Wonderful Women Wednesday: Dr. Carol Farrington Jopling

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Dr. Carol F. Jopling, an expert on the anthropological study of architecture, was the chief librarian of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute between 1981 and 1984. She had previously worked for the Smithsonian’s Bureau of American Ethnology in 1961 and 1962.

Jopling had also been a librarian with the University of Maryland in 1960 and 1961. She worked for the Library of Congress in 1961, the U.S. Information Agency in 1962 and 1963, and the Central Intelligence Agency from 1963 to 1967. Between 1967 and 1975, Jopling taught anthropology at American University, Catholic University, North Adams State College, Harvard University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Tufts University. Prior to returning to the Smithsonian, she was a research associate at Harvard’s Peabody Museum between 1975 and 1979. 

Jopling earned a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College in 1938, a master’s degree in library science from Catholic University in 1960, and a second master’s degree in anthropology from Cathiuc University in 1963. She received a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts in 1973. Her dissertation was titled  “Women Weavers of Yalalag; Their Art and Its Process."

She was the author of the Art and Aesthetics in Primitive Societies (1971), Puerto Rican Houses in Sociohistorical Perspective (1988), and Churches of Somerset County, Maryland (2000).  

Photograph of Jopling standing outside of the library in Panama. Photograph courtesy of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

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