Bureau of American Ethnology, Institute for Social Anthropology Records, 1942-1952

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact photos@si.edu.

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


The records chiefly contain administrative files concerning arrangements for financing the Institute and other fiscal matters, recruitment and use of personnel, and cooperation with State Department and other government and private organizations. Some of the correspondence includes reports by individual staff members on their activities.


  • Foster, George McClelland 1913-
  • Steward, Julian Haynes 1902-1972
  • Bureau of American Ethnology Institute for Social Anthropology
  • Inter-American Society of Anthropology and Geography
  • United States Department of State


  • The Institute for Social Anthropology (ISA) was established in 1943 as an autonomous unit of the Bureau of American Ethnology. It grew out of efforts by the Inter-American Society of Anthropology and Geography and operated throughout most of its existence with support provided by committees of the Department of State. The ISA's purpose was to promote cooperation with other American states in anthropological training and research. Its headquarters were in Washington, D.C., under the direction of Julian H. Steward from 1943 to 1946 and George M. Foster from 1946 to 1952. Staff members were stationed in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Guatemala, where they taught university classes, directed the field work of students, and assisted with the preparation of publications. In 1952, the ISA came under the sponsorship of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs, and its functions were absorbed by that organization at the close of the year.
  • Draft register.
  • For a history of the creating unit, refer to "Forms part of" above.


(1) Annual reports, 1942-1952; (2) organizational and personnel files, 1942-1952; (3) records relating to cooperation with the Department of State, 1946-1951; (4) correspondence, 1942-1952; (5) records relating to cooperative arrangements with Latin American countries, 1942-1952; (6) records relating to other organizations, 1942-1952; (7) accounts and fiscal records, 1946-1952; (8) budget records, 1944-1951

Repository Loc.

National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland


  • 1942
  • 1942-1952

Restrictions & Rights

These records are located in the Smithsonian's National Anthropological Archives



  • Mixed archival materials
  • Collection descriptions

Local number


Physical description

30 linear meters

Full Record

View Full Record