period. Series V consists of field data submitted by and circulated among members of the fieldwork team. These reports helped shape and guide the research methodology.

Although Series VI is incomplete, it sheds light on the way in which the final report was organized. Series VII includes notes, political flyers, brochures and some photographs. A unique set of local and regional maps of Puerto Rico, published prior to the Project, comprise Series VIII.

Two items, formerly housed in RISM's Library for Caribbean Research (LCR), have been appended to the collection. Report on the Selection of a Community for Anthropological Study, a thesis written by Irene Caro, documents fieldwork in Puerto Rico and contains a valuable glossary of common terms in the Spanish language. The second document, Canamelar: The Subculture of a Rural Sugar Plantation Proletariat, written by Sidney Mintz, appears to be a chapter of a larger, unidentified manuscript.

Arrangement

The Puerto Rico Study Collection has been organized chronologically and arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Minutes
  3. III. Interviews
  4. IV. Journal Entries
  5. V. Project Reports
  6. VI. Draft Manuscript Papers
  7. VII. Miscellaneous Papers
  8. VIII. Maps

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Armstrong, Robert G., 1917-
  • Manners, Robert A., (Robert Alan), 1913-
  • Mintz, Sidney Wilfred, 1922-
  • Murra, John V.
  • Muñoz Marín, Luis, 1898-1980
  • Padilla, Elena, 1923-
  • Steward, Julian Haynes, 1902-1972
  • Wolf, Eric R., 1923-

Document Type

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence.
  • Interviews.
  • Journals (periodicals).
  • Manuscripts (document genre).
  • Maps.
  • Minutes.
  • Photographs.
  • theses.

Subject Organizations

  • Columbia University. Faculty.
  • Partido Popular Democrático (P.R.)..
  • University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras Campus).

Subject Topics

  • Economic development -- Puerto Rico.
  • Puerto Rico -- Economic conditions.
  • Puerto Rico -- Social conditions.
  • Puerto Rico -- Social life and customs.

Subject Places

  • New York (N.Y.)
  • Puerto Rico.

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Administrative Information

Provenance

The Records of the Puerto Rico Project were generated by a team of professional anthropologists under the direction of Dr. Julian H. Steward, chair of the anthropology department at Columbia University. Dr. Steward and other members of the team were professional associates of Dr. Vera D. Rubin, founder and director of the Research Institute for the Study of Man (RISM) and may have transferred the collection to RISM headquarters.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research without restrictions.

Additionally, please note that this collection is stored offsite , and you must contact the repository to schedule access.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the:
New York University Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-2646
Fax: (212) 995-4225
E-mail: university-archives@nyu.edu

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, Date(s) (if known); The Records of the Puerto Rico Project; RISM RG 3; box number; folder number;
Research Institute for the Study of Man Collection
New York University Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

Related Material at the Reed Foundation

The Vera D. Rubin Papers, RISM RG 1

Separated Material

No materials have been removed from the collection.

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Container List

Series I: Correspondence, April 1948 - August 1950, undated

Scope and Contents note

7 folders, arranged chronologically. This series consists of incoming and outgoing letters between fieldworkers in Puerto Rico and field director John Murra in New York.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Correspondence
Apr-Jun 1948
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Correspondence
Jul 1948
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence
Aug 1948
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Correspondence
Sep 1948
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Correspondence
Oct-Nov 1948
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Correspondence
Jun 1949-Aug 1950
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Correspondence
undated

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Series II: Minutes, December 1947 - January 1949

Scope and Contents note

9 folders, arranged chronologically. This series mainly consists of minutes generated during Project conferences and meetings. The papers, which highlight planning details and methodology of fieldwork investigation, include agendas, minutes, research categories, work plans and notes. Several reports referenced in the minutes are also included.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Typescript minutes, notes, ephemera
Dec 1947-Feb 1948
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Proposed conference agenda, research categories
May 1948
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Minutes, reports
May 1948
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Minutes, community studies form, notes
May 1948-June 1948, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Notes (handwritten)
May 1948, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Typescript minutes
May 1948-Jun 1948, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Typescript minutes, notes
Jun 1948-Jul 1948, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Typescript and handwritten minutes
Jul 1948
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Project metting work plan, class taxonomy by community, comparative community data
Jan 1949

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Series III: Interviews, August - October 1948, undated

Scope and Contents note

5 folders, arranged chronologically. This series consists of typescript field interviews conducted by Sidney Mintz and Charles Rosario, a student at the University of Puerto Rico. Coded to conform the Project hypotheses, the interviews address issues of land reform, labor patterns, race relations, religion, and culture.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Instructions for use of questionnaire
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Interviews
Aug 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Interviews
Sep 1984
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Interviews
Oct 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Interview questionnaires (blank)
undated

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Series IV: Journal Entries, January 1948 - April [1949?]

