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South America Expedition Records 1904–1922, 09–3, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University

The expedition records include eight series, I. Expedition Administration Materials, 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 document0s in other subseries are arranged according to order of subject matter treatment in Farabee’s monograph (1922).

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 Somatology and expedition Field Director, and Dr. Edward Franklin Horr, expedition surgeon, participated through the duration of the expedition. Recent Harvard graduates and ethnologists Louis 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 President Roosevelt and U.S. Secretary Root who provided it with diplomatic letters of support. The Inca Mining Company of Tirapata and the government of Peru provided some expedition transportation.

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 expeditioon participant and patron, Louis J. de Milhau. Some of this material was later published in the PM annual reports and possibly in 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.

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 Indians) vocabulary 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 monograph (1922). Material is arranged according to the chapter order of the monograph. Series VI consists of typescript 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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