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Catalog Number 01.04
Title Richard S. MacNeish records
Date 1933-1990 (bulk 1968-1983)
Collection size 16 linear feet (16 record cartons)
Creator MacNeish, Richard S.
Administrative/Biographical History Richard Stockton "Scotty" MacNeish (1918-2001) was a significant figure in American Archaeology in the second half of the 20th century. His style of interdisciplinary team archaeology focused on the origins of agriculture in the New World and resulted in major excavations in Mexico, Peru, and Belize. The projects in the Tehuacán Valley in Mexico and the Ayacucho Valley in Peru established deep cultural sequences and provided crucial insight into the process of plant and animal domestication. These oft-cited works are considered some of the most important interdisciplinary studies of 20th-century American archaeology. MacNeish's contributions to archaeology were acknowledged through more than a dozen medals and honors, including election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1974.

MacNeish was born in New York City to parents Harris Franklin and Elizabeth Stockton MacNeish. He grew up in Eastchester, NY, and received his BA (1940), MA (1944), and PhD (1949) from the University of Chicago. He was married, first to anthropologist June Helm, 1945-1958, then to Diana Walter in 1963, with whom he raised two sons, Richard Roderick and Alexander Stockton. He was Senior/Chief Archaeologist at the National Museum of Canada, 1949-1962, and headed the University of Calgary's Department of Archaeology, 1964-1968. In 1969, he was appointed the fifth director of the Robert S. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology (Phillips Academy Department of Archaeology; Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology), staying there until 1983. From 1982-1986 he taught in the Department of Archaeology at Boston University. In 1984 he established the Andover Foundation for Archaeological Research (AFAR), a non-profit organization that served to fund his excavation projects. He died at age 82 in Belize.
Scope & Content This collection contains institutional records from MacNeish's time as Assistant Director, 1968-1969, and Director, 1969-1983, of the Robert S. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology, records documenting his professional activities at the time, correspondence from that period, and correspondence predating and postdating his directorship. The institutional records contain contract archaeology proposals, in particular for the Shattuck Farm site, Phillips Academy course files, building maintenance files, exhibit files, Friends of the Foundation (patrons of the foundation) files, legal research concerning the relationship between the foundation and Phillips Academy, and financial records. Some of these files contain materials that predate and postdate MacNeish's tenure. The records documenting MacNeish's professional activities during this period include administrative grant files and correspondence for his Belize, Camelid, Tehuacan Energy and Culture , and China projects; materials from associations and committees with which MacNeish was involved; materials documenting conferences and lectures MacNeish attended, and projects on which he was consulted; writing projects on which he was working; and lastly, evaluations of projects and individuals requested of MacNeish, and questionnaires. Lastly, this collection contains correspondence, some of which predates and postdates MacNeish's tenure at the foundation.

The records have been arranged into the following series: Series I. Correspondence; Series II. Institutional administration; Series III. Project administration; Series IV. Associations & committees; Series V. Conferences, lectures, documentaries, and consultations; Series VI. Manuscripts; Series VII. Evaluations and questionnaires.

These records do not include the papers MacNeish donated to the museum in 2000, which do contain museum records he took with him upon the end of his directorship in 1983. Those materials have been processed separately as the Richard S. MacNeish papers.
Conditions Governing Access This collection is open for research, though student work and Phillips Academy Board of Trustees records, as well as personal and financial records, may be restricted.
Language of Material English
Finding Aid Finding Aid