Special Publications of the AAA: A Brief History

Memoirs of the AAA

The American Anthropological Association has had a long history in publishing monographs and multiauthor collections of essays in addition to its program of periodical publications. The first series, beginning in 1905, was the Memoirs of the American Anthropological Association.

Relatively few materials now exist that document this series. Begun in 1905, the first 28 books in the series were published in 6 Numbers, at first published at a rate of six per number. In 1916 the Memoirs were published quarterly, and were sent to AAA members without charge.

Beginning in 1923, the publication schedule became more erratic. The volumes were published separately, beginning with Ruth Benedict's book, The Concept of the Guardian Spirit in North America. Funding was a problem, and the Association published some of the Memoirs with grants from the National Academy of Sciences, the Viking Fund, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, to name a few.

The first General Series Editor was appointed in 1935: Leslie Spier, Editor, with Melville J. Herskovits, Cornelius Osgood, F. H. H. Roberts and Frank Speck, Associate Editors.

In 1940, the Memoirs were incorporated into the supplement series of the American Anthropologist, which at that time published 6 issues a year. This would be the case for the rest of the volumes in the series.

The series was discontinued due to lack of adequate funding.

The following are the titles (the volumes are long since out of print) of the Memoirs of the American Anthropological Association

  • No. 1, pt. 1 / Materials for the Physical Anthropology of the Eastern European Jews. 1905. By Maurice Fishberg.
  • No. 1, pt. 2 / Tribes of the Columbia Valley and the Coast of Washington and Oregon. 1905. By Albert Buell Lewis.
  • No. 1, pt. 3 / Historical Jottings on Amber in Asia. 1906. By Berthold Laufer.
  • No. 1, pt. 4 / The Numerical Proportions of the Sexes at Birth. 1906. By John Benjamin Nichols.
  • No. 1, pt. 5 / Ethnographic and Linguistic Notes on the Paez Indians of Tiera Adentro, Cauca, Colombia. 1907. By Henry Pittier de Fabrega.
  • No. 1, pt. 6 / The Cheyenne Indians. 1907. By James Mooney. Sketch of the Cheyenne Grammar. 1907. By Rodolphe Petter.
  • No. 2, pt. 1 / Weather Words of Polynesian. 1907. By William Churchill.
  • No. 2, pt. 2 / The Creek Indians of Taskigi Town. By Frank G. Speck.
  • No. 2, pt. 3 / The Nez Perce Indians. By Herbert Joseph Spinden.
  • No. 2, pt. 4 / An Hidatsa Shrine and the Beliefs Respecting It. By George H. Pepper and Gilbert L. Wilson.
  • No. 2, pt. 5 / The Ethno-botany of the Gosiute Indians of Utah. 1911. By Ralph V. Chamberlin.
  • No. 2, pt. 6 / Pottery of the Pajarito Plateau and Some Adjacent Regions in New Mexico. 1915. By A. V. Kidder.
  • No. 3, pt. 1 / The Idea of Fertilization in the Culture of the Pueblo Indians. 1916. By H. K. Haeberlin.
  • No. 3, pt. 2 / The Indians of Cuzco and Apurimac. 1916. By H. B. Ferris.
  • No. 3, pt. 3 / Mocassins and their Relation to Arctic Footwear. 1916. By Gudmund Hatt.
  • No. 3, pt. 4 / Banaro Society: Social Organization and Kinship of a Tribe in the Interior of New Guinea. 1916. By Richard Thurnwald.
  • No. 4, pt. 1 / Matrilineal Kinship, and the Question of its Priority. 1917. By E. Sydney Hartland.
  • No. 4, pt. 2 / The Reindeer and its Domestication. 1917. By Berthold Laufer.
  • No. 4, pt. 3 / Notes on Zuni, Part I. 1917. By Elsie Clews Parsons.
