Harold Ross Papers, 1962-2010 (bulk 1966-1980) (MSS 733)

Restrictions: Photographic negatives are restricted. Researchers must request permission to view negatives from the Director of Special Collections & Archives. Original sound recordings are restricted; listening copies may be available for researchers. Personally identifiable medical records are restricted until 2089.

Extent: 4.88 Linear feet (9.5 archives boxes, 1 flat box)

Papers of cultural anthropologist Harold Marion Ross, who was known for his ethnographic studies of the Baegu people of Malaita in the Solomon Islands. The collection includes correspondence, research files, manuscripts, notebooks, photographs, slides, and sound recordings.

Harold Marion Ross was born June 11, 1936 to Gerda and Marion Ross in Kansas City, Missouri. After earning a B.A. magna cum laude in anthropology from Harvard University in 1958, Ross served as a submarine officer in the US Navy and studied languages at the University of Indiana. He returned to Harvard in 1962, continuing to serve in the US Naval Reserve until he retired with the rank of Captain, and earned an M.A. in anthropology in 1964.

In 1966-1968 Ross conducted ethnographic field research for his doctoral dissertation in Malaita, in the Solomon Islands, accompanied by his wife Kathryn Penstone Ross and their two children. Ross and his family lived with the Baegu, a traditional agricultural community noted for unilineal descent, limited acculturation, and a shared market economy with a neighboring fishing population on the Lau Lagoon.

Ross received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard in 1970, and then earned an M.B.A at Eastern Illinois University in 1974. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1968 as assistant professor of anthropology, later becoming associate professor and associate department head. Ross was professor of anthropology at St. Norbert College in Green Bay, Wisconsin; dean and vice president for academic affairs at Daemen College in Buffalo, New York; and dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs at Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri starting in 1990.

The papers of anthropologist and professor Harold Marion Ross document his research among the Baegu people of Malaita in the Solomon Islands and his teaching career in anthropology. Materials in the collection date from 1962-2010.


Container List


Scope and Content of Series

CORRESPONDENCE (1965-1986) is arranged in two subseries: A) British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) Business and B) Incoming & Outgoing Correspondence.

A) BSIP Business: Incoming and outgoing correspondence, arranged by subject, between Ross and businesses and agencies in the Solomon Islands and the U.S. regarding his 1966-1968 research expedition in Malaita.

B) Incoming & Outgoing Correspondence: Letters in English and Baegu from 1966-1986 between Ross, government agencies, anthropologists, and Solomon Islanders, particularly regarding his travel and research in the Solomon Islands.

British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) Business

Box 1 Folder 1
Accounting, 1967-1968
Box 1 Folder 2
Auki Club & Rest House, 1967
Box 1 Folder 3
Book Shop, 1966-1967
Box 1 Folder 4
British Solomons Trading Company, 1966-1967
Box 1 Folder 5
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, 1966-1968
Box 1 Folder 6
Immigration, 1966-1968
Box 1 Folder 7
Melan-Chine Shipping & Forwarding Agency, 1966-1967
Box 1 Folder 8
Mendana Self-Service Store, 1966-1967
Box 1 Folder 9
Official Permits, 1966
Box 1 Folder 10
Preparation & Training, 1966
Box 1 Folder 11
Quan Hong Pty. Ltd., 1967
Box 1 Folder 12
Research Grants, 1965-1973
Box 1 Folder 13
Shipping, 1966-1968
Box 1 Folder 14
Supplies, 1966-1968
Box 1 Folder 15
Supplies - Usage Data, undated
Box 1 Folder 16
Travel, 1966-1968
Box 1 Folder 17
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1967

Incoming & Outgoing Correspondence

Box 1 Folder 18-19
Incoming correspondence, 1966-1986
Box 1 Folder 20
Outgoing correspondence, 1967-1978


Scope and Content of Series

WRITINGS (1962-1989) contains published and unpublished writings by Harold and Kathryn Ross. Files may include correspondence, notes, data, illustrations, drafts, and reviews related to the manuscripts. Arranged in four subseries: A) Scientific Writings by Harold Ross, B) Reviews by Harold Ross, C) Collaborative Writings and D) Writing by Kathryn Ross.

A) Scientific Writings by Harold Ross: Articles, essays and reports on anthropology written between 1962 and 1980, particularly about the Baegu people of the Solomon Islands. Additional topics include archaeology, education, naval science, biogeography, and animal behavior.