Scope and Contents note

Approximately .5 linear feet, arranged chronologically. This series is comprised of bilingual, typescript accounts of field observations that were originally maintained as a journal. Although most of the entries appear to have been submitted by Sidney Mintz and Charles Rosario, the bracketed question marks represent unauthored entries. A small journal kept by Elena Padilla Seda is also included.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Journal Entires - unsigned
Jan 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Descriptive and historic notes related to interviews, entries S. Mintz
Aug-Sep 1948, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Journal Entires, S. Mintz
Oct 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Journal Entires, S. Mintz
Oct 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Journal Entires, S. Mintz
Oct 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Journal Entires, C. Rosario
Oct-Nov 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Journal Entires, S. Mintz
Nov 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Journal Entires, S. Mintz
Nov 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Journal Entires, S. Mintz
Dec 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Journal Entires, C. Rosario [?]
Dec 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Journal Entires, S. Mintz
Jan 1949
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Journal Entires, C. Rosario [?]
Jan 1949
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Journal Entires, C. Rosario [?]
Jan 1949
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Journal Entires, C. Rosario [?]; small, partially used journal containing notes and drawings by Elena Padilla Seda
Feb 1948-Aug 1949
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Journal Entires, C. Rosario [?]
April [1949?]

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Series V: Project Reports, 1946 - April 1950

Scope and Contents note

1.0 linear feet arranged chronologically. This series features a number of typescript reports that have been organized as two subseries. Subseries A details the development of research hypotheses. Subseries B consists of statistical data, community studies and reference maps used in the study. Report titles appear in italics.

Subseries A. Research Methodology

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Correspondence, master lists of hypotheses
May-Jun 1948, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 2
May 1948, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Untitled report regarding research categories; Quantitative data for localities [John Murra?]
Nov 1948, undated

Subseries B. Field Research

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Statistical data; Programa De Trabajo [soil conservation map transferred to Serices VIII, Oversized Materials],  Plan De Trabajo from Distrito De Conservacion De Suelos Oeste
Nov 1946-Nov 1947
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Reports on local crops, land use, labor, population, and working conditions organized by research category
Jan 1948, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Reports on Palmas Altas [one incomplete]; chilidren's artwork and writings; notes
Jan 1948-May 1949, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Information Relative to Selection of Urban Industrial Community, statistical data, printed matter, notes
Apr-May 1948, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Conversation with F. Romero Salvatore Consentino, National Labor Review Board (NLRB), and David Sachs
May 1948
Box: 3 Folder : 9 PIP Meeting at Quebradillas, notes
Jun 1948, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Special report on race, submitted by S. Mintz and C. Rosario
Aug 1948
Box: 3 Folder : 11 Bi-weekly reports submited by Eric Wolf, Angelina Saavedra de Rosa, Robert Manners and others
Aug-Dec 1948, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 12 Some Thinking on National Culture, Eric Wolf:  Puerto Rico and a National Culture, Bob Manners
Sep 1948, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 13 Marzo 1946 - Zafra 1946
Dec 1948
Box: 3 Folder : 14 Reports on marketing, export crops, standard of living, economics, communications organized by
Jan 1948-Feb 1949 , undated
Box: 3 Folder : 15 Draft theses, notes
Mar 1948-Apr 1950
Box: 3 Folder : 16 [author unknown]
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 17 .
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 18 Survey Report: Santa Isabel, S. Mintz
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 19 [author unknown]
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 20 Details to be Observed [relates to children], Kay Wolf
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 21 Eric Wolf
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 22 [Sidney Mintz?]
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 1 [author unknown]
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 2 [author unknown]
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Ramon Granfa Cordova; handwritten notes
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 4 [author unknown]
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 5 Summary of [author unknown]
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 6 Research notes: Puerto Rico's government and political party system
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 7 Research citations,
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 8 Research citations, draft notes
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 9 [author unknown], draft notes
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 10 [author unknown]; miscellaneous, incomplete reports
undated

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Series VI: Draft Manuscript Papers, 1948 - 1950, undated