  • No. 4, pt. 4 / Notes on Zuni, Part II. 1917. By Elsie Clews Parsons.
  • No. 5, pt. 1 / A Further Study of Prehistoric Small House Ruins in the San Juan Watershed. 1918. By T. Mitchell Prudden.
  • No. 5, pt. 2 / An Early Account of the Choctaw Indians. 1918. By John R. Swanton.
  • No. 5, pt. 3 / Notes on Some Bushman Implements. 1918. By Bene Van Rippen.
  • No. 5, pt. 4 / The Little-Known Small House Ruins in the Coconino Forest. 1918. By M. R. F. Colton and H. S. Colton.
  • No. 6, pt. 1 / The Functions of Wampum Among the Eastern Algonkian. 1919. By Frank G. Speck.
  • No. 6, pt. 2 / Notes on Reindeer Nomadism. 1919. By Gudmund Hart.
  • No. 6, pt. 3 / Notes on Cochiti, New Mexico. 1919. By Father Noel Dumarest.
  • No. 6, pt. 4 / Penobscot Shamanism. 1919. By Frank G. Speck.
  • No. 29 / The Concept of the Guardian Spirit in North America. 1923. By Ruth Fulton Benedict.
  • No. 30 / The Blood Sacrifice Complex. By E. M. Loeb.
  • No. 31 / The Scalp Ceremonial of Zuni. By Elsie Clews Parsons.
  • No. 32 / A Pueblo Indian Journal, 1920-1921. 1925. By Elsie Clews Parsons.
  • No. 33 / The Social and Ceremonial Organization of the Cohchiti. By Esther Schiff Goldfrank.
  • No. 34 / Archaeological Explorations of the Middle Chinlee. 1925. By Noel Morss.
  • No. 35 / The Northern and Southern Affiliations of Antillean Culture. 1927. By Charlotte D. Gower.
  • No. 36 / The Social Organization of the Tewa of New Mexico. 1929. By Elsie Clews Parsons.
  • No. 37 / New Stone Age Pottery from the Prehistoric Site at Hsi-Yin Tsun, Shansi, China. 1930. By Ssu Yung Liang.
  • No. 38 / The Pueblo of San Felipe. 1931. By Leslie A. White.
  • No. 39 / Hopi and Zuni Ceremonialism. 1932. By Elsie Clews Parsons.
  • No. 40 / The Gold Tribe, "Fishskin Tatars" of the Lower Sungari. 1933. By Owen Lattimore.
  • No. 41 / An Outline of Dahomean Religious Belief. 1934. By Melville J. Herskovits and Frances S. Herskovits.
  • No. 42 / Walapai Ethnography. 1935. By Alfred L. Kroeber.
  • No. 43 / The Pueblo of Santo Domingo, New Mexico. 1935. By Leslie A. White.
  • No. 44 / Hopi of the Second Mesa. 1935. By Ernest Beaglehold and Pearl Beaglehold.
  • No. 45 / Kinship Systems and the Forms of Marriage. 1935. By Bernard Willard Aginsky.
  • No. 46 / The Autobiography of a Papago Woman. 1936. By Ruth Underhill.
  • No. 47 / Tribal Distribution in Oregon. 1937. By Joel V. Berreman.
  • No. 48 / The Flathead Indians of Montana. 1937. By Harry Holbert Turney-High.
  • No. 49 / Minnesota's Browns Valley Man and Associated Burial Artifacts. 1937. By Albert Ernest Jenks.
  • No. 50 / Navaho Classification of their Song Ceremonials. 1938. By Leland C. Wyman and Clyde Kluckhohn.
  • No. 51 / Reconnaissance and Excavation in Southeastern New Mexico. 1938. By H. P. Mera.
  • No. 52 / Dirty Boy: A Jicarilla Tale of Raid and War. 1938. By Morris Edward Opler.
  • No. 53 / An Introduction to Navaho Chant Practice. 1940. By Clyde Kluckhohn and Leland C. Wyman.
  • No. 54 / The Political Organization and Law-Ways of the Comanche Indians. 1940. By E. Adamson Hoebel.
  • No. 55 / The Mackenzie Collection: A Study of West African Carved Gambling Chips. 1940. By Morris Siegel.
  • No. 56 / Ethnography of the Kutenai. 1941. By Harry Holbert Turney-High.
  • No. 57 / Notes on the Caddo. 1941. By Elsie Clews Parsons.
  • No. 58 / Economics of a Guatemalan Village. 1941. By Charles Wagley.
  • No. 59 / Acculturation among the Japanese of Kona, Hawaii. 1941. By John F. Embree.
  • No. 60 / The Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico. 1942. By Leslie A. White.
  • No. 61 / Franz Boas, 1858-1942. 1943. By A. L. Kroeber, Ruth Benedict, Murray B. Emeneau, Melville J. Herskovits, Gladys A. Reichard, and J. Alden Mason.
  • No. 62 / An Appraisal of Constitutional Typologies. 1943. By William Armand Lessa.
  • No. 63 / The Sociological Role of the Yoruba Cult-Group. 1944. By William R. Bascom.
  • No. 64 / The Maori: A Study in Acculturation. 1944. By H. B. Hawthorn.
  • No. 65 / The Religion of the Ifugaos. 1946. By R. F. Barton.
  • No. 66 / Slavery during the Third Dynasty of Ur. 1947. By Bernard J. Siegel.
  • No. 67 / On Culture Contact and Its Working in Modern Palestine. 1947. By Raphael Patai.
  • No. 68 / The Aymara Indians of the Lake Titicaca Plateau, Bolivia. 1948. By Weston La Barre.
  • No. 69 / A Study of Archeology. 1948. By Walter W. Taylor.
  • No. 70 / The Pueblo Indians of New Mexico: Their Land, Economy and Civil Organization. 1948. By S. D. Aberle.
  • No. 71 / The Social and Religious Life of a Guatemalan Village. 1949. C. Wagley.
  • No. 72 / Acculturation and Personality among the Wisconsin Chippewa. 1950. By V. Barnouw.
  • No. 73 / Cayuga Culture Change: A Study in Acculturation and Methodology. 1952. By J. Watson.
  • No. 74 / Haitian Creole: Grammars, Texts, Vocabulary. 1953. By R. A. Hall, Jr.
  • No. 75 / Studies in Chinese Thought. 1953. Edited by Arthur F. Wright.
  • No. 76 / Studies in Islamic Cultural History. 1954. Edited by G. E. von Grunebaum.
  • No. 77 / Potam: A Yaqui City in Sonora. 1954. By Edward H. Spicer.
  • No. 78 / The Montagnais "Hunting Territory" and the Fur Trade. 1954. By Eleanor Leacock.
  • No. 79 / Language in Culture. 1954. Edited by Harry Hoijer.
  • No. 80 / In Search of Wealth: A Study of the Emergence of Commercial Operations in the Melanesian Society of Southeastern Papua. 1955. By C. Belshaw.
  • No. 81 / Islam: Essays in the Nature and Growth of a Cultural Tradition. 1955. By Gustave E. von Grunebaum.
  • No. 82 / Mogollon Culture. 1955. By Joe Ben Wheat.
  • No. 83 / Village India. 1955. Edited by McKim Marriott.
  • No. 84 / Indo-European Languages and Archeology. 1955. By Hugh Nencken.
  • No. 85 / The Human Element in Industrialization. 1955. By Beate Salz.
  • No. 86 / Natural Selection in Man. 1958. By James F. Crow, Philip Levine, Carleton S. Coon, and James V. Neel.
  • No. 87 / Machine Age Maya: The Industrialization of a Guatemalan Community. 1958. By Manning Nash.
  • No. 88 / Trend and Tradition in the Prehistory of the Eastern United States. 1958. By Joseph R. Caldwell.
  • No. 89 / The Anthropology of Franz Boas. 1959. Edited By Walter Goldschmidt.
  • No. 90 / The Hispanic Acculturation of the Gila River Pimas. 1961. By Paul H. Ezell.
  • No. 91 / Menomini Women and Culture Change. 1962. By Louise S. Spindler.
  • No. 92 / The Southwestern Chippewa: An Ethnohistorical Study. 1962. By Harold Hickerson.
  • No. 93 / Priests and Warriors: Social Structures for Cherokee Politics in the 18th Century. 1962. By Fred Gearing.
  • No. 94 / The Teaching of Anthropology. 1963. Edited by David G. Mandelbaum, Gabriel W. Lasker, and Ethel M. Albert.
  • No. 95 / Resources for the Teaching of Anthropology. 1963. Edited by David G. Mandelbaum, Gabriel W. Lasker, and Ethel M. Albert.
  • No. 96 / Navajo Ways in Government: A Study in Political Process. 1963. By Mary Shepardson.

The Memoir Series ended in 1963. Beginning in October 1963, a short-lived series, also published as additional numbers of the American Anthropologist, began. Known as Special Publications of the American Anthropologist, it was under the general editorship of Alan R. Beals. In his words, the series was to publish papers "representing explorations at the frontiers of anthropology." The series contained the following titles (the volumes are out of print):

  • Selected Papers in Method and Technique. October 1963. Edited by G. D. Spindler.
  • Alcohol Symposium. 1964. Edited by G. D. Spindler.
  • Tibetan Symposium. 1964. Edited by James Downs.
  • Transcultural Studies in Cognition. 1964. Edited by A. Kimball Romney and Roy Goodwin D'Andrade.
  • New Guinea: The Central Highlands. 1964. Edited by James B. Watson.
  • The Ethnography of Communication. 1964. Edited by John J. Gumperz and Dell Hymes.
  • Variation and Adaptability of Culture. 1965. Edited by Walter Goldschmidt.
  • Formal Semantic Analysis. 1965. Edited by E. A. Hammel.
  • The Ethnography of Law. 1965. Edited by Laura Nader.
  • Recent Studies in Paleoanthropology. 1966. Edited by J. Desmond Clark and F. Clark Howell.

Anthropological Studies

In the Annual Report of 1967, Ward H. Goodenough announced a new series, Anthropological Studies, "devoted to the publication of the detailed findings and full data of anthropological research. Raw field notes will not be acceptable; the data must be in a form that allows scholars to use them satisfactorily. . ."

The series shifted emphases [with a change in editorship] to deal with issues in anthropology that were of general interest to anthropologists.

Ten books were published in this series, from 1969 to 1973 (now out of print):

  • 1. The Dream Life of a Primitive People: The Dreams of the Yir Yoront of Australia. Edited by David M. Schneider and Lauriston Sharp. 1969.
  • 2. Sakhalin Ainu Folklore. Edited by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney. 1969.
  • 3. The Life History of a Nez-Perce Indian. Edited by Anthony E. Thomas. 1970.
  • 4. The Floating World of Castle Peak Bay. Edited by E. N. Anderson, Jr. 1970.
  • 5. Social and Economic Characteristics of the Cherokee Population of Eastern Oklahoma. Edited by Albert L. Wahrhaftig. 1970.
  • 6. Dominance and Defiance: A Study of Marital Instability in an Islamic African Society. Edited by Ronald Cohen. 1971.
  • 7. Studies in Economic Anthropology. Edited by George Dalton. 1971.
  • 8. Race and Intelligence. Edited by C. Loring Brace, George R. Gamble, and James T. Bond. 1971.
  • 9. Cultural Illness and Health: Essays in Human Adaptation. Edited by Laura Nader and Thomas W. Maretzki. 1973.
  • 10. The Arctic Hysterias of the North Alaskan Eskimo. Edited by Edward F. Foulks. 1973.


The Anthropological Studies series was discontinued in 1974, and was succeeded by the Special Publications of the AAA. The Executive Board motion reads,

Motion 79-51 "in place of Anthropological Studies, Special Publications be introduced to consist of appropriate materials as they come to hand, as, for example, materials such as the symposia special issues of the American Anthropologist produced during the editorship of George Spindler; symposia dealing with current directions in anthropology which might be developed by the Program Editor and his associates for the annual meeting, or materials concerned with professional, as distinguished from scientific, anthropological interests; these special publications to be sold."

This was later amended to include "volumes in honor of distinguished anthropologists, providing they are accompanied by a substantial subvention" (Motion 88-69). This was done specifically to provide for an outlet for the publication of festschrifts, according to the minutes. [In 1989, the Board moved to refuse for AAA publication all future festschrifts. This ban was rescinded in November 1991.]

The special publications series was begun in spring 1986, and ended in 1995. The series was split into two: (1) a scholarly series and (2) a professional series. David Gilmore was appointed Editor of the Scholarly Series, and Helen Schwartzman was selected as Professional Series editor. The scholarly series was seen as the logical outgrowth of the Anthropological Studies series; the professional series was to publish works such as manuals, career development advice, handbooks on ethics and fieldwork.

The special publications series contains the following titles. A number of these volumes are in print and available for purchase; please see the Publications Order Form on the AAA web site. Special publication number 23, Handbook on Ethical Issues in Anthropology, is now available on-line on the web site.

  • 1. Training Programs for New Opportunities in Applied Anthropology. Edited by Eleanor Leacock, Nancie Gonzalez, and Gilbert Kushner. 1974.
  • 2. Princes of the Earth: Subcultural Diversity in a Mexican Municipality. Edited by Barbara Luise Margolies. 1975.
  • 3. Anthropology and Jobs. Edited by H. Russell Bernard and Willis E. Sibley. 1975.
  • 4. Formal Methods in Economic Anthropology. Edited by Stuart Plattner. 1975.
  • 5. Europeanist Social Anthropologists in North America: A Directory. Edited by Susan T. Freeman and Laura R. Walters. 1975.
  • 6. The Societies of Borneo: Explorations in the Theory of Cognatic Social Structure. Edited by G. N. Appell. 1976.
  • 7. Andean Kinship and Marriage. Edited by Ralph Bolton and Enrique Mayer. 1977.
  • 8. Man and Woman in the New Guinea Highlands. Edited by Paula Brown and Georgeda Buchbinder. 1976.
  • 9. Films for Anthropological Teaching. Edited by Karl J. Heider. 1977.
  • 10. Perspectives on Anthropology. Edited by Anthony F. C. Wallace. 1977.
  • 11. The Uses of Anthropology. Edited by Walter Goldschmidt. 1979.
  • 12. Health in the Andes. Edited by Joseph W. Bastien and John M. Donahue. 1981.
  • 13. Directory of Practicing Anthropologists. Edited by Agnes B. Chatelain and Louis F. Cimino. 1981.
  • 14. Getting a Job Outside the Academy. Edited by David J. Puhlick. 1982.
  • 15. Culture & Ecology: Eclectic Perspectives. Edited by John G. Kennedy and Robert B. Edgerton. 1982.
  • 16. Films for Anthropological Teaching [7th edition]. Edited by Karl G. Heider. 1983.
  • 17. Training Manual in Development Anthropology. Edited by William L. Partridge. 1984.
  • 18. Training Manual in Medical Anthropology. Edited by Carole E. Hill. 1985.
  • 19. Training Manual in Policy Ethnography. Edited by John Van Willigen and Billie R. Dewalt. 1985.
  • 20. Training Manual in Nutritional Anthropology. Edited by Sara A. Quandt and Cheryl Ritenbaugh. 1986.
  • 21. Anthropology and Public Policy. Edited by Walter Goldschmidt. 1986.
  • 22. Honor and Shame and the Unity of the Mediterranean. Edited by David D. Gilmore. 1987.
  • 23. Handbook on Ethical Issues in Anthropology. Edited by Joan Cassell and Sue-Ellen Jacobs. 1987.
  • 24. Anthropology for Tomorrow: Creating Practitioner-Oriented Applied Anthropology Programs. Edited by Robert T. Trotter II. 1988.
  • 25. Culture, Kin, and Cognition in Oceania: Essays in Honor of Ward H. Goodenough. Edited by Mac Marshall and John L. Caughey. 1989.
  • 26. Surviving Fieldwork: A Report of the Advisory Panel on Health and Safety in Fieldwork. By Nancy Howell. 1990.
  • 27. Training Manual in Applied Medical Anthropology. Edited by Carole E. Hill. 1991.
  • 28. The Tasaday Controversy. Edited by Thomas Headland. 1992.
  • 29. Films for Anthropological Teaching. Eighth edition. Prepared by Karl G. Heider and Carol Hermer. 1995.