Skip to main content

Beaglehole, Ernest and Pearl - papers

 Fonds — Multiple Containers
Identifier: beae

Scope of collection

This is a collection of the papers of both Ernest Beaglehole (1906-1965) and Pearl (Pam, also known as Tio) Beaglehole (1910-1979). The material includes publications, notes, correspondence, and photographs from the Beagleholes' professional and personal lives.


  • 1928c-1966

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.

Biographical Note

Ernest Beaglehole (1906-1965) MA (NZ: Victoria), PhD, LitD (London), FRSNZ, FBPsS Career at Victoria University: Lecturer, Philosophy, 1937; Senior lecturer, Mental and Moral Philosophy, 1947; Professor, Psychology and Philosophy, 1948.

Pearl (Pam, also known as Tio) Beaglehole (1910-1979) was born Pearl Malsin in the United States.

Ernest Beaglehole and Pearl Malsin met while they were both undertaking postgraduate study at the London School of Economics. They then worked together in the United States, researching aspects of the daily life of the Hopi people of the Second Mesa of Arizona, and they married in 1933.

In 1934 and 1935 they were based in Pukapuka (part of the Cook Islands) working on a Pacific Island ethnographic survey, completing the writing up of their research in Hawai'i. Ernest then took up a position as a lecturer in Mental and Moral Philiosophy at Victoria University College in Wellington in 1937. They undertook further ethnographic work together in Tonga and in Otaki. Pearl had a knowledge of Pacific languages which played an important role in the success of their fieldwork in the Pacific.

Ernest and Pearl Beaglehole established their reputations as social anthropologists when working in the Pacific under the overall direction of Peter Buck, before Ernest was appointed lecturer in psychology at Victoria University. They were particularly concerned with social psychology.

There is a biography of Ernest Beaglehole in the online Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (


120 linear_centimeters

Language of Materials


J C Beaglehole Room - archives and manuscripts
Edited Full Draft
Nicola Frean
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is written inEnglish
Edition statement
XML EAD edition

Repository Details

Part of the J C Beaglehole Room, Victoria University of Wellington Library Repository

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