Firth, Raymond, 1901-2002

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Sir Raymond Firth was born in 1901 in New Zealand. He was educated at Auckland University College, where he specialised in economics and wrote his MA thesis on the local kauri gum industry. In 1924 he came to the London School of Economics to work for a higher degree in economics, but on arrival changed his subject to anthropology and completed a PhD on the primitive economics of the New Zealand Maori under the supervision of Malinowski. After obtaining his PhD, Firth returned to New Zealand and in 1928-1929 made his first and longest visit to the island of Tikopia. On his return he joined the staff of the department of anthropology at the University of Sydney, first as a lecturer and then as acting professor. In 1932 he returned to London to take up a post under Malinowski at the LSE. He was a lecturer in anthropology 1932-1935, and a reader 1935-1944. During the Second World War, Firth was posted to the Admiralty's Naval Intelligence Division, where he was responsible for compiling the geographical handbooks relating to the Pacific islands. Following Malinowski's death in 1942, Firth was appointed Professor of Anthropology of the University of London in 1944. He retired from this post in 1968, but remained professionally active right up until his death at the age of 100 in 2002. Firth had a wide range of research interests, but is best remembered for his work on Tikopia and Malaya. He wrote extensively about Tikopia society and culture throughout his career, and returned to do further fieldwork there in 1952, 1966, 1973 and 1978. He first visited Malaya in 1939-1940 to study the economics and social conditions of peasant communities in the coastal region of Kelantan, and visited again in 1947 and 1963 to continue his research. He also made a significant contribution to the field of kinship studies, leading several projects on kinship in London in the period 1947-1965.

From the guide to the FIRTH, Sir Raymond William, 1901-2002, Kt, anthropologist, 1902-2001, (British Library of Political and Economic Science)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf FIRTH, Sir Raymond William, 1901-2002, Kt, anthropologist, 1902-2001 British library of political and economic science
referencedIn Arnold Leonard and Trude Scarlett Epstein Papers, 1949-1995 Mandeville Special Collections Library
creatorOf Firth, Raymond, 1901-2002. [Talk on ABC Guest of Honour programme, 2FC, 19 November 1972]. Libraries Australia
referencedIn Stanner, W. E. H. (William Edward Hanley), 1905-1981. On social organization and structure. Libraries Australia
creatorOf Freeman, Derek. Papers, 1940-2000. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Epstein, A. L. (Arnold Leonard). Arnold Leonard and Trude Scarlett Epstein Papers, 1949-1981. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Margaret Mead Papers and the South Pacific Ethnographic Archives, 1838-1996, (bulk 1911-1978) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf University of Auckland. History series : further papers. National Library of New Zealand
creatorOf Forge, Anthony. Papers, 1960-1990. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Benedict, Burton. Burton Benedict papers, [ca.1944-1956]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Anthony Forge Papers, 1908-1991 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
referencedIn Derek Freeman Papers, 1940 - 2001 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
referencedIn British Sociological Association, c1952-c2002 British library of political and economic science
referencedIn Stanford University Press archival book copies, 1900-2012 Cecil H. Green Library. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn GELLNER, Professor Ernest Andr, 1925-1995, philosopher and social anthropologist, [1946]-1996 British library of political and economic science
referencedIn CLARKE, Edith, 1896-1979, Jamaican anthropologist, [1930]-1949 British library of political and economic science
creatorOf Firth, Ray. [Ray Firth : Australian and New Zealand Art Files]. Libraries Australia
creatorOf Firth, Raymond, 1901-2002. Letter. Libraries Australia
referencedIn Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978. Margaret Mead papers and South Pacific Ethnographic Archives, 1838-1996 (bulk 1911-1978). Library of Congress
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith 2FC Radio Station. corporateBody
associatedWith Association Of Social Anthropologists corporateBody
associatedWith Australian Broadcasting Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Australian National University corporateBody
associatedWith Benedict, Burton. person
associatedWith British Sociological Association corporateBody
associatedWith Clarke, Edith, 1896-1979 person
associatedWith Colonial Office corporateBody
associatedWith Colonial Social Science Research Council corporateBody
associatedWith Epstein, A. L. (Arnold Leonard) person
associatedWith Epstein, T. Scarlett, (Trude Scarlett) person
associatedWith Firth Rosemary d 2001 person
correspondedWith Forge, Anthony person
associatedWith Forge, Anthony. person
associatedWith Freeman, Derek person
associatedWith Freeman, Derek. person
associatedWith Gellner, Ernest Andr, 1925-1995 person
associatedWith LSE, London School of Economics and Political Science corporateBody
associatedWith Malinowski, Bronislaw Kasper, 1884-1942 person
associatedWith Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978. person
correspondedWith Partington, Edge person
associatedWith Stanford University. Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Stanner, W. E. H. (William Edward Hanley), 1905-1981. person
associatedWith University of Auckland. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Asia and the Pacific
South East Asia
Caribbean
Tikopia Vanuatu Oceania
New Zealand
England
London England
Australia
Subject
Educational levels
Education, Higher
Land rights
Media
Musical styles
Political systems
Traditional music
Women scientists
Anthropologists
Anthropology
Colonial countries
Occupation
Anthropologists
Activity

Person

Birth 1901-03-25

Death 2002-02-22

New Zealanders

English

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