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COLLECTION Identifier: 2016.0.28

Harvard University Department of Anthropology anthropometric data records

Scope and Contents

These records document anthropometric surveys and data captured into two series; The Alfred M. Tozzer papers and the Martin Luther papers. Series one contains anthropometric coverage, data and results from Hawaiian territories as documented in the Alfred M. Tozzer papers. Series two depicts data surveys of peoples in several regions including: Alaska Natives; Scandinavians; Finnish; and those residing in Cape Anne, Massachusetts. A bulk of materials in series two, the Martin Luther papers, include data surveys, some hand print data, correspondence, and informative tables.


  • Creation: 1926 - 1929


1 box

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Marston Tozzer was born in Lynn, Massachusetts on July 4, 1877. After graduating from high school in Lynn, Tozzer attended Harvard College where he received degrees in anthropology.From 1900 to 1901, Tozzer conducted anthropological field work in Arizona, California, and New Mexico, focusing on linguistics among the Wintun and Navajo nations. From 1902 to 1905 Tozzer was an American Fellow at the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), sponsorshed by Harvard's Peabody Museum. He spent three winters living with and studying the Lacandones of Mexico and Central America and his field work provided material for his Ph.D. dissertation.

In 1909 Tozzer led a Peabody Museum expedition to Guatemala, studying the ruins of Tikal and Nakum.Tozzer's cross-disciplinary training under F. W. Putnam allowed him to move between archaeology and social anthropology. After,he served as the Director of the International School of Archeology in Mexico City in 1914.

After World War II Tozzer returned to Harvard where he spent the rest of his career. After his retirement in 1949, he remained involved with the Anthropology department by writing technical papers of the Maya and Mexican fields of study, and lecturing on a wide variety of subjects, including general anthropology, primitive religion, social origins, and social continuities. He passed away on October 5, 1954.

Biographical / Historical

Martin Luther (1899-1950) was Harvard Professor who studied Inuit groups in Southern Greenland. He enrolled at Harvard University in 1920 until 1924, when he entered a graduate program with Harvard. From 1926 to 1927, Luther collected anthropometric and sociological data on Finnish immigrants residing in Massachusetts.

After visiting Finland in 1927, Luther then went to Iceland and Greenland with colleagues Carl Seltzer and Vilhjalmur Stefansson in 1928 to 1929, collecting more data. Luther returned to Harvard in 1929, analyzing his anthropometric data on Europeans and Inuits until his research was completed in 1931.Luther returned to Harvard for graduate school from 1934-1935, working in Earnest Hooton's Statistical and Anthropometric lab on social data from a physiology project. Luther left his anthropological work in 1935 to focus on his textbook publishing company.

Although dedicated to his anthropometric work Luther also with a textbook publishing business in Boston and settling family affairs on a cotton plantation near Fayetteville, North Carolina.

General note

Collections records may contain language, reflecting past collecting practices and methods of analysis, that is no longer acceptable. The Peabody Museum is committed to addressing the problem of offensive and discriminatory language present in its database. Our museum staff are continually updating these records, adding to and improving content. We welcome your feedback and any questions or concerns you may want to share.

Genre / Form

Harvard University Department of Anthropology Anthropometric Data records
Entered into ArchivesSpace by Meg Monroe, 2020
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Museum Archives Repository

Papers in the Peabody Museum Archives consist of primary source materials that document the Museum’s archaeological and ethnographic research and fieldwork since its founding in 1866. More than 2,800 feet of archival paper collections contain documents, papers, manuscripts, correspondence, data, field notes, maps, plans, and other historical records that represent diverse peoples from around the world, and which were created or collected by the Museum, its individual affiliates, or related entities. The collections also document the history or provenience, as well as the creation of, many of the Museum’s archaeological and ethnographic collections.

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Harvard University
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