Scope and Contents note

Approximately .75 linear feet (1 AB, four folders), arranged chronologically. This series consists of a draft manuscript, that may represent efforts to organize the final report. Sequentially numbered and coded to conform to the Project hypotheses (see Series V. Project Reports, subseries a. Research Methodology), the manuscript is a compilation of journal entries, interviews and community studies. The following sections are missing: pp. 124 - 235, 236 - 304, 563 - 734, and 1412 - 1571.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 4 Folder : 11 Draft Manuscripts: Introductory material
1948-1949[?]
Box: 4 Folder : 12 Draft Manuscripts: pp. 447 - 476
Oct 1948
Box: 4 Folder : 13 Draft Manuscripts: pp. 477 - 493
Oct 1948
Box: 4 Folder : 14 Draft Manuscripts: pp. 494 - 527
Oct 1948
Box: 4 Folder : 15 Draft Manuscripts: pp. 528 - 562
Oct 1948
Box: 4 Folder : 16 Draft Manuscripts: [Note: Fieldwork in Norcora], genealogical chart, pp. 946 - 1006
Jan 1949
Box: 4 Folder : 17 Draft Manuscripts: pp. 1007 - 1063
Jan 1949
Box: 5 Folder : 1 Draft Manuscripts: pp. 1064 - 1100
Feb 1949
Box: 5 Folder : 2 Draft Manuscripts: pp. 1101 - 1162
Feb 1949
Box: 5 Folder : 3 Draft Manuscripts: pp. 1288 - 1367
Apr 1949
Box: 5 Folder : 4 Draft Manuscripts: Memo from JHS [Julian H. Steward] manuscript outline
Jul 1950

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Series VII: Miscellaneous Papers, Dec 1943; 1947 - Feb 1949, undated

Scope and Contents note

.5 linear feet (1 AB). Arranged chronologically. This series contains varied materials, including printed matter, theatre advertisements, a photograph contact sheet and ephemera. Items of special interest include a form letter signed by former Puerto Rico governor Luis Munoz and political flyers.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 5 Form letter signed by former Governor Luis Munoz Marin
Dec. 1943
Box: 5 Folder : 6 Anthrolopogy-Sociology class calendar; outline, bibliography; essay on folk society, notes
1947
Box: 5 Folder : 7 Programs for Teatro Taboas and Teatro Boringuen in Manati, Puerto Rico
Jun 1948-Jul 1948
Box: 5 Folder : 8 Political flyers for in Cauguas, Puerto Rico; related voting material
Sep 1948 , undated
Box: 5 Folder : 9 Brochures and print material detailing cooperative credit unions in Puerto Rico
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 10 Photo Contact sheet of children in urban setting
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 11 Notes
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 12 Notes
undated

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Series VIII: Maps, Mar 1944 - May 1946, undated

Scope and Contents note

1.0 linear feet (2 folders, 1 oversized box), arranged according to size. The oversized material in this series includes government, regional and land use maps of Puerto Rico. Hand drawn maps of local communities are also included.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 13 topographical map prepared by the Dept. of Interior

Barcode

31142042275951

May 1946
Box: 5 Folder : 14 hand drawn map of the

Barcode

31142042275951

undated
Box: 6 item : 1 Oeste SC District Map, U.S. Dept. of Conservation Service

Barcode

31142042275977

undated
Box: 6 item : 2 Municipo De Camuy, U.S. Geological Survey and the Dept. of the Interior

Barcode

31142042275977

May 1946
Box: 6 item : 3 Hand drawn map of sugar cane farms

Barcode

31142042275977

undated
Box: 6 item : 4 Hand drawn map of Ciales

Barcode

31142042275977

undated
Box: 6 item : 5 Censo de Transito [Traffic Map] of Puerto Rico, Dept. of the Interior

Barcode

31142042275977

Mar 1944
Box: 6 item : 6 Geographical survey maps of Florida and Ciales, Puerto Rico

Barcode

31142042275977

1946
Box: 6 item : 7 Land Use Map of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Planning Board

Barcode

31142042275977

Jun 1944

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Appendix

Scope and Contents note

Two additional monographs, a thesis and manuscript, formerly housed in the Library for Caribbean Research (LCR) at the Research Institute for the Study of Man, have been appended to the collection. These items provide document the fieldwork phase of the Project.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 7 item : 1 Report on the Selection of a Community for Anthropological Study, by Isabel S. Caro
Dec 1951
Box: 7 item : 2 Canamelar: The Subculture of a Rural Sugar Plantation Proletariat, by Sidney Mintz
undated

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