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COLLECTION Identifier: 2010.11.58.1

Hazel Hitson Weidman papers on Burma (Myanmar)


This collection contains correspondence, notes, and publications by Hazel Weidman, related to her travel and research in Burma/Myanmar.


  • 1957 - 2010

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions on access: 1 folder contains fragile materials, see archivist for access

Conditions Governing Use

Restrictions on use: none


4 linear feet
The Weidman Papers consist of correspondence, field notes, audio recordings and transcriptions, research notes, unpublished manuscripts and publications by Weidman. The collection documents her travel and fieldwork in Burma as a doctoral student in Radcliffe's Department of Social Relations in 1958, her post-dissertation research, correspondence with several people living in Burma, and her 2006 visit to Burma, almost 50 years after her original trip.

Biographical Sketch

Hazel Marie Hitson Weidman was born on August 3, 1923 in Taft, CA. She worked in medical settings prior to receiving an undergraduate degree in social anthropology from North Western University in 1951, and for a short while thereafter. She pursued her graduate studies at Harvard's Radcliffe College from 1956 to 1959. Convinced that the anthropological perspective would be helpful in understanding medical structures and health care processes, Hazel Weidman enrolled in the graduate program in the Department of Social Relations, from which she obtained a Ph.D. in 1959. Based on her own field research, the dissertation was entitled "Family patterns and paranoidal personality structure in Boston and Burma."From 1959 through 1964, Weidman worked for various federal, state and local medical service agencies.

Her statewide study of the tuberculosis control system in Massachusetts, jointly conducted with her husband Dr. William H. Weidman, provided the data for new tuberculosis control legislation. She also prepared position papers for the U.S. Public Health Services on the topic of "Public Health Goals in Metropolitan Areas" which took her into the complexities of hospital administration and staff training programs for Fresno County Hospital. Under the sponsorship of the state of California, Weidman developed a community-wide program for the protection of battered children.

Prompted by a need to establish closer ties with anthropologist colleagues and to consolidate her thinking about anthropology in relation to medicine, Hazel Weidman moved to academe in 1964. She first taught social anthropology at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA (1964-1965), then at the University of Alabama Medical Center (1965-1967). She was also an associate research fellow at the Social Science Research Institute of the University of Hawaii (1967-1968). In 1968, Weidman joined the faculty of the University of Miami where she held teaching positions at both the Department of Anthropology, and the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine until her retirement in 1990.

At the University of Miami, Weidman planned a community mental health program geared to the needs of the inner-city population of Miami. The goal of the program was to train the participants in attaining a transcultural perspective, thus becoming "culture brokers" in the delivery of health care to patients coming from multi-ethnic backgrounds. Similar programs led to the creation in 1981 of the Office of Transcultural Education and Research (O.T.E.R.), a resource center for people and organizations concerned about cultural beliefs and behaviors that might influence the management and outcome of health care to patients from a variety of cultural traditions.

Weidman has had a lasting impact on the centralization of medical anthropology as a sub-discipline in its own right, and her work in the field contributed significantly to the recognition of the importance of the anthropological perspective in medicine and medical care.

  1. "Profile of an anthropologist," Newsletter of the American Anthropological Association, vol. 20, no. 10 (Dec 1979).
  2. Bibliographical listings (Weidman Papers, folder 7.17) .
  3. Hazel Marie Hitson Weidman (1923--) Papers, 1955-1991, finding aid.


The collection is arranged into four series:
  1. Series I: Correspondence--This series is divided into two subseries: Correspondence 1957-1992, and Correspondence 2000-2010. The files arearranged chronologically for the general correspondence, and alphabetically by last name for the major correspondents.
  2. Series II: Notes--This series is divided into two subseries: Field Notes and Research Notes, which are arranged by subject. The field notes were created by Weidman when she traveled to Burma in 1958. The research notes were created by Weidman after finishing her dissertation work in Burma, and include the research she conducted for lectures she gave and various papers that she wrote.
  3. Series III: Publications by Weidman--This series contains published papers written by Hazel Weidman. It is arranged by subject.
  4. Series IV: Dissertation--This series contains a manuscript of Weidman's doctoral dissertation and two bound copies of a paper she wrote shortly after earning her PhD.

Physical Location

Peabody Museum Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition


These papers are a gift of Hazel Weidman, June 2010

Related Peabody Museum collections:

  1. Hazel Hitson Weidman papers, 1951-1991 (2000.14)
Collections at other institutions
  1. Society for Medical Anthropology Records (Hazel Weidman Papers), mq113385; mq113250 National Anthropology Archives (Smithsonian Institution)

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.

Processing Information

Processed by: Rachel A. Adler, Simmons College intern, July 2011
Link to catalog

Correspondents Index

Ande, Diethard
Badgley, John
Cullen, Tim
DuBois, Cora
Funkenstein, Daniel
Harvard University Press
Hitson, Estell
1.8.1, 1.8.2
Long, Carroll
Mendelson, E. Michael
1.10, 1.17
Montgomery, Wanda
Myint, Wai Phyo
Persimmon, Carolyn Herrick
Post, Ron
Thanegi, Ma
1.21 - 1.24
Wheatley, Julian
Weidman, Hazel H. (1923--) Papers, 1957-2010, inclusive: A Finding Aid
Peabody Museum Archives

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Museum Archives Repository

The Peabody Museum Archives contains primary source materials that reflect the Museum’s archaeological and ethnographic research and fieldwork since its founding in 1866. Archival collections contain photographs, documents, papers, and records of enduring value that were created or collected by the Museum, its individual affiliates, or other related entities. The collections also document the history or provenience, as well as the creation of many of the Museum’s artifact collections. To learn more about research visits at the Peabody Museum, please see

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