B) Reviews by Harold Ross: Reviews of articles, books, and encyclopedia entries by other writers on Oceania written between 1974 and 1984.

C) Collaborative Writings: Articles co-authored by Harold Ross and other researchers from 1971-1989 on Solomon Islands culture.

D) Writing by Kathryn Ross: Personal narrative by Kathryn Ross, who accompanied her husband to the Solomon Islands, describing her experiences living among the Baegu from 1966-1968.

Scientific Writings by Harold Ross

Box 1 Folder 21
"Anthropology: Understanding Mankind." News-Gazette, February 24, 1974, 1973-1974
Box 1 Folder 22
"The Anthropology and Economics of Naval Reserve Policies, Command Decisions and Unit Performance: A Case History", 1971-1977
Box 1 Folder 23-24
"Baegu Markets, Areal Integration and Economic Efficiency in Malaita, Solomon Islands." Ethnology XVII (2): April 1978
Box 1 Folder 25
Baegu: Social and Ecological Organization in Malaita, Solomon Islands (1973), 1968-1972
Box 1 Folder 26
Biogeography essays, 1977-1978
Box 2 Folder 1-2
"Bush Fallow Farming, Diet and Nutrition: An Island Melanesian Example of Successful Adaptation" (Howell's Festschrift)
Box 2 Folder 3
"Comparative Ethnography in Malaita." Association for the Social Anthropology of Eastern Oceania Conference, Santa Cruz. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 1969
Box 2 Folder 4-5
"Competition for Baegu Souls: Mission Rivalry on Malaita, Solomon Islands." Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) Missionary Symposium
Box 2 Folder 6
"Exploratory Study for Research on Culture Change in Melanesia." Center for International Comparative Studies (CICS), University of Illinois, 1972-1973
Box 2 Folder 7
"Interaction Assumptions in Baegu (Malaita) Kin Terms." American Anthropological Association (AAA) Meeting, Seattle, 1968, 1968-1970
Box 2 Folder 8
"Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Traditional Melanesian Society." Douglas L. Oliver Festschrift, 1975-1977
Box 2 Folder 9
"Maintaining/Increasing Undergraduate Enrollment in University of Illinois Anthropology Courses", 1977
Box 2 Folder 10
Malaita Artificial Islands (Parsonson Rebuttal), 1967-1968
Box 2 Folder 11
Malaita Shell Beadwork, undated
Box 2 Folder 12
"Observer Bias and American Values." Harvard College Honors Thesis
Box 3 Folder 1-2
"The Ocean is a Highway, Too", 1976
Box 3 Folder 3
"The Political Economy of Big-Men and Chiefs in Oceania." American Anthropological Association (AAA), Los Angeles, 1978, 1977-1980
Box 3 Folder 4
"Preliminary Behavioral Observations and Gross Anatomical Measurements of the Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang coucang) of Malaysia", 1965-1970
Box 3 Folder 5
"Preserving the Cultural Heritage: Archaeology, Law and Business", 1972
Box 3 Folder 6
Rarotonga. Anthropology 217 Seminar Report, Harvard University, 1962-1963
Box 3 Folder 7
"Salvage Archaeology at a Mississippian Burial Ground", 1963-1968
Box 3 Folder 8-9
"Siblinghood and Parent/Child Dependency in Baegu (Solomon Islands) Kinship." Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) Symposium, 1978, 1977-1978
Box 3 Folder 10
"Sociocultural Background to Biomedical Studies on Malaita and Nearby Islands", 1980
Box 3 Folder 11
"Stone Adzes from Malaita, Solomon Islands: An Ethnographic Contribution to Melanesian Archaeology." The Journal of the Polynesian Society 79 (4): December 1970, 1970-1971
Box 3 Folder 12-13
"The Sweet Potato in the South-Eastern Solomons." The Journal of the Polynesian Society 86 (4): December 1977, 1976-1977

Reviews by Harold Ross

Box 3 Folder 14
"Comments on Peter Bellwood's 'The Prehistory of Oceania'", 1974
Box 3 Folder 15
The Eighth Land: The Polynesian Discovery of Easter Island (Thomas S. Barthel, 1979) reviewed for American Ethnologist, 1979
Box 3 Folder 16
'Elota's Story: The Life and Times of a Solomon Islands Big Man (Roger M. Keesing, 1978) and Ongka: A Self-Account by a New Guinea Big-Man (Andrew Strathern, 1979) reviewed for Ethnohistory, 1978-1979
Box 3 Folder 17
Grass Huts and Warehouses: Pacific Beach Communities of the Nineteenth Century (Caroline Ralston, 1978) reviewed for Pacific Studies, 1978-1979
Box 3 Folder 18
Lightning Meets the West Wind: The Malaita Massacre (Roger M. Keesing and Peter Corris, 1980) reviewed for Pacific Studies, 1981-1983

