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Worman, Eugene C., Jr. (1915--) Papers 1923-1952: A Finding Aid

Peabody Museum Archives
Harvard University


©2001 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Peabody Museum Archives
Call No.: 998-2
Location: PM Archives; PM Photo Archives
Title: Worman, Eugene C., Jr. (1915--) Papers 1923-1952: A Finding Aid
Creator: Eugene C. Worman, Jr.
Quantity: 10 linear feet (12 boxes); aprox. 500 photographs and negatives

Processed by:

Sharon Bruni, Fall 2000 in partial requirement for a Master's degree in Library and Information Science, Simmons College.

Acquisition Information:

The Eugene C. Worman, Jr. Papers were donated to the Peabody Museum in early 1998 by Eugene C. Worman, Jr. The donation was facilitated by Dr. Richard Meadow, Harvard University Department of Anthropology.

Access Restrictions:

Unrestricted. Note: The collection has undergone conservation treatment due to pre-1998 mold growth. Patrons sensitive to mold are advised to ask the archivist for a filter mask to wear when using the collection in the reading room.

Use Restrictions:

Copying: Unrestricted with the exception of some fragile materials.

Historical Note

Eugene Clark Worman Jr. was born to missionary parents in Madras, India on March 12, 1915. Worman lived in India until the age of twelve, when his family returned to the United States. In 1933, he entered Harvard University as an undergraduate anthropology major. As an undergraduate, Worman was particularly interested in the archaeology of Asia. In 1937, he graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. in anthropology and began his graduate studies at Harvard in the same field that fall.
In the summer of 1938, during his graduate work, Worman was granted a fellowship by the American School of Prehistoric Research to study European prehistory in Central Europe for three months under the direction of Dr. Vladimir Fewkes. In October of the same year, Worman traveled to India for a nine-month stay on a Sheldon Traveling Fellowship from Harvard University. During his stay in India, he traveled thousand of miles throughout the Indian subcontinent and Ceylon. In his Indian travels, he surveyed many prehistoric sites and museum collections and produced detailed notes, sketches, and photographs.
On returning home from India, Worman assisted Dr. Carleton S. Coon in his introductory anthropology classes from 1939-1941. In the summer of 1941, he was employed by Dr. Frank H.H. Roberts, Jr., of the Smithsonian Institution to assist at the excavation of a Folsom site in San Jon, New Mexico. In the same year, Worman fulfilled his requirements for an M.A. in Anthropology at Harvard. From February 1942 to September 1945, he worked as a civilian for the U.S. Navy Department's Division of Naval Intelligence in Washington D.C., researching the current position of the Japanese Navy and Merchant Marine. He finished his dissertation, The Problem with Neolithic Culture in India, and received his Ph.D in Anthropology in 1946. After acquiring his Ph.D, Worman applied to receive support from the American Philosophical Society for his research on a comprehensive summary of the whole of Indian prehistory and early history, a work apparently never completed.


