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Field notebooks, 1934 - 1942

 Series — Box: Location: 48/B/4
Identifier: Series 4 (beaes04)

Scope and Contents note

These 'field notebooks' all have the title 'Bernice P. Bishop Museum', but fall into four areas.

The first five notebooks cover the Beagleholes' work in Pukapuka, a remote northern Cook Islands atoll, in 1934, as part of a 'comprehensive Pacific island ethnographic survey. This visionary enterprise in what was termed ‘salvage anthropology’ sought to provide a baseline ethnography for every Pacific culture. The Beagleholes completed their research in 1935 and returned to Honolulu to write up their notes, still the most comprehensive of any Bernice P. Bishop Museum expedition, and published in 1938 as Ethnology of Pukapuka.

They also continued their series of studies of contemporary Polynesian life with the fieldwork that resulted in the publication of Some modern Hawaiians in 1939.' Six notebooks appear to relate to this work.

The third area was a project for the New Zealand Council for Educational Research in 1941-1942, which resulted in the publication 'Some modern Maoris' (Wellington : NZCER, 1946). The publication referred to research in a village anonymised as 'Kowhai'. Two notebooks refer to this project. Please note that these notebooks may contain whakapapa information for members of Ngati Raukawa.

Finally, one notebook has been used for Beaglehole family information.


  • Creation: 1934 - 1942

Access and use

With the exception of the Otaki photographs and one bundle of letters, access to this collection is freely available with the J.C.Beaglehole Room for research and private study. For any use beyond this, or for access to the photographs, please contact the J.C.Beaglehole Room ( in the first instance.


From the Fonds: 120 linear_centimeters

Language of Materials

From the Fonds: English

General Physical Description note

10 cm, 14 Small bound volumes

Container Summary

box 13

Repository Details

Part of the Tapuaka Heritage & Archive Collections - JC Beaglehole Reading Room, Victoria University of Wellington Library Repository

P O Box 3438
Wellington 6140 New Zealand
+64 4 4635681