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Archives in London and the M25 area

Royal Anthropological Institute Archives

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1446 Archives
Held at: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
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Full title: Royal Anthropological Institute Archives
Date(s): 1843-2007
Level of description: collection
Extent: Currently 124 separate archives of one to several boxes of material each
Name of creator(s): Royal Anthropological Institute


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI) is the world's longest-established scholarly association dedicated to the furtherance of anthropology (the study of humankind) in its broadest and most inclusive sense. The present Institute was formed when the Ethnological Society of London and the Anthropological Society of London merged in 1871 to form the Anthropological Institute. Royal status was granted in 1907.


Scope and content/abstract:

A1 Ethnological Society of London Council Minutes, 2 Jan 1844-1826, Jan 1869; A2 Ethnological Society of London List of members elected, 1844, 1846, 1868-1871; A3 Anthropological Society of London Council Minutes, 1863-1871; A4 Anthropological Society of London Ordinary Meetings - Minutes, 24 Feb 1863-1831, Jan 1871; A5 Anthropological Society of London Office: Letters to the Society, 1865-1866, [1 Jan 1867], A-D, G-S (incomplete); A6 Anthropological Society of London Finance: Membership subscription ledgers, 1863-1872; A7 Anthropological Society of London: Finance: Receipted accounts, Jan 1863-Dec 1866; A8 Anthropological Society of London: Reports on papers submitted to the Anthropological Review, 1866-1867; A8 Anthropological Society of London Supplements: Miscellaneous addresses, lists, and circulars published by the Society, 1863-1868; A9 Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland: Journal: Record of papers submitted to the Journal, including date of receipt, 1871-1952.

Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) series comprising: A10 RAI Council Minutes, 1871-2007; A11 RAI Executive Committee Minutes, 17 Apr 1900-1931, May 1961; A12 RAI Ordinary meetings: Minutes, 1871-1935; A13 RAI Council: Meeting attendance books, 6 Mar 1871-2007; A14 RAI Ordinary meetings: Attendance books, 1892-1987; A15 RAI Finance: Receipts and payments, 1880-1958; A16 RAI Finance: Petty cash expenses, 15 Aug 1879-4 Aug 1900; A17 RAI Library Committee Minutes, 23 June 1891-19 Nov 1981; A18 RAI General Correspondence (office day-to-day), 1871-1968; A19 RAI: Daily attendance of members and visitors, 1 Nov 1881-20 Oct 1908; A20 RAI Finance: Fellowship subscriptions, 1881-1885, 1910-1958; A21 Predynastic Research Committee: Papers and correspondence on the Fayum and Kharga Oasis Expeditions, 1927-1976; A22 Anthropological Survey Committee: report by Northcote W Thomas in the Central Province of Southern Nigeria, 1910; A23 Human Biology Research Committee: Minutes, 8 Jan 1932-1924, Apr 1934; A24 Rivers Memorial Fund: History, minutes, correspondence and other papers, 1922-1954.

A25 RAI Journal: Reports of referees on papers, 28 Mar 1893-12 May 1938; A26 India Research Committee Minutes, 18 Mar 1931-6 July 1932; A27 RAI: Finance: Nominal ledgers of expenditure and receipts, 1915-1970; A28 Man: Subscribers to Man, 1901-1953; A29 Man. Finance, 1906-1916; A30 RAI: Register of the despatch of the Journal, 1894-1899; A31 Ethnological Society, Anthropological Society, and RAI membership (Fellowship) lists, 1869-1955, 1995-2007.

A32 Library: Register of books presented, 1880-1885, 1919-1941, 1950-1972; A33 James Cowles Prichard Centenary, 1948; A34 Local Correspondents, 1933-1942; A35 Exhibition of Colonial Art, 1949; A36 British Association: Committee to Organise Anthropometric Investigation in the British Isles: minutes and diary, 12 Sep 1902 - 7 Sep 1908; A37 Ways and Means Committee: Minutes, 23 July 1945-4 Mar 1953; A38 RAI: Finance: passbooks, 1920-1941; A39 Notes and queries on anthropology, Sixth edition, 1951; A40 Royal Society Tercentenary, 1960; A41 Herbert Spencer Trust, 1916-1937; A42 Featherman, Americanus Bequest, 1903-1921; A43 Applied anthropology, 1928-1939.

A44 Leases: Premises, maintenance, 1909-1947; A45 Centenaries and RAI history, 1943-2007; A46 Finance Committee, 1974-1983; A47 Leakey, Louis Seymour Bazett: Correspondence and papers on human remains from Kanam and Kanjera, Kenya, 1931-1932; A48 RAI Library Committee: Meeting attendance, 1894-1948; 1971-19 Nov 1981; A49 Library catalogues, 1882-1967; A50 Co-operative Housing Schemes, 1914-1961; A51 Library Administration, 1914-1976; A52 Conference on problems and prospects of European archaeology, 1944; A53 Autograph letters; A54 Keith, Sir Arthur: Correspondence, 1949; A55 Truganini: Correspondence with the Tasmanian Museum, 1954; A56 Imperial Bureau of Anthropology, [1908-1911]; A57 Friends of the RAI: Committee for Liaison with the Friends, Committee on Anthropology in Industry, 1947-1961; A58 British Joint Committee for Anthropological Teaching and Research: Letters, minutes and papers, 1914-1963; A59 British Ethnography Committee Minutes, 1948-1957, 1969; A60 Dining Club, Sherry Club, Garden Party, Strawberry Teas, 1930-1977.

