Copy of William Lloyd Warner's Data Card Series, 1926-1927

Archive Collections / Dr Joseph Benjamin Birdsell / Series AA689/09 / Copy of William Lloyd Warner's Data Card Series, 1926-1927

This item is a set of anthropometric data cards copied by Birdsell from the original data collected by William Lloyd Warner (1898-1970), an American anthropologist and sociologist. Warner came to Australia to study at the University of Sydney on a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (1925-1926), then worked in east Arnhem Land (1927-1929) under an Australian National Research Council fellowship. Based at Milingimbi Methodist Mission, Northern Territory, Warner conducted extensive anthropological and sociological research on numerous Australian Aboriginal groups in the area. His anthropometric measurements of 339 Australian Aboriginal people were later analyzed and published by WW Howells (1937). On his return to the USA in 1929, Warner taught anthropology and sociology at Harvard University until 1935. In 1935 Birdsell began working under the direction of EA Hooton at the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. Birdsell (1993) states that the protocols were made available to himself from Warner, and that he subsequently rearranged the data from their numerical sequence into regional groups, the last two being broadly regionally pooled populations as follows:

  • W-1 Melville and Bathurst Islands

  • W-2 Larrakia [Larakia]

  • W-3 Worgait [Wogait]

  • W-4 Berinken [Magatige]

  • W-5 Central Interior

  • W-6 north-eastern

Data was collected from individuals at the following places in the Northern Territory: Kahlin Compound; Fanny Bay Prison; Darwin Compound; Darwin; Crocodile Islands.

The cards contain the following information: [the individual's subject] Number, Sex; Age; Date; Place; Race; Tribe; Race of Father; Race of Mother; Name; Father or Mother of; Brother or Sister of; Son or Daughter of; Anthropological Measurements numbering 28; Vital Statistics; Remarks and Observations on the reverse side of the card. Marital status was recorded also noted on the front top right hand side. Not all data is recorded for each field. Hair samples are glued to the reverse side of the some of the data cards and have been re-housed to preserve their integrity. The cards measure 20.5 x 12.5cm.

It appears that these cards are in Birdsell's hand.
    See also the 'Warner's Australians. Raw Data for Males' (AA 689/1/12) which contains Birdsell's transcriptions of Warner's anthropometric data of Australian Aborigines from data cards (see AA 689/9/1) and includes notes made in relation to the data. Tindale Tribes: Larakia; Larakia; Wogait; Magatige; Magatige. :
  • Mulvaney, DJ 1990, 'Warner, William Lloyd (1898 - 1970)' in Australian Dictionary of Biography Volume 12, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, pp. 386-387.

  • Warner, WL 1964, (first published 1937) A Black Civilization: A Social Study of an Australian Tribe. Harpers & Row, New York.

  • Birdsell, JB 1993, Microevolutionary patterns in Aboriginal Australia: a gradient analysis of clines. Oxford University Press, New York, p.26.

CreatorDr Joseph Benjamin Birdsell
ControlAA 689/9/1
Date Range1926  -  1927
Quantity 4.5cm,   1   grey Albox folder
Series AA689/09