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Hrdlička, Aleš 1869-1943  Search this
Bohemian Circle in Washington  Search this
Smithsonian Institution Department of Anthropology Division of Physical Anthropology  Search this
Army Medical Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Adams, W. I  Search this
Adler, Cyrus 1863-1940  Search this
Alderman, E.M  Search this
Alliot, Hector  Search this
Alvarez, Walter C  Search this
Ameghino, Florentino  Search this
Angell, James R  Search this
Abbott, William Louis 1860-1936  Search this
Absolon, Karel  Search this
Allyn, Harriet M  Search this
Lowie, Robert  Search this
Robinson, Edward G  Search this
Hemingway, Ernest  Search this
Ami, Henry  Search this
Anthony, R  Search this
Ashley-Montagu, Montague Francis  Search this
Atwood, Charles E  Search this
Avirette, John Allfred  Search this
Baer, John Leonard  Search this
Bell, Enoch  Search this
Martin, Fredericka I  Search this
Bingham, Hiram  Search this
Bingman, C.E  Search this
Blue, Ruppert  Search this
Bloomfield, Leonard 1887-1949  Search this
Bodding, P.C  Search this
Bogue, E.A  Search this
Bothwell, J.A  Search this
Bridges, Calvin B  Search this
Burlin, Natalie Curtis  Search this
Babcock, William H  Search this
Baldwin, Bird T  Search this
Barrus, Clara  Search this
Barry, J. Neilson  Search this
Bartashchell, A.W  Search this
Barton, James L  Search this
Bather, F.A  Search this
Bean, Robert Bennett  Search this
Benes, Edward  Search this
Betsche, Chris  Search this
Bell, Earl H  Search this
Bilgery, Conrad  Search this
Birket-Smith, Kaj  Search this
Bishop, Carl W  Search this
Black, Davidson  Search this
Boas, Franz 1858-1942  Search this
Bogoras, Waldemar G  Search this
Borbolla, F. Rubin I  Search this
Bowman, Isaiah  Search this
Boyd, William C  Search this
Boyle, Mary Elizabeth  Search this
Breasted, James Henry  Search this
Breton, Adela C  Search this
Breuil Abbe  Search this
Briggs, H.H  Search this
Brockett, Paul 1872-1946  Search this
Brown, A.R  Search this
Barnum, Brown  Search this
Bunak, V  Search this
Bunnell, Charles E  Search this
Bushnell, David Ives Jr 1875-1941  Search this
Cadbury, William W  Search this
Callendar, G.R  Search this
Campbell, W.W  Search this
Capitan, Louis  Search this
Castellanos, Abraham  Search this
Edison, Thomas A (Thomas Alva) 1847-1931  Search this
Celler, Emanuel  Search this
Chamberlain, Thomas C  Search this
Clark, G. Hardy  Search this
Clemens, James B  Search this
Colbert, L.O  Search this
Comas, Juan  Search this
Comer, George  Search this
Cameron, John  Search this
Candela, P.B  Search this
Carroll, Mitchell  Search this
Cattell, Jacque  Search this
Cattell, James McKeen  Search this
Chapman, John W Rev  Search this
Ciocco, Antonio  Search this
Cipriani, Lidio  Search this
United States Department of Agriculture  Search this
Academy of Natural Sciences Philadelphia  Search this
Alaskan Sportsman  Search this
American Anthropological Association  Search this
American Association for the Advancement of Science  Search this
American Committee for Protection of the Foreign Born  Search this
American Geographical Society  Search this
Journal of the American Medical Association  Search this
American Philosophical Society  Search this
United States Department of Commerce  Search this
American Association of Physical Anthropologists  Search this
Abbot, Charles Greeley  Search this
Hyde Exploring Expedition (1902-1903)  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York  Search this
Panama California Exposition physical anthropology exhibits  Search this
Peking Union Medical College  Search this
Royal Anthropological Society Huxley lecture  Search this
Army Medical Museum (U.S.)  Search this
American Association of Physical Anthropologists  Search this
International Congress of Americanists  Search this
Anthropological Society of Washington (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
American Anthropological Association  Search this
Washington Academy of Sciences (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
National Academy of Science  Search this
American Journal of Physical Anthropology  Search this
Institute of Population  Search this
American School in France for Prehistoric Studies  Search this
Committee on Anthropological Affairs  Search this
Physical description:
133 linear feet
American Indian tuberculosis among  Search this
Chippewa Leech Lake  Search this
Chippewa White Earth  Search this
Dakota Indians  Search this
Pachamac Peru archeology  Search this
Apache Indians  Search this
Dakota Oglala  Search this
Shawnee Indians  Search this
Menominee Indians  Search this
Pima Indians  Search this
Huichol  Search this
Mohave Indians  Search this
Hupa Indians  Search this
Tarahumara Indians  Search this
Quinailt  Search this
Indians of North America Northeast  Search this
Ojibwa Indians  Search this
Indians of North America Northwest Coast of North America  Search this
Quinault Indians  Search this
Indians of North America Great Plains  Search this
Indians of North America Southwest, New  Search this
Oglala Indians  Search this
Indians of North America California  Search this
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
ca 1887-1943
