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Barbara G. Myerhoff papers

 Collection
Identifier: 0275

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.

Dates

  • 1911 - 1985
  • Majority of material found within 1969 - 1984

Creator

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.

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.

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.

Extent

100 Linear Feet (178 boxes and 7 clamshell binders)

Language of Materials

English

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.

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.

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
Title
Finding Aid for the Barbara G. Myerhoff papers
Status
Completed
Author
Laurel A. McPhee
Date
2004
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States