Collection consists of some personalia and correspondence, extensive field notes, writings, and records relating to the American Indian Film Project, dating primarily from the early and late years of Barrett's working life. Biographical information contains course notes, diaries of trips to Africa, Hawaii, the American Southwest, national parks in the Western United States, and the Yucatan Peninsula. Correspondence includes letters to and from Alfred Kroeber, George G. Heye, Frederick J. Dockstadter, and other anthropologists, Milwaukee Public Museum colleagues W.C. McKren, Robert E. Ritzenthaler, and Stephan F. De Borhegyi, and with various Barrett family members. Writings are articles, monographs, speeches, and book reviews. Field notes date from 1896 and reflect Barrett's work with the Pomoan peoples, the Cayapa Indians of Ecuador, the Hopi, Kwakiutl, and Sierra Miwok Indians, as well as information about the Chippewa, Menominee, Piute, Washo, Wintun, and Yuki Indians. Most papers relating to his tenure at the Milwaukee Public museum remained with that institution and not generally present in this collection.
Ethnologist, linguist, writer, and film maker, Barrett studied with Alfred L. Kroeber at the University of California, Berkeley, and received a doctorate in anthropology in 1908. He was curator of anthropology (1911-1920), and director (1920-1940) of the Milwaukee Public Museum.




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