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South America Expedition 1906 - 09, Records 1904 - 1922

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Archives, Harvard University


Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: 09-3
Repository: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Archives, Harvard University
Title: South America Expedition Records1904 - 1922
Date(s): 1904 - 1922
Quantity: 2 linear feet (3 boxes; 1 oversize box)

Finding Aid:

Revised: Sarah R. Demb, June 2001
Generated by: Christine W. Blackman, March 1999
Preliminary Finding Aid: Randall Dean, 1995

Terms of Use:

Access: Unrestricted

Conditions Governing Use:

Copying: Unrestricted

Related Material Note

Related PM Photographic Archives Collections: Inventory 30-22 in Photo Archives: 19 "photos of Indians" and 32 mounted photographs (17 of objects and 15 of people).
Related PM Artifact Collections: William Curtis Farabee Collection 09-3 (aka the De Milhau South America Expedition Collection)
Related Archival Collections:Amazon Expedition Records, 1913-16. University Museum Archives, University of Pennsylvania. Andean Expedition Records, 1921-23. University Museum Archives, University of Pennsylvania.

Creator Sketch

The Peabody Museum PM South America Expedition was a two and a half year ethnological study of the indigenous peoples inhabiting the Peruvian interior east of the Andes. The expedition collected ethnographic and archaeological artifacts, photographed and measured native peoples, contributed to mapping the headwaters of the Amazon, and participated in establishing the Peruvian border with Ecuador.
The expedition began in December 1906 and ended in April 1909. The Harvard Observatory at Arequipa, Peru served as the base for three separate excursions to the interior. Principals William Curtis Farabee,PM Assistant in Somalogy and expedition Field Director, and Dr. Edward Franklin Horr, expedition surgeon, participated through the duration of the expedition. Recent Harvard graduates and ethnologistsLouis J. de Milhau and John W. Hastings participated through the end of 1907. The expedition was funded under the patronage of Louis J. de Milhau with contributions from John W. Hastings. The expedition was aided by PresidentRoosevelt and U.S. SecretaryRoot who provided it with diplomatic letters of support. The Inca Mining Company of Tirapata and the government of Peru provided some expedition transportation.

Farabee, William Curtis.Indian Tribes of Eastern Peru,Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, 10(1922).
Garraty, John A. and Mark C. Carnes(eds.) American National Biography.Oxford University Press:New York. pp. 706-707.
Johnson, Allen and Dumas Malone eds. 1964.Dictionary of American Biography.Charles Scribner's Sons:New York. pp. 269-270.
Putnam, F.W.Fortieth Report on the Peabody Museum of American Archaelology and Ethnology 1905-06.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. p. 4.
Putnam, F.W. Forty-first Report on the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 1906-07. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. p. 10.
Putnam, F.W. Forty-second Report on the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 1907-08. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. pp. 295-297.
Putnam, F.W. Forty-third Report on the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 1908-09. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. pp. 270-272.


The General Accounts subseries in Series I (Expedition Administration) contains bills,financial records, and receipts. The Reports subseries consists of what appears to be PM internal reports written by F.W. Putnam, the museum curator, and a report by expedition participant and patron,Louis J. de Milhau. Some of this material was later published in the PM annual reports and possibly the Harvard University Gazette, but it is unclear if these are actual drafts. Over two hundred items in Series II(Correspondence) detail the general administration and progress of the expedition. Records documenting expedition funding,artifacts purchased and some of Farabee's professional correspondence are also included in this series.


The expedition records include eight series, I. Expedition Administration, II. Correspondence, III. Field Notes, IV. Research Notes, V. Manuscripts, VI. Publications, VII. Photographs, and VIII. Oversize Materials (maps and somatological tables). Subseries within each series are arranged alphabetically. Documents within each subseries of Series I, II, and VI are arranged chronologically. All documents in other subseries are arranged according to order of subject matter treatment in Farabee's monograph Indian Tribes of Eastern Peru(1922).

Scope and Contents

Series III-V (Field Notes,Research Notes, and Manuscripts) make up the bulk of the records and include loose sheets and notebooks, research notes (primarily notecards kept by Farabee,) and the manuscript for Farabee's above mentioned monograph.Field notes are recorded in twelve notebooks kept by Farabee. In addition, there is one notebook of Campa Campa Indiansvocabulary that was given to Farabee. The drawings and vocabulary lists in Series III (Field Notes) consist of loose material not included in the manuscript. Notecards in Series IV (Research Notes) originally consisted of two incomplete sets, one marked "copies". These have been interfiled according to subject matter. Where there are duplicates the "copies" set follows the original. Series V (Manuscripts) is incomplete and consists of material from multiple drafts of Farabee's monographIndian Tribes of Eastern Peru1922. Material is arranged according to the chapter order of the monograph. Series VI (Publications) consists of typscript and handwritten transcriptions and translations of contemporary newspaper articles about the expedition. Material in Series VII (Photographs) is scant and peripheral. Additional photographs can be found in the related PM Photographic Archives collection. In addition to two coated fabric maps, six typescript copies of somatological tables have been housed in Series VIII (Oversize Materials).

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