The New Book of Knowledge reviews

Box 3 Folder 19
"Kiribati", 1980
Box 3 Folder 20
"Solomon Islands", 1978
Box 3 Folder 21
"Tuvalu", 1978-1979
Box 3 Folder 22
"Vanuatu", 1981
Box 3 Folder 23
A New Guinea Landscape: Community, Space, and Time in the Eastern Highlands (K.J. Pataki-Schweizer, 1980) reviewed for American Ethnologist, 1980-1981
Box 3 Folder 24
Slavers in Paradise: The Peruvian Slave Trade in Polynesia, 1862-1864 (H.E. Maude, 1981) reviewed for American Ethnologist, 1984

Collaborative Writing

Box 4 Folder 1
"Baegu Ethnomusicology: The Musical Life of a Melanesian People from Northern Malaita, Solomon Islands." Harold Ross & Martha Ellen Davis, 1971-1974
Box 4 Folder 2
"Ethnographic Description of Survey Groups." Jill Nash, Donald Mitchell, Harold Ross, Eugene Ogan & Jonathan Friedlander, 1989
Box 4 Folder 3
"Limited Good, Synergy and Voluntary Associations: Introduction and Abstracts." Harold Ross & James N. Kerri. American Anthropological Association (AAA), Los Angeles, 1978, 1976-1980
Box 4 Folder 4
"Space and Eschatology in the Solomon Islands." Harold Ross & John B. Gatewood, 1978

Writing by Kathryn Ross

Box 4 Folder 5
Personal narrative, ca.1966-1968


Scope and Content of Series

Notes and correspondence collected by Ross on Solomon Islands history, culture, and languages; anthropology programs, conferences, and symposia; and a list of artifacts given by Ross to the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology.

Box 4 Folder 6
Anthropology Curriculum Study Project, 1966
Box 4 Folder 7
Artifacts Given to University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, 1966-2010
Box 4 Folder 8
Central States Anthropology Society (CSAS) Ecology Seminar, Brown County State Park, Indiana, 1970, 1970-1973
Box 4 Folder 9
East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii (Sabbatical), 1974-1975
Box 4 Folder 10
Economic Dependency in Oceania, Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) Symposium, 1979, 1978-1979
Box 4 Folder 11
Ethnicity in Oceania (Ogan Symposium), 1976
Box 4 Folder 12
Lau Vocabulary, Solomon Islands
Box 4 Folder 13
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Personality Tests, 1966
Box 4 Folder 14
Neo-Melanesian Pidgin, 1975
Box 4 Folder 15
Oceanic Data - Melanesia (Solomon Islands), 1972-1977


Scope and Content of Series

Arranged in three subseries: A) Baegu Project, B) Malaita Bio-Medical Expedition and C) Other Projects.

A) Baegu Project: Notes and data collected by Ross while doing field research among the Baegu people of Malaita in the Solomon Islands from 1966-1968. The files include information on Baegu social organization, languages, religion, economics, acculturation, and genealogies. Ross later used this research for his 1970 Ph.D. dissertation in anthropology at Harvard University. The subseries includes a collection of pressed leaves from the Solomon Islands annotated with the plants' names and uses.

B) Malaita Bio-Medical Expedition: Notes, data, correspondence and proposals regarding a 1968 research project comparing physical and cultural characteristics of several populations in the Solomon Islands, including the Baegu and Lau.

C) Other Projects: Notes, data, correspondence and proposals. Topics include the Baegu, ethnobotany, biomedical studies, macaques, tree shrews and education.

