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FORTES, Meyer (1906-1983)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1446 MS 298
Held at: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
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Full title: FORTES, Meyer (1906-1983)
Date(s): 1934
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 2 items
Name of creator(s): Fortes | Meyer | 1906-1983 | anthropologist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in Britstown, Cape Colony, 1906; educated: South African Collegiate High School at Cape Town; MA in English and psychology at the University of Cape Town, 1926; postgraduate student in psychology at University College, London, 1930; Ratan Tata research studentship at the London School of Economics, 1930; Fellow of the International African Institute, 1934-1938; carried out fieldwork among the Tallensi of the northern territories of the Gold Coast, 1933-1934; temporary lectureship at the London School of Economics, 1938-1939; research lectureship, Oxford, 1939-1940; carried out research in Nigeria under a project organized by Margery Perham, 1941-1942; remained in west Africa to carry out intelligence work; head of the sociological department in the West African Institute, Accra, 1944; directed the Asante social survey, 1945-1946; returned to Britain, 1946; reader in social anthropology, Oxford; William Wyse chair at Cambridge, 1950-1973; died, 1983.
Publications: The Dynamics of Clanship among the Tallensi(1945)
The Web of Kinship among the Tallensi (1949)
Kinship and the Social Order (1969)
Oedipus and Job in West African Religion (1959),
Religion, Morality and the Person (1987)


Scope and content/abstract:

First and second reports on Meyer Fortes' field work on the Gold Coast, Africa, Jul 1934 and 14 Oct 1934.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:


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:

Detailed description held in the RAI reading room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Deposited in the Institute of Social Anthropology, Oxford, by John Beattie.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Given to the RAI by the Institute of Social Anthropology, Oxford, 1984.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Oxford DNB

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:
Sep 2008

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