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COLLECTION Identifier: 2013.6.1

Forbes, John Malcolm (1909-1941) Papers


Papers include correspondence, lists, manuscript and scrapbook pertaining to Forbes' trip to Africa from 1923-1924.


  • 1923-1934

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions on access: none

Conditions Governing Use

Restrictions on use: none


1 collection (2 linear feet; (1 document box; 1 flat box))
This collection contains correspondence, lists and manuscripts related to John Malcolm Forbes' trip to Africa from 1923 to 1924. Manuscripts include an unpublished book and National Geographic article describing the trip. Forbes' notes and manuscripts describe the villages, geography and fauna of the areas through which he passed through. The west to east journey from Nigeria to the Sudan, explored the region of the Bahr Aouk in the Chari River drainage basin, and passed through Kano,Jemaari,Maidugari,Dikoa,Kousseri,Fort Lamy,Am Timan,Ndiko,Sakeekida,Mamoun, Kiyabe,Fort Archambault,Geneina,Darfur, El Obeid, and Khartoum. Correspondence primarily relates to equipment and taxidermy, and includes a letter from General John J. Pershing. A list of photographs in Volume 1 of the photograph albums is included with this collection, the list of photographs in Volume 2 is located inside the first page of that volume. Other materials in this collection include lecture notes related to the films, materials and notes from a course on Behaviourism in 1933, and John Malcolm Forbes' visas for the trip to Africa.

Biographical Sketch

John Malcolm Forbes was born August 9, 1901 on Uncatena Island in Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard in 1923. After graduation, he traveled to Africa with a relative, Gerrit Forbes. J. Malcolm Forbes pursued post-graduate studies at Columbia, and was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Rollins College for four years, starting in 1928. He received his PhD in psychiatry from the University of London, and then worked for the Harvard psychological clinic and taught at Simmons College. Forbes was interested in welfare work and active in the Judge Baker Foundation until his death in 1941.

  1. Harvard College. Class Album, 1923. Cambridge: Harvard University,1923. Retrieved 8/7/2013 from
  2. Cummings, Charles K. Reminiscences of J. Malcolm Forbes. Lexington, MA: The Hancock Press, 1943.

Physical Location

Peabody Museum Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition


These papers were given in memory of John Malcolm Forbes by Holly Forbes; Charles D. Forbes; John Malcolm Forbes; and Joan Forbes Koponen 2012-2013

Related Peabody Museum Collections:

  1. Forbes, J. Malcolm (1901-1941).Film (3), 2013.6.2.1 - .3
  2. Forbes, J. Malcolm (1901-1941). Photo albums (3),2013.6.2.4 - .6
  3. Forbes, J. Malcolm (1901-1941). Maps (3), 2013.6.3
Related Harvard University Collections:
  1. Baker Business Historical Collections, HarvardUniversity: Forbes family business records, 1658-1968 (inclusive). MSS: 766 1803-1942 F693.

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: Kimberly Allegretto, Archives Assistant; 2013 edited by Patricia H. Kervick, Associate Archivist; 2013
Link to catalog
Forbes, John Malcolm (1909-1941) Papers (1923-1934): 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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