Scope and Content

The Worman Papers consist primarily of the research materials Worman gathered as a student at Harvard University for his Ph.D dissertation The Problem of a Neolithic Culture in India (1946). His research on the Neolithic period of Indian prehistory contributed significantly to the archaeological documentation in India up to 1939.
Worman wrote; "I have examined available information on the so-called neolithic sites and stone implements found in India and have concluded that there is now no stratigraphic or other proof that true neolithic cultures ever existed there prior to the introduction of metal. This, however, is apparently due to the lack of scientific excavation in India."¹ Worman's evaluation of the Indian discipline seems not have taken into account the impact of the civil and colonial turmoil the country had undergone and was experiencing in the late 1930s.
Worman traveled extensively throughout Ceylon, and peninsular and northern India during his nine month fellowship. In particular, the Madras Presidency is well documented in his site notes. He stated that during this time he made "the first comprehensive survey by an American of Indian prehistoric sites and archaeological material." This material reveals he believed he was the only scholar "in the United States, Great Britain, or India who has made an intensive study of Indian prehistory."²
Worman also took extensive photographs of artifacts and site locations coupled with detailed descriptions. During his stay in India he collected artifacts from Kodaikanal (Southern India), the Madras Presidency, and Ceylon, which he donated to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University (see below for related collections information).
¹ See second item in sources list above for citation to quote.
² See second item in sources list above for citation to quote.
Eugene C. Worman's papers are organized chronologically into fourteen series and six respective subseries, which adhere closely to his original order as follows:
The majority of Series I-IV consist of bibliographic note cards. Series I, II and IV contain bibliographic citations only, while those found in Series III contain original field notes. (See also PM accession files 36-41, 39-70, and 39-103 for related artifact collections.) Series V consists of the oversized material that has been separated from the notecards in Series I-IV.
Series V- XIV document both the administrative and research side of Worman's fellowships. Series IX includes journals that were given to Worman by colleagues in Indian Prehistory. Some are inscribed by the authors. Series X contains supply lists and tent instructions that Worman made during the summer of 1941 when he was temporarily in charge of Dr. Frank H.H. Roberts, Jr.'s archaeological camp at San Jon, New Mexico. (See also accession 41-82 for related artifact collections.) Series XI comprises an unused 1942 daily diary. Series XII is made up of transcriptions of inscribed published articles that were given to Worman. Series XIII is a single letter that Worman wrote to the American Philosophical Society requesting financial assistance to continue his research in Indian Prehistory Studies. Series XIV contains drafts of Worman's dissertation and the unpublished "Survey of Indian Prehistory and Early History."
Series Descriptions:
I. Bibliographic Citation Cards c.1936-1948 [bulk dates 1936-1941]:
Cards are organized as follows: A-Z author indexed cards; geographically cards; general cards; journals; and addresses. The first card in box 1 entitled "Notice" reads: "The Bibliography on the following cards is ONLY that which is not found in Das-Gupta Bibliography of Prehistoric Indian Antiquities, Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, new series, volume 27, number 1, pages 1-96, 1931. This does not include much Mohenjo-daro etc. on which I have worked little." The second card in box 1 refers to all the cards in boxes 1-2 and reads; " I have read and have notes on the articles marked [red circle]. I have read but have no notes on the articles marked [red asterisk] because I own them."
The A-Z author cards are arranged by tagged index cards, and refer solely to sources on India. The geographic cards are organized alphabetically according to largest geographic region followed by countries within that region. Individual cards within country groupings are arranged alphabetically by author of works listed.
General citation cards are organized alphabetically by subject, with the exception of "Addesses", which was originally placed at the end of the grouping by the author. All individual cards within subject groupings are arranged alphabetically by author with the exception of the sub-category "General" where there does not appear to be any specific pattern of organization. Journals cards consist primarily of alphabetically arranged journal titles related to India.
The Addresses section contains alphabetically arranged contact information that includes the name of individual or institution, in most cases a date, position held if any, and an address and telephone number when available. There is oversize material at the end of Box 2 that can be found in Series IV Box 9.
II. Annotated Citations c.1936-1941
Annotated citation cards consist of three groupings: broad subject areas, geographic regions, and Indian historic sites. Subject areas are arranged alphabetically according to Worman's labeled index tags. The broad subject area material labeled "General Works Archaeology" contains a mixture of course notes and bibliographic references. The cards cover a broad range of archaeological history and are not in any particular order other than by the numbers Worman has given to cards that are a part of a subject sequence. The third section tagged "Geography, Flora, Fauna" contains a grouping of cards that are arranged first by general subject matter, then alphabetically by country. The second grouping, geographic regions, is arranged alphabetically by the country. Individual cards are primarily arranged alphabetically by regions within the country (with the exception of Australia and Siberia).
The Australian cards contain notes from the Harvard University seminar "Races of Australia" and the paleolithic collection in the Raffles Museum (now the National Museum of Singapore).
The Siberian cards contain a mixture of subject matters. "Indian historic site" contains two groupings of subject matter related to that period. The first is "General Works History" which contains note cards related to the history of India in general and is arranged alphabetically by author. The second is "Historic Sites" which contains notecards related to Indian historic sites and is arranged alphabetically by site. The remaining labeled tags in the Indian historic sites grouping are arranged alphabetically by site. Oversize material from Boxes 3-5 can be found in its own series in Box 9.
III. Site Notes c.1936 - 1941 [bulk dates 1938-1939]
Site note cards are arranged alphabetically by region in India as indicated on tag labels. Within regions, cards are arranged alphabetically by state or district, then by village or site within that state or district [with the exception of Central Provinces, Banda, and Allahabad Districts, where Worman's original order does not permit this arrangement]. The notecards are arranged within the geographic designations according to the following subject matter: general (annotated bibliographic citation notes), site descriptions (including stratigraphy), and collection descriptions. In Series III annotated bibliographic citation notes are interspersed with Worman's original field notes.
The field notes include descriptions of both museum holdings throughout India and Worman's own collections. (See also Accession Nos. 36-41, 39-70, 39-103 for related artifact collections.) Many of Worman's own site descriptions include photograph descriptions which have been abstracted in this finding aid. Oversize material from Boxes 5-8 has been separated to Box 9.
IV. Contemporary India Data c. 1936-1949
Contemporary India Data contains annotated notecards containing notes on subjects Worman observed in the field. The cards are organized alphabetically by subject as indicated on labeled tags.
V. Oversize note card material [separations] 1936-1948 [bulk dates 1936-1941]
Oversize note card material [separations] contains notecards and material removed from Series I-III that consists primarily of copies Worman made of journal illustrations on tracing paper, as well as some of Worman's original sketches of maps and objects drawn during his stay in India. Other notes that have been found interspersed among notecards are also included in this series.
VI. American School of Prehistoric Research Fellowship 1938
The American School of Prehistoric Research (ASPR) Fellowship series includes handwritten notes on Central European prehistory taken during the summer of 1938 when Worman worked as a fellow at the ASPR.
Series VII-XIV: There are no separate series descriptions for these series.

Related PM Artifact Collections: [from museum accession cards]

Related PM Archival Collections:

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