MS Am 3144
Patrick Putnam papers
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: MS Am 3144
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Putnam , Patrick Tracy Lowell
Title: Patrick Putnam papers
Date(s): circa 1920s-1950s
Quantity: 14 linear feet (14 cartons)
Language of materials: Materials in English, French, Dutch, and Bantu.
Abstract: Correspondences, personal papers, research files, business documents, financial records,
maps, and printed material collected cheifly by Patrick Putnam and wife Anne during
their residence in the Belgian Congo running Camp Putnam.
85M-66. Gift of John MacDonald, 1986.
Series level processing by Alice Iu, 2017
• There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open
• This collection/a portion of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository.
Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services
staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.
Patrick Putnam Papers (MS Am 3144). Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Patrick Tracy Lowell Putnam (1904-1953) was an American anthropologist and businessman.
He graduated Harvard with an A.B. in anthropology in 1925. In 1927-1928, he joined
the Wulsin Harvard-Radcliffe expedition to the Congo for linguistic and ethnological
study. In 1928-1929, he returned to the Bamburi Pygmies of the Ituri forest to continue
his research, set up Camp Putnam, a hotel for guests and hospital for the locals and
embarked in various business enterprises. He resided primarily in the Belgian Congo
and traveled to other parts of West Africa until his death in 1953. His last wife
Anne, a New York artist, handled the camp affairs until its closing.
Arranged in the following series:
II. Personal papers
IV Research files
V. Business, camp, fianancial
VII. Printed materials
Includes business and personal correspondence; works by and reviewed by Putnam; zoological,
botanical, and other research files; personal finance and business records, many concerning
Camp Putnam; manuscipt and printed maps; and printed materials.
- Series: II. Personal papers Box 6
Scope and Contents: Daily journals and notes; official government documents: passports, visas, permits,
court summons, servant affidavits, identification cards, death certificates, divorce
papers; personal records: report cards and school grades, immunization records. At
end of personal papers are loose materials and photographs: doodles of puzzles and
people, loose photographs, stamps, postcards.
- Series: III. Compositions 1 boxes Box 7
Scope and Contents: Compositions and excerpts, typescript and manuscript, some in the hand of Patrick
Putnam and others. Also, movie scripts for Putnam's review while working with MGM
- Series: IV. Research files Box 7, Box 8 Box 9
Scope and Contents: Collected research materials and notes on Belgian Congo, pygmies and other Bantu tribes,
hunting game laws, zoological (okapi, protozoa), botany (plant specimens in folders),
medicine and diseases, insecticides, Bantu languages, travel (routes, tariffs, hotels).
- Series: V. Business, camp, financial 3 boxes Box 10, Box 11 Box 12
Scope and Contents: Bank statements, checkbooks and stubs, deposit receipts, bills, evidence of payments
to individuals, loan documents, etc.; inventory lists and postal records of package
transactions; Camp Putnam visitor logs and accounts; Camp hospital records, including
journals of patients medical conditions; Camp zoo records on animals kept on the
property (mating, birth and death rates); building plans for the camp, including drawings
of architectural and other designs (water wheel and other mechanical structures, film
development setups); business enterprises wih U.S. government, companies, and institutions
in rubber growing and export, exotic animals, coffee, and curios items from the Congo.
- Series: VI. Maps 1 boxes Box 13
Scope and Contents: Manuscript maps drawn by Patrick Putnam of Belgian Congo and areas surrounding camp
and printed maps and travel pamphlets from travel agencies: World maps, Belgian Congo,
- Series: VII. Printed materials 1 boxes Box 14
Scope and Contents: Newspapers and clippings about Camp Putnam, Patrick and Anne Putnam, travel articles
concerning the Belgian Congo. Travel and art magazines, travel pamplets and guides.
Publications from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on rubber. Publications from
John Chapin on the Congo.
Camp Putnam booklet produced by Patrick and Mary Putnam. Other printed articles and
publications from various producerts, including Lister Lighting Plan, Commander Attilio
Gatt, United Film Foundation, Coleman camp stove, Harvard Football Smoker, various
airlines, The Journal Review.