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Harold C. Conklin papers

Call Number: MS 1956

Scope and Contents

The papers comprise personal and professional correspondence, maps, and topical files, documenting the research of Conklin and his colleagues, particularly in the area of language in the Philippines. Maps were created in part by the American Geographical Society and the Army Map Service. The Topical Files include professional events and organizations in which Conklin participated; research materials of colleagues Leonard Bloomfield, Frederick Russell Eggan, and Robert B. Fox; and materials relating to the Tasaday Controversy, in which the Tasaday, an indigenous people of Mindanao, a Philippine island, were considered in the 1970s-1980s to be the last vestiges of a stone age culture. Anthropologists and journalists questioned the validity of this claim. Additional files document Conklin's professorial, curatorial, and administrative activities at Yale, particularly in the Department of Anthropology and the Peabody Museum of Natural History.


  • 1887 - 2016


Language of Materials

The materials are primarily in English, with specific topical files containing materials in Ilocano and Tagalog.

Conditions Governing Access

The bulk of the collection is open for research.

Access to Yale University administrative files is prohibited for 35 years from creation of the records. Access to student and personnel files is prohibited for 75 years or life plus five years (whichever is longer). Access to administrative, student, and personnel records is established by Yale Corporation regulations

Original audiovisual materials, as well as preservation and duplicating masters, may not be played. Researchers must consult use copies, or if none exist must pay for a use copy, which is retained by the repository. Researchers wishing to obtain an additional copy for their personal use should consult Copying Services information on the Manuscripts and Archives web site.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by Harold C. Conklin was transferred to Yale University in 2016. These materials may be used for non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from Yale University as the copyright holder. For other uses of these materials, please contact Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Estate of Harold C. Conklin, 2009, 2016, and 2018.


The collection is arranged in three series and two additions: I. Correspondence, 1944-2005. II. Maps, 1908-1977. III. Topical Files, 1897-1998.

Associated Materials

Harold C. Conklin Philippine Collection (AFC 2001/007), Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.


81.42 Linear Feet (182 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers comprise correspondence, maps, and topical files documenting the research of anthropologist Harold C. Conklin and his colleagues, particularly in the area of linguistics and focusing on the Philippines. The papers also document Conklin’s professorial, curatorial, and administrative work at Yale University.

Biographical / Historical

Harold C. Conklin (1926-2016) received his BA degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1950 and his PhD from Yale University in 1955. He taught anthropology at Columbia University from 1954 until 1962, at which time he joined the Yale faculty. Conklin served as chair of the Department of Anthropology, curator of Anthropology, and director of Graduate Studies, as well as director of the Division of Anthropology at the Peabody Museum of Natural History. An emeritus professor, he retired from Yale in 1996. He was also the Frank Muzzy Crosby Professor Emeritus of the Human Environment. Conklin pioneered research in the field of ethnoscience, a discipline dealing with the way in which inhabitants of a particular area understand and treat their environment. His research focused primarily on ecology, ethnology, and linguistics in Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, and he authored numerous publications and articles in his field. Conklin died on February 18, 2016.

Guide to the Harold C. Conklin Papers
compiled by Rachel L. Mihalko and staff of Manuscripts and Archives
December 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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