Baegu Project


Box 4 Folder 16
Agents of Change, 1967
Box 4 Folder 17
Generalizations on Change, 1966-1967
Box 4 Folder 18
Adolescence, Sex, 1967
Box 4 Folder 19
Adult Personality, 1967
Box 4 Folder 20
Archaeology, 1967
Box 4 Folder 21
Birth Customs, 1967-1968
Box 4 Folder 22
Brachydactyly, 1968
Box 4 Folder 23-24
Census Data, 1967-1971 & undated
Box 4 Folder 25
Child Notes, undated
Box 4 Folder 26
Child Studies - Cultural Antecedents, 1967
Box 4 Folder 27
Children's Art, undated
Box 4 Folder 28
Climate and Environment, 1967
Box 4 Folder 29
Data Collection Plan, Miscellaneous Questions, 1968
Box 4 Folder 30
Economic Generalizations, 1967
Box 5 Folder 1
Ethnoscience, 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 2
Funeral Rites, 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 3
Genealogy, 1967
Box 5 Folder 4
General Descriptions - Baegu and Lau Lagoon, Malaita, undated
Box 5 Folder 5
Health, 1967-1968
Box 5 Folder 6
Kin Groups, 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 7
Kindreds, 1967
Box 5 Folder 8
Kinship Terms, 1966-1968
Box 5 Folder 9
Land Tenure, 1966-1967


Box 5 Folder 10
Corpus, 1967
Box 5 Folder 11
Dictionary, 1967-1968
Box 5 Folder 12
Grammar, 1967
Box 5 Folder 13
Phonology, undated
Box 5 Folder 14
Songs & Music, 1967
Box 5 Folder 15
Law, 1967
Box 5 Folder 16
Linguistics - Historical & Comparative, 1967
Box 5 Folder 17
Maps, 1966-1968
Box 5 Folder 18
Marriage Customs, 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 19
Nativistic Reactions, 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 20
Pagan Religion, 1966-1968
Box 5 Folder 21
Politics & Leadership, 1966-1968
Oversize FB-534
Pressed Leaves - Solomon Islands. Annotated, ca.1966-1968
Box 5 Folder 22
Production, 1967
Box 5 Folder 23
Residence Rules, 1967
Box 5 Folder 24
Settlement Patterns, 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 25
Technology, 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 26
Trade, 1966-1968
Box 5 Folder 27
War, 1967
Box 5 Folder 28
Work, 1967

Malaita Bio-Medical Expedition

Box 5 Folder 29
Accounting, 1968
Box 5 Folder 30
Census - Demography, 1968
Box 5 Folder 31
Correspondence, 1967-1974
Box 6 Folder 1
Diet - Nutrition, 1968
Box 6 Folder 2
Genealogies, 1968

Other Projects

Box 6 Folder 3
Baegu Folklore, 1980
Box 6 Folder 4
Baegu (Marching Rule Aftermath), 1974
Box 6 Folder 5
Baegu & Solomon Islands Unilineality, 1978
Box 6 Folder 6
Betel Nut & Kava in Oceania, 1974
Box 6 Folder 7
Bougainville-Kwaio Bio-Medical Study, 1965-1966
Box 6 Folder 8
General Anthropology Ideas, 1963-1984
Box 6 Folder 9
Macaque Ecology in India (Harvard), 1964-1965
Box 6 Folder 10
Malaita/Bougainville Volume (Damon Memorial), 1971-1980
Box 6 Folder 11
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Values Study, 1966
Box 6 Folder 12
Oceanic - Pacific Ideas (Pending)
Box 6 Folder 13
Residence Rules & Settlement Patterns, undated
Box 6 Folder 14
Solomons - Baegu Ideas (Pending), 1968-1974
Box 6 Folder 15
Tobacco Smoking Symposium, 1969-1973
Box 6 Folder 16
Tree Shrew Breeding (New England Regional Primate Research Center/NERPRC), 1966


Scope and Content of Series

Arranged in two subseries: A) Journals and B) Notebooks.

A) Journals: Ross's bound journals with daily entries describing his travel and research during his 1966-1968 research trip to the Solomon Islands and a 1972 trip to the Marshall Islands, Guam, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Hebrides and Fiji.

B) Notebooks: Ross's notebooks from his 1966-1968 research trip to the Solomon Islands. The notebooks include map and bearing data for the Baegu village where he worked, weather readings, and medical logs for his family and the villagers. Personally identifiable medical information is restricted.


Box 6 Folder 17-18
Malaita, June 1, 1966 - July 20, 1968
Box 6 Folder 19
South Pacific, July 15, 1972 - August 21, 1972


Box 7 Folder 1
Map Data & Bearing Book, Baegu Ethnography Project, December 12, 1966 - October 21, 1967
Box 7 Folder 2
Recipes, Vocabulary, Notes, undated
Box 7 Folder 3
Weather Log & Medical Log, Ailali Village, Baegu, Malaita, August 1966 - October 1967

Restrictions Apply


Scope and Content of Series

Black and white and color photographic prints, slides and negatives taken or collected by Ross between 1962 and 1976. Arranged in two subseries: A) Photographs and B) Slides.

