Birdsell, Dr Joseph Benjamin (AA 689)

Dr Joseph B Birdsell

Born: 30 March 1908, South Bend, Indiana, Unites States of America
Died: 5 March 1994, Santa Barbara, California, United States of America

Dr Joseph B Birdsell was a physical anthropologist from the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, United States of America when he was first introduced to the Australian anthropologist Norman B Tindale (AA 338) from the South Australian Museum. From here came the impetus to collaborate in the first joint expedition from 1938 to 1939 funded by both Harvard University and the University of Adelaide. The aim was to conduct an extensive physical and social anthropological survey of Australia’s Aboriginal people. Their work was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II but resumed from 1952 to 1954 in their second major collaboration funded by the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Adelaide.

The South Australian Museum Archives includes field journals, notebooks, genealogies and correspondence.

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