Additional material in the National Anthropological Archives relating to Aleš Hrdlička can be found in the papers of William Louis Abbott, Henry Bascom Collins, Herbert William Krieger, and Frank Spencer; records of the American Anthropological Association, Bureau of American Ethnology, Department of Anthropology of the United States National Museum (National Museum of Natural History), Science Service, Anthropological Society of Washington, and the United States Army Medical Museum (anatomical section, records relating to specimens transferred to the Smithsonian Institution); and glass negatives of Indians collected by the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution illustrations. Other photographs are in photographic lots 8, Division of Physical Anthropology collection; 9, photographs of Indians for the Panama-California Exposition, San Diego; 24, Bureau of American Ethnology, United States National Museum photographs of American Indians; 70, Department of Anthropology portrait file; 78, miscellaneous negatives; 97, Division of Ethnology collection ("USNM" Collection); 73-26B, Aleš Hrdlička photographs; 73-26G, miscellany; 77-48, group portraits of International Congress; 79-38, Division of World Archeology collection; 83-41, Division of Physical Anthropology collection of photographs of human bones; and 92-46, anthropology lantern slides. Portraits of Hrdlička are in numbered collections, Photo Lot 4822, physical anthropologists, portraits. See MS 4271, J. N. B. Hewitt, Box 3, "Beaver" correspondence, for Hewitt's opinion of some of Hrdlička's views. There are materials, including obituaries, in the non-archival reference file maintained by the National Anthropological Archives. Additional material, including Hrdlička's extensive collection of reprints, is maintained in the Division of Physical Anthropology. Further material may be found in the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Ales Hrdlicka was born in Bohemia and came to America when he was thirteen. As a young man, he was trained in medicine at New York's Eclectic Medical College and the New York Homeopathic Medical College, receiving degrees from each. His first professional work was as a private practitioner, but he gave that up in 1894 when he joined the staff of the New York State Hospital for the Insane at Middletown. There, in addition to other duties, he began studies of the physical characteristics of inmates. This set in motion developments that would eventually lead him to become one of the world's most prominent anthropologists who has sometimes been referred to as "the founder of physical anthropology in America."
In 1896, in preparation for a research appointment with the Department of Anthropology in the Pathological Institute of the New York State hospitals, Hrdlicka went to Paris and studied with Leon Manouvrier. After his return to America, he worked for a short period with the Pathological Institute and came into contact with G.S. Huntington, of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Hrdlicka arranged and studied Huntington's large collection of skeletal material, thus gaining knowledge of a well-documented collection representing largely normal persons of European ancestry. He furthermore came to the attention of Frederic Ward Putnam, of the American Museum of Natural History, who arranged for his first anthropological field studies.
It was thus that Hrdlicka became a member of the Hyde Expeditions to the American Southwest and northern Mexico. In 1898, he traveled to Mexico with Carl Lumholtz to study the Tarahumaras, Huichols, and neighboring tribes. In subsequent years, he returned to Mexico and the Southwest alone and studied physical characteristics and medical conditions of several American Indian tribes. With this experience and examinations of the Trenton and Lansing skeletal material for Putnam, Hrdlicka came fully into the world of anthropology. In 1903, he was appointed head of the newly formed Division of Physical Anthropology in the United States National Museum.
In his position at the Smithsonian, Hrdlicka's contributions to American physical anthropology were great. His travels and field studies alone were impressive and important in his growth as an authority on the migration of man to the New World, human evolution, and the variations of man's physical form. In 1905, he returned to the Southwest for studies of Pima and Apache children and, in the following year, traveled to Florida to examine allegedly ancient remains of man. In 1908, he worked among a number of Indian tribes, including the Menominee, Oglala Dakota, Quinailt, Hupa, and Mohave, in a study of tuberculosis among them. In 1909, he traveled to Egypt with an expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in order to study living Egyptians and to examine remains of Egypt's past population. The following year took him to Argentina, Peru, and Mexico. In the first of these, he again examined allegedly ancient remains of man. In Peru, he made a large collection of skeletal material near Trujillo, at Pachamac, and in the Chicama Valley.
Between 1912-1914, Hrdlicka undertook a physical anthropological exhibit for the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego and, for this, traveled to eastern Siberia, Mongolia, Peru, and Florida. He also examined fossil remains of man in Europe and directed field work of other anthropologists in South and East Africa, St. Lawrence Island in Alaska, the Philippines, eastern Siberia, and the Ukraine. In 1915, for the Department of Justice, he assessed the racial makeup of Chippewas on the Leech Lake and White Earth reservations in Minnesota and also studied Dakota Indians. In 1917, his field work was directed toward white American families with longtime residence in the United States. In 1918, he carried out a survey of ancient sites in eastern Florida for the Bureau of American Ethnology. In 1920, he traveled to Hawaii, Japan, Korea, and Manchuria in connection with an appointment to lecture at the Peking Union Medical College. As director of the American School for Prehistoric Studies in France, he again studied fossil remains of man in Europe in 1922 and 1923. In 1925, he carried out work in India, Ceylon, Java, Australia, South Africa, and Europe. In 1927, he was again in Europe to deliver the Huxley Memorial Lecture before the Royal Anthropological Society in Great Britain. Between 1929 and 1938, he traveled frequently to Alaska to carry on an anthropological survey. In 1939, he traveled to Russia and Siberia.
Beginning with much of the skeletal collection of the Army Medical Museum, which had been transferred to the Smithsonian in 1898 before he was appointed there, Hrdlicka amassed a bone collection that included, among many other specimens, the Huntington collection, casts of fossil remains of man, and a large and diverse North American collection. He also gathered a large collection of human brains. Over three hundred publications resulted from his study of this material, his field work, and his study of specimens in other museums. In addition, he was involved in many other activities. For United States government agencies, he provided services ranging from examinations of human remains for law enforcement officials to providing information and opinions concerning national origins and traits that were needed to interpret laws and form foreign policy. During World War II, he also advised government officials on policies to be pursued with certain national groups following the war.
In 1918, Hrdlicka founded the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and remained its editor until 1942. In 1928, he was the major force behind the organization of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and served as its president in 1928-1932. He was also president of the Anthropological Society of Washington in 1907, the American Anthroplogical Association in 1925-1927, and the Washington Academy of Sciences in 1928-1929. He was chairman of Section H of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1918 and secretary of the Committee on Anthropology of the National Research Council in 1917. In addition, Hrdlicka was a member of the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences. He represented the Smithsonian at several international gatherings of scholars, including meetings of the International Congress of Americanists.
Electronic finding aid available via the website of the National Anthropological Archives.
Addl. KW Subjects:
Pima (Akimel O'odham)
Tarahumara (Rarámuri)
Pima (Akimel O'odham)
Tarahumara (Rar muri)
(1) Miscellaneous personal papers, 1889-1940; (2) personal correspondence, 1883-1917; (3) correspondence, 1888-1966; (4) news clippings and printed matter, 1893-1953; (5) financial papers, 1910-1943; (6) southwestern United States and Mexican Indians, 1898-1935; (7) anthropometric measurements on American Indians, 1904-1905; (8) Dakota, Chippewa, and Shawnee, 1916-1917; (9) Florida, 1918-1927; (10) Alaska, 1907-1938 (most 1926-1938); (11) bone studies, 1890s-1940s; (12) Panama-California Exposition expeditions, 1912-1914; (13) Egypt, Europe, and Russia, 1909; (14) South America, 1910-1911; (15) Far East, 1915-1930; (16) Australia, Java, India, South Africa, and Europe, 1925; (17) old Americans, 1914-1930; (18) children who run on all fours, 1925-1935; (19) early man studies, 1906-1930; (20) European ethnic history, 1908-1938; (21) miscellaneous research notes, 1887-1942; (22) manuscripts of writings, 1901-1944; (23) writings by other authors, 1877-1942; (24) anthropometry, 1882-1947; (25) My Journeys, 1898-1938; (26) American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 1917-1942; (27) American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 1924-1930; (28) International Congress of Americanists, 1900-1928; (29) Institute of Population, 1942; (30) Department of Anthropology, 1913-1943; (31) lecture notes, 1920-1932; (32) maps and charts, 1900-1932; (33) miscellany, 1890s-1970s; (34) index cards, 1899-1948; (35) bibliographic index, to 1942; (36) physical anthropology folios, n.d.; (37) photographs, 1887-1944
Hrdlicka's papers comprise a wide variety of materials but consist largely of correspondence, manuscripts of writings, physical anthropological tables and notes, and photographs. The material reflects his many professional interests and activities except for the earliest, for which the documents were destroyed by fire. Since he apparently made little distinction between his official and private activities, the papers incorporate many official records of the of the Smithsonian's Division of Physical Anthropology. This and other material show his wide-range of contacts with anthroplogists, especially physical anthropologists, and with many scholars in related sciences. Yet other material is personal and includes such documents as those relating to Hrdlicka's private property and correspondence with members of his family. Notably present is correspondence with his first wife, Marie Strickler. There are also documents that concern Hrdlicka's continued ties with Czechoslovakia (much of it in Czech) and his interests in Czech-American organizations, scientific development of Czechoslovakia, and his concern for its political fate, especially during World War II.
Cite as:
Ales Hrdlicka Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Repository Loc.:
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland
Old Americans  Search this
Trenton skeletal material  Search this
Fossils--man  Search this
Human evolution  Search this
Children--physical anthropology  Search this
Tuberculosis--American Indians  Search this
Huntington collection  Search this
Forensic anthropology  Search this
Immigration law--and physical anthropology  Search this
Children who run on all fours  Search this
Anthropometry  Search this
My Journeys, by A. Hrdlicka  Search this
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives