Myerhoff (Barbara G.) papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
0275
Finding Aid Author
Laurel A. McPhee
Finding Aid Date
2004
Language of Description
Description is in English.

Dates

  • 1911 – 1985 (Creation)
  • 1969 – 1984 (Creation)

Extents

  • 100 Linear Feet (Whole)
    169 boxes and 7 clamshell binders

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Abstract

    Papers of Barbara G. Myerhoff, a University of Southern California professor and noted anthropologist, consist of manuscripts, notes, printed material, publications, audiotapes, correspondence, and photographic material related to her teaching, field research, and publishing activities.

  • Access

    Open for use by appointment only. Collection stored off-site.

    Box 162, personal correspondence between Barbara Myerhoff and Deena Metzger (1974-1976) is sealed until further notice.

    Audiotapes may not be used by researchers until preservation reformatting is complete. Recording quality status was unknown at time of processing.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Barbara G. Myerhoff papers, Collection no. 0275, University Archives, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

  • Acquisition Information

    File sources include Barbara G. Myerhoff's Department of Anthropology office at the University of Southern California, and storage areas throughout her home and study. All files were located at Myerhoff's residence during completion of the original boxing and inventory.

  • Processing Information

    Processed by: Laurel A. McPhee, Winter 2004

  • Biography

    Barbara Gay Myerhoff was born on February 16, 1935 in Cleveland, Ohio. She received a B.A. degree in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1958, a M.A. in Human Development at the University of Chicago in 1963, and returned to the University of California, Los Angeles to receive her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1968. Myerhoff taught in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California for the duration of her professional career. Her areas of research included the Huichol Indians of Mexico; youth movements of the 1960s; ritual and symbols; performance and narrative; women, feminism, and friendship; and aging and ethnicity among Jewish communities in Los Angeles. A prolific writer and researcher, Myerhoff edited and authored several monographs in addition to numerous articles and essays, and contributed to major collaborative projects on aging and ethnicity. In the 1970s, Barbara G. Myerhoff began an extensive study of the elderly Jewish immigrants living in Venice, California. Her award-winning documentary film and book of the same title, Number Our Days, showed how aging Eastern European immigrants made everyday life meaningful, surviving amidst hardship, invisibility and poverty. She redefined academic and public perceptions of the elderly and was a pioneer in her scholarship on women and religion. Her research took a personal turn with her final documentary, In Her Own Time, which documented Myerhoff's fatal cancer diagnosis and her participation in Hasidic healing rituals. In addition to the above, Myerhoff was also a consulting editor to Parabola (a journal of myths and traditions), a lecturer at the Center for the Healing Arts in Westwood, California, and a consultant and lecturer for psychiatric residents in the Department of Social Psychiatry at the Los Angeles County General Hospital. Barbara Gay Myerhoff died on January 7, 1985 at the age 49.

  • Scope and Content

    Papers of Dr. Barbara G. Myerhoff, a University of Southern California professor and noted anthropologist, consist of manuscripts, notes, printed material, publications, audiotapes, correspondence, and photographic material related to her teaching, field research, and publishing activities. Files comprise clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, slides, negatives, and promotional materials documenting Barbara G. Myerhoff's rich and varied interests, which included the Huichol Indians of Mexico; youth movements of the 1960s; ritual and symbols; performance and narrative; women, feminism, and friendship; and aging and ethnicity among Jewish communities in Los Angeles. The collection also includes annotated books from Barbara G. Myerhoff's personal library, voluminous copies of articles and reprints, interview audiotapes, drafts, and her personal correspondence with Victor W. Turner, Deena Metzger, and Marc Kaminsky.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

  • Organization

    The papers are organized in eight series: Series 1: Undergraduate and graduate course materials, 1954-1969; Series 2: USC administrative and academic files, 1917-1985; Series 3: Research project files, 1911-1984; Series 4: Manuscripts and drafts, 1963-1984; Series 5: Publications, 1947-1984; Series 6: Personal correspondence, 1974-1984; Series 7: Photographic materials, 1965-1984; Series 8: Books, 1944-1984.

Components