A61 Swanscombe Committee, 1936-1964; A62 Congrès international des Sciences anthropologiques et ethnologiques: Correspondence, papers, and minutes, 1912-1934, 1937-1939; A63 Fellows' application forms, 1901-1965; A64 Americanist Congress, 1912-1955; A65 International Congress of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences, 1931-1933; A66 Emslie Horniman Anthropological Scholarship Fund, 1944-2007; A67 Graig-Lwyd Excavation Committee, Expenditure, 1920; A68 Hornell, James, and Huxley Memorial Lecture, 1948-1949; A69 Fawcett papers, 1951-1961.

A70 RAI Museum Collection; A71 Census of British Anthropologists, 1940; A72 Library: Accession of books and pamphlets, 1891-1950; A73 William of Gloucester, HRH Prince, 1972-1973; A74 Library: catalogue arranged by the classification of the International Catalogue of Scientific Literature, 1898-1919; A75 Committee for the Study of Beads, minutes, 3 Mar 1960-16 May 1961; A76 Standing Committee, Minutes, 1961-1978 [temporary entry]; A77 Publications Committee Minutes, 1961-1970 [temporary entry]; A78 Ethnographic Film Committee Minutes, 1957-1983; A79 Ethnomusicology Committee Minutes, correspondence and papers, 1953-1972; A80 Extraordinary General Meeting on Library transfer, 24 June 1976; A81 Committee on the export of works of art (Waverley Committee), 1951-1953; A82 Seligman Centenary symposium, 1973.

A83 Press cuttings (general); A84 Library: Register of negatives, prints and slides, 1897; A85 Education Committee Minutes, 1974-1985 [temporary entry]; A86 Percy Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology, 1947-2007; A87 International Conference on African Children, 1929-1931; A88 Wellcome Medal for Research in Anthropology as Applied to Medical Problems, 1931-2007; A89 Ancient Mining and Metallurgy Committee, 1947-1971; A90 Metallurgy and Archaeology Conference, 1963; A91 Blood Group Committee, 1951-1972; A92 Congrès international des Sciences anthropologiques et ethnologiques, 1938-1960; A93 Conseil Permanent, 1934-1954; A94 RAI Membership (Fellowship) Correspondence, 1923-1975; A95 Honorary Officers Correspondence, 1934-2007; A96 Man and the Journal editorial(not yet catalogued); A97 Corporate Membership, 1948-1950; A98 Mankind Quarterly, 1960-1965; A99 Christmas cards, 1953-1962; A100 Companies Act, articles of association, by-laws, and regulations, 1871-2007; A101 Association copies and other related books; A102 Ephemera, 1926-2007; A103 Burton Library, 1954-1986; A104 Library visitors' book, 1950-1976; A105 Manuscript and House Archives Collections (Donors), 1936-2007; A106 British Committee for the Standardisation of Anthropometric Techniques, 1932-1960; A107 Anthropometric Survey of Great Britain, 1934-1935; A108 RAI Officers' Meetings, 1945-1961; A109 Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society, 1934-1937; A110 Committee on Honours and Awards; A111 Aborigines' Protection Society, 1839-1909; A112 Ethnological Society publications, 1848-1870; A113 Anthropological Society publications, 1863-1871; A114 RAI publications, 1871-2007; A115 Huxley Memorial Lectures, 1940-2007; A116 RAI Annual General Meeting minutes, 1968-2001; A117 Radcliffe Brown Memorial Fund for Social Anthropological Research, 1962-2007; A118 Man T-shirts, 1981-1992; A119 British Somaliland Archaeology Ethiopia Committee, 1946-1954; A120 Exhibition Committee; A121 Arthur Maurice Hocart Memorial Prize; A122 RAI Local Branches; A123 RAI Editorial Committee for the JRAI, 1937-1951; A124 Presidency Committee.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
With a few exceptions all the papers are written in English; a few letters are in French, German, Spanish or Italian.

System of arrangement:

The material has been divided as shown in Scope and Content above; each series of archive material is further sub-divided.

Conditions governing access:

Appointments are necessary for all visits; please contact the archivist by email to arrange; a fee of £10 is payable by all visitors except Fellows and Members; membership details can be found on the RAI web site; access to material referring to the most recent thirty years is restricted; some material is very fragile and may not be available for view; a few items are of restricted or forbidden access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies and scans for personal research only may be arranged at the discretion of the archivist; charges apply; in all cases forms governing use of copies must be signed; use of digital cameras is not allowed.

Finding aids:

There are detailed catalogues for all of the archives. Copies of these may be requested from the archivist.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Archives have been created from correspondence and papers held at the RAI, and have been divided into subjects (see Scope and Content).

Immediate source of acquisition:

Internal records and papers.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Institute has a full collection of its own publications; annual reports, reports of meetings, and articles on aspects of the Institute's history in particular relate to the material in the archives.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Sarah Walpole.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Dec 2007

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