A) Photographs: Primarily black and white and color prints taken during Ross's 1966-1968 field work in Malaita, Solomon Islands. The images include Baegu men, women and children and their daily activities; houses, villages and landscapes; and photographs of Ross and his family with the Baegu. Many of the photographs were arranged alphanumerically by Ross and include written descriptions.

This subseries also includes negatives, most of which are represented by prints in the collection. Original negatives have been separated from the collection for preservation. Researchers wishing to view the negatives must request permission from the director of Special Collections & Archives.

B) Slides: Color slides taken or collected by Ross in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea from 1966-1972, including images of the Baegu and of Ross's family. Most of the slides were arranged alphanumerically by Ross and include written descriptions. The subseries also contains teaching materials on Oceania and Austronesian languages.


Box 7 Folder 4
Aerial photographs, RAF, July 26-27, 1962
Box 7 Folder 5
Baegu color photographs, 1966-1968

Baegu black & white photographs

Box 7 Folder 6-18
Rolls B1 - B13, 1966-1968

Original negatives located in AN2/M733/1-13

Restrictions Apply

Box 8 Folder 1-4
Rolls B14 - B17, 1968 & undated

Original negatives located in AN2/M733/14-17

Restrictions Apply

Box 8 Folder 5
Baegu Ethnography Photo Data for Black and White Photos, 1966-1968
Box 8 Folder 6
Baegu, Malaita, undated
Box 8 Folder 7
Baegu Polaroids, BP1 - BP6, 1966-1967
Box 8 Folder 8
Central States Anthropological Society (CSAS) Ecology Seminar group photograph with Harold Ross, 1970
Box 8 Folder 9
Howell's Festschrift illustrations, figures 1-5, undated

Original negatives located in AN2/M733/18

Restrictions Apply

Box 8 Folder 10
Mississippian Artifacts, Jefferson County, Missouri, 1963
Box 8 Folder 11
New Guinea color photographs, NG1 - NG37, 1972

Original negatives located in ANC2/M733/1

Restrictions Apply

Box 8 Folder 12
Pacific color photographs, P1 - P21, 1972

Original negatives located in ANC2/M733/2

Restrictions Apply

Box 8 Folder 13
Stone Adzes, Malaita, Solomon Islands, 1970
Box 8 Folder 14
Unidentified photographs, undated

Original negatives located in AN2/M733/19-20

Restrictions Apply


Box 8 Folder 15
Anthropology 360, Peoples of Oceania, 1968-1976
Box 8 Folder 16
Austronesian Languages, undated
Box 8 Folder 17-20
Baegu, 1967-1972
Box 8 Folder 21
Baegu Ethnography Photo Data for Color Slides, 1966-1968
Box 8 Folder 22
New Guinea, 1972
Box 9 Folder 1
Solomon Islands, 1966-1972


Scope and Content of Series

Undated reel-to-reel audio tapes of the Baegu performing traditional vocal and instrumental music, modern music, and reciting folklore. The tapes were numbered by Ross and include written descriptions. Original audio tapes are restricted; researchers may request user copies be produced.

Box 9 Folder 2
Baegu #1. Traditional Vocal Music
Box 9 Folder 3
Baegu #2. Folklore
Box 9 Folder 4
Baegu #3. Traditional Instrumental Music
Box 9 Folder 5
Baegu #4. Modern Music (Acculturation)
Box 9 Folder 6
Baegu #5. Ai Ni Mea (Basia's Wedding)
Box 9 Folder 7
Baegu #6. Kii Kafo, Church Song, Leleae, Baresile, Ufisuku, Kwadile, Sisili, Slit Gong (Death Rhythm)
Box 9 Folder 8
Baegu #7. O'o'afuto, Au Agae Fai Falake, Lauga Sings Ae Ni Mae, Bungu (Helmet Shell Trumpet), Ku-ku-ku (War Cry), Ririi Suli Ote, Christian School Songs
Box 10 Folder 1
Baegu #8. Mao Dance & Agae Dance (Fanga Faakwaimani), Drum Calls (Sedea & Lebefiu)
Box 10 Folder 2
Malaita (Solomon Islands). Music of the Fataleka and the Baegu. Tapes A & B
Box 10 Folder 